Tom Garrett, a long-time Arby's executive, has left the company. Roland Smith, CEO of parent company's Wendy's/Arby's Group, will assume the position on an interim basis as the company finds a permanent replacement. The company said that Smith will attempt to lead the company's turnaround.

Smith stated, "Tom made enormous contributions to the Arby's brand over the past 29 years. He is a man of honor and integrity, who has worked relentlessly to build the brand. We are beginning discussions with Tom about becoming an Arby's franchisee and hope that he continues to be involved with the brand."

Garrett, 48, was appointed President and CEO of Arby's in September 2008, following the formation of Wendy's/Arby's Group. Previously, Garrett was President and Chief Operating Officer of Arby's and held many leadership and operations positions with the Arby's brand.

Source: Wendy's/Arby's Group

Cher-Make Sausage debuts new “authentic” labeling

In an effort to ensure its position as Wisconsin’s “Authentic Sausage Makers”, Cher-Make Sausage Co. presents new  labeling across its product lines. The new look features the faces of “Authentic” people from all walks of life.

“Our product flavor and quality has remained the same throughout the generations, but we felt it was important to make a better statement on our branded look,” said Tom Chermak, third generation sausagemaker and current company president. “It’s important that we capture the essence of our company and our brand. We found the solution—feature faces that represent the type of people who make, buy and enjoy our products. We looked to capture a broad spectrum of faces and personalities…moms, dads, children, grandmas, service men, outdoorsmen and more. People who are approachable and immediately likeable.”

A lengthy search of thousands of faces took the company to a final select group. Included are some Lakeshore natives—for example Milan Miller who for decades operated the smokehouses at Cher-Make… the same houses still used today to naturally smoke the company’s products. “Milan was a natural fit for our line of Stadium Hot Dogs. I’ve known Milan since I was a boy and he was always proud of his days playing for the Manitowoc Chiefs back in the late '50s as well as his years spent at

Cher-Make. He had to be part of this effort.” points out Chermak.

Another local athlete selected was John Raih, a semi-pro baseball player who played on the Manitowoc Lakeshore baseball team back in the early 1900’s. The team was a championship contender and their pictures can be found gracing the walls of many historical public places in the city. Raih’s picture was chosen for Cher-Make’s Homegame Bratwurst.

The most significant selection was company founder Emil Chermak, Tom’s grandfather. Emil was chosen to carry Cher-Make’s flagship brands: Natural Casing Wieners, Original Ring Bologna, and Original Summer Sausage-all items that were sold in his butchershop in the early 1930s.

“For many years back in the 60’s and 70’s our product labels featured a caricature of a butcher who was known as Uncle Emil. Having an actual photo of my grandfather Emil stuffing Natural Casing Wieners on the labels brings everything full circle. It is especially meaningful for me in that my father, Art, was alive to see the labels developed and come to market in late fall.” Art Chermak passed away a few days short of his 89th birthday this past November. “He and his sister Betty Hoefner were very proud to have their father’s photo be part of our new labeling effort. I’m happy to preserve and honor our family’s heritage as we move the company forward in the approaching new decade.”

Customers are now able to visit Cher-Make’s newly built website ( and create some “fun” versions of the Cher-Make labels featuring members of their own family and friends. The site will also feature recipes, company history and other important information on the company’s products.

Cher-Make Sausage Co.

Smithfield VP to be keynote speaker of Food processing Suppliers Assn. Meeting

The Food Processing Suppliers Association announced its speaker line-up for their annual conference, held March 10–13 in Cancun, Mexico. Paul Kafer, vice president, engineering of Smithfield Foods will be the keynote speaker at the Meat Industry Suppliers Alliance (MISA) sessions. In describing the focus of his presentation, Kafer said: “The main theme will be…’It’s all about the plants’. In choosing this topic he said he wanted MISA members to better understand and identify the concerns and needs at plant level. Kafer added, “I will discuss capital philosophy, payback issues and how we should work together to identify real opportunities’. He said he will conclude his presentation with remarks about “automation and issues that impact us and the suppliers.”

“We’re so pleased that Paul is speaking at the MISA breakout session at this year’s annual conference,” said Scott Scriven, vice chairman of FPSA and president of Weber Inc. “His expertise in plant operations and his keen understanding of capital equipment investment strategies will benefit all members and guests attending his presentation. He brings a unique perspective to the food industry that members will benefit from hearing.”

Other MISA sessions will feature the traditional and very popular “member-driven roundtables” where participants share some of their best ideas, or vent their challenges, in fast-paced, multiple topic sessions.

The MISA board has also dedicated a special session to discuss trade shows. Trade shows in the meat industry have been much discussed recently. It is the goal of this session to discuss the current state of affairs and make recommendations about trade shows in the future. “It is time we take a greater role in deciding what trade shows should be like in order to be responsive to our needs as well as the needs of the visitors to those shows,” said one board member in support of the need for such a session at the MISA breakouts.

Source: Food Processing Suppliers Association

Report highlights ergonomics progress in the poultry industry

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the poultry industry have declined 75 percent during the last 25 years, according to a recently released report. It chronicles the progress and successes the U.S. poultry industry has experienced in ergonomics and subsequent decrease in workers’ musculoskeletal disorders.

The report unveils the results of a study commissioned by the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council. The study, “Ergonomics in the Poultry Industry: A Review of 25 Years of Industry Efforts,” describes the industry’s efforts in the prevention and early treatment of MSDs. It also discusses how the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has focused attention on the poultry industry and the positive results from OSHA and the industry working together.

“During the 25 years this study reviewed, the poultry industry has been a leader in reducing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace,” said council chairman, Brian Rodgers, Butterball, LLC. And although it is an ongoing effort, we can be proud of the industry’s progress. It can serve as a model for other industries that are facing the same challenges.”

The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council is made up of members from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, and National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the member companies of the three organizations produce 95 percent of the nation’s poultry products and employ hundreds of thousands of workers.

The report may be accessed at

Source: National Chicken Council

Chili's unveils new menu items

Chili's Grill & Bar has launched a new menu, introducing 25 new items and revised recipes of guest favorites. Among the changes are the company's Baby Back Ribs, which are now slow-smoked in-house over pecan wood chips and triple-basted with savory BBQ sauces.

"We're taking the time to make it like our guests would at home - so they don't have to - by making handcrafted dishes featuring excellent ingredients," said Wyman Roberts, president of Chili's Grill & Bar. "Our bold flavors reach new heights with revised recipes, and more than 75 percent of the menu has been transformed giving our guests new options."

Among the new additions is the new BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich, featuring fresh-cut spicy cole slaw, caramelized onions and Gouda top pulled pork, served on the guest's choice of a sesame seed or wheat bun. The pork is topped with Chili's own sweet and tangy Shiner Bock BBQ sauce made from Shiner Bock beer.

Source: Chili's Grill & Bar