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What’s Going On – November 2023

By November 12, 2023No Comments

What’s Going On WGO appears every month with news of the industry in short easy to read segments. Send us your company information at

WGO November 2023

Michigan-based Gordon Food Service has leased a building at 5800 Beach Blvd in Jacksonville. It was home to Staples until the end of last month when they  vacated. Gordon Food Service will demo the inside and rebuild the massive building. They have almost 200 store locations nationwide. Gordon Food Service has 14 distribution centers, including in Miami and Plant City. They serve restaurants, health care, schools and other foodservice customers. Opening for the new facility is planned for late 2024.


The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) is thrilled to announce Robby Kukler as the recipient of the 2023 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Lifetime Achievement Award. Kukler is the founder of Kukler Restaurant Advisors and co-founder of Fifth Group Restaurants. Kukler will receive his award on Nov 30,2023, during the GRACE Awards gala at the Georgia Aquarium.


Ray’s in the City in downtown Atlanta, has welcomed loyal guests for its award-winning menu and approachable, elevated service for 20 years. Guests regularly walk through the doors at Ray’s in downtown Atlanta for fresh fish, prime steaks, house-cut chops, an extensive selection of fine wines and exceptional service. Founded in 1984 by renowned restaurant industry veteran Ray Schoenbaum, Ray’s Restaurants is comprised of Ray’s on the River in Sandy Springs, Ray’s in the City in Downtown Atlanta and Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta. Each restaurant features an award-winning menu with an emphasis on fresh fish flown in daily from the Atlantic and Pacific, house-cut chops, prime steaks and extensive wine offerings from around the world. Photo credit: Brandon Amato.


The Brewers Association, a leading organization supporting small and independent craft brewers, has unveiled some impressive statistics about the craft brewing industry. As of the latest data, a staggering 9,552 craft breweries are operating in the United States. These breweries encompass various categories, including 2,035 microbreweries, 3,418 brewpubs, 3,838 taproom breweries, and 261 regional craft breweries.  This robust and growing sector is a testament to the creativity and entrepreneurship thriving in craft beer. “According to our data, 212 new brewery openings in 2023 reflect the continued interest and demand for craft beer. Alongside these openings were 69 closings, showcasing the competitive landscape within the craft brewing community.”


As part of its strategy for nationwide expansion, Beans & Brews Coffeehouse is fortifying its executive team to enhance growth and franchise support with the appointment of Chad Gretzema as its Chief Executive Officer. Beans & Brews has recently signed new development deals in San Antonio and Austin with commitments to open 40 new stores in these regions. The coffee franchise also awarded 29 other franchise agreements in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, with additional agreements in the works for Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. Jeff and Kevin Laramie, co-founders of Beans & Brews Coffeehouse, expressed their enthusiasm about Gretzema’s ability to lead the company in this next chapter of growth. The pair will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and will remain significant shareholders.


In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, the importance of a well-structured, patient-centered food service cannot be overstated. Welcome to our Global Healthcare Food Services Market report, an in-depth analysis of an industry estimated at a significant USD 18.03 billion in 2023, and projected to escalate, reaching an astronomical USD 49.93 billion by 2030. This comprehensive research material offers the latest trends, competitor insights, and market share data, serving as an indispensable tool for senior business executives looking to stay ahead. Our report not only expounds on the variations in consumer behavior but also delineates the cross-impact of governmental interventions and potential implications on the overall demand-supply balances.

Maximizing business growth in the Global Healthcare Food Services Market cannot be accomplished without a clear understanding of these factors.  “Our segmentation details provide critical insights into elements such as Patient & Dining Services, Retail Services, and everything in between. By offering multi-regional coverage – from Americas to Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa – our report delivers a global perspective. Make an informed decision – stay one step ahead with our Global Healthcare Food Services Market report.”
Find out more:
Global Healthcare Food Services Market – Forecast 2023-2030


Carpigiani North America, an Ali Group company, announced the appointment of Leandra Olivotti as Vice President of Sales and Network Development for North and Central America was effective October 1st. Olivotti brings more than 18 years of experience in the commercial foodservice industry to this role. Since joining Carpigiani in 2019, Olivotti has been instrumental in strengthening the Carpigiani network of channel partners. Leandra has an extensive background in the commercial foodservice equipment industry, including five years with IFI, and eight years with ISA, where she served as Sales Manager for North and Central America.  “Leandra’s experience, knowledge and passion is sure to have a positive impact on our continued growth and success in promoting our core values, strengthening our network and position as a leader in the frozen dessert equipment industry,” said Penny Klingler, President of Carpigiani North America. Established in 1946 in Italy and present in the North American market since 1963, Carpigiani offers top-quality products, customer service, education programs, and technological innovation. The premier brand name in frozen-dessert machines, the company has built a reputation as the essence of quality, education through their Carpigiani Gelato University and Frozen Dessert University and service in the foodservice industry. Carpigiani has seven subsidiaries and four manufacturing facilities serving the global market with one located in High Point, N.C.


The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the leading event for discovering foodservice technology innovations and emerging trends, is now accepting applications for the prestigious 2024 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards. Celebrating its 20th year, the KI Awards program recognizes exceptional equipment and product innovations that elevate foodservice operations and contribute to industry progress. The 2024 National Restaurant Association Show will be held from May 18–21, 2024, at McCormick Place in Chicago, showcasing the pinnacle of foodservice innovation. According to Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions, “The KI Awards exemplify the seamless fusion of innovation and the National Restaurant Association Show’s legacy.

Over the years, this platform has not only evolved to reflect the changing landscape of the foodservice industry, but it has also been instrumental in driving the evolution. Back-of-house innovation, in particular, has been a cornerstone of our focus. As we approach 2024, we anticipate KI Award submissions to mirror the industry’s cutting-edge trends, encompassing AI-enabled technologies, robotics and novel approaches that address challenges like labor shortages and sustainable practices. The KI Awards continue to set the standard for recognizing ingenuity that propels the industry forward.”


Bluestone Lane is an Australian-inspired coffee and cafe chain expanding in the U.S. The brand has over 50 locations in the US, and plans to open 100 more by 2024. There are a few reasons for this with  Their On-trend menu features items that are popular with young consumers, such as avocado toast, flat whites, and quinoa salads. “Our expert coffee team, based at our state-of-the-art roasting facility in New York, produces the signature coffee blends used in all of our Bluestone Lane locations,” says the company.


Eco-Products® has announced an innovative new program to help foodservice operators keep non-compostable items out of their organics streams. The program, called Controls Intended to Remove Contamination (CIRC), will verify that restaurants and other operators are taking important steps to prevent non-compostable materials from being sent to composting facilities.  While food scraps, yard trimmings and certified compostable packaging can be composted, anything else creates serious problems for composters.  “Contamination from non-compostable products is the defining challenge for many composters today,” said Wendell Simonson, Director of Marketing at Eco-Products. “Unfortunately, most composters have an extremely limited ability to deal with contamination once it gets to their facilities. That’s why foodservice operators must put controls in place to prevent that contamination from ever getting to composters in the first place.”


Unilever Food Solutions – – has unveiled its new North American Future Menus Trend Report. The new report takes a deeper dive into the global trends identified in Unilever’s recently released global trends report, Future Menus 2023 to reveal three trends specific to North American foodservice.  “With the launch of North American Future Menus report, UFS is helping chefs translate global trends on their menus through recipes, techniques, and training,” said Brandon Collins, Corporate Executive Chef, UFS North America. “The goal was to hone in on our global report to identify the most relevant trends to our foodservice partners in North America. We identified Mexican cuisine, bowl concepts and plant-forward as the three biggest trends predicted to impact the restaurant industry in North America in the coming years.”

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