Personnel Updates:
Au Bon Pain announced the addition of veteran Executive Chef Stefano Cordova to lead the company’s culinary efforts. 
Boston Pizza International promoted Mark Pacinda to CEO/President.
Boyd Gaming Corporation announced that Cori Rutherford has been named VP and General Manager of Par-A-Dice Hotel and Casino.
Carmike Cinemas, Inc. announced that Daniel E. Ellis has been named to the positions of Senior VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, effective 8/1/11.
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced that Matthew A. Ouimet has been named President of the company, effective immediately. Cedar Fair also announced that CFO Peter J. Crage has submitted his letter of resignation, effective June 22, 2011; David R. Hoffman, VP of Finance and Corporate Tax, and Brian C. Witherow, VP and Corporate Controller, will lead the finance function in the interim while the company conducts a search for Crage’s successor.
Church’s Chicken named Pedro Voyer as Global Chief Development Officer; he was most recently Senior VP at Burger King.
Churchill Downs Incorporated named veteran gaming executive Reginald Fullwood Jr. as a Senior VP of CDI and general manager of Harlow‘s Casino Resort & Hotel; Fullwood most recently served as Senior VP and General Manager of Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk, CO.
CKE Restaurants, Inc. named Brad Haley Chief Marketing Officer.
Craft Brewers Alliance appointed Andrew J. Thomas as President of Commercial Operations.
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group named April Scopa as VP of Human Resources and Training.
Del Taco promoted Michael Vogel to VP Franchise Sales.
Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants hired Carlos Reyes from SYSCO Corp. as its new CFO.
Disney Parks & Resorts President Al Weiss will retire 11/1/11.
Farmer Boys Restaurants announced the hiring of new Chief Financial Officer Judy Lewis.
Fazoli’s hired James Franks as VP of Franchising.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts President of Worldwide Hotel Operations Jim FitzGibbon is retiring; succeeding him will be Chris Hart as President of Hotel Operations in the Asia Pacific and Craig Reid as President of Hotel Operations in the Americas, and Antoine Corinthios as President of Hotel Operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Four Seasons also promoted Chris Hunsberger as Exec VP of Product and Innovation.
Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. has appointed Eric Rosenzweig as its next CIO.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC announced that Kirk Kinsell has been appointed President, the Americas, succeeding current President and Executive Director Jim Abrahamson who is leaving the Group to take up the role of CEO of Interstate Hotels & Resorts later this year.
Interstate Hotels & Resorts named Jim Abrahamson as CEO, assuming the position later this year and succeeding current CEO Tom Hewitt.
Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. announced that Arnold L. Block has been named the Company’s COO effective immediately.
Johnny Rockets announced the following: David Kreizinger has been hired as VP of Finance, Brett Willis was hired as Senior VP of Franchise Sales, and Mike Chico was named Manager of Facility Design.
Keystone Foods named Larry McWilliams to succeed Jerry Dean as CEO/President.
Kona Grill Inc. named Michael A. Nahkunst as CEO/President to replace Marc A. Buehler.
McDonald’s Corporation announced that Bridget Coffing has been promoted to Senior VP of McDonald’s Corporate Relations.
Papa Murphy’s International hired Ken Calwell to serve as President; he most recently was Chief Marketing Officer for Wendy’s International.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that subject to customary regulatory approvals, Ameet Patel has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Columbus in Franklin County, OH, effective 8/1/11. Mr. Patel currently serves as General Manager of Penn National’s Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa in Riverside, MO. John Chaszar, will succeed Patel as General Manager of Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa.
Pyramid Hotel Group named Richard Holtzman as Senior VP of Resort Operations.
Real Mex Restaurants Inc. has named Edie Ames to be its next COO; she was most recently at Del Frisco’s.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. announced that CFO Katie Scherping and Chief Marketing Officer Susan Lintonsmith will leave the company effective 7/15/11; a search is underway for their successors.
Restaurants Unlimited announced that industry veteran Chris Harter has been selected to lead the company as its chief CEO. Harter is the former President of Levy Restaurants.
SPoT Coffee Ltd. announced that effective June 1st, the Company promoted Ms. Ying Chen to the role of CFO.
Texas Roadhouse Inc. reported that Sheila C. Brown, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, plans to retire effective 1/7/12; Jill Marchant will become the new General Counsel on 8/15/11.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation named foodservice veteran Lynette McKee to the post of Executive Director; she was most recently Senior VP and Chief Development Officer at Checkers.
Tin Star Taco Bar announced that Don McElroy has been named Senior VP of Operations and Franchise Relations.
Vail Resorts, Inc. announced the appointment of Kirsten A. Lynch as its new Chief Marketing Officer.
Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill named Allen Arroyo as CFO.
Financial Focus:
AMC Entertainment reported total revenues of $2,422,968,000 for the year ending 3/31/11; concession sales were $664,108,000.
Benihana Inc. reported total revenues of $327,640,000 for the year ending 3/27/11.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. reported total net sales of $1,676,906,000 for the year ending 4/29/11; sales at Bob Evans restaurants were $976,666,000 and at Mimi’s Café $380,267,000.
Nathan’s Famous reported total revenues of $57,255,000 for the year ending 3/27/11.
Perkins & Marie Callender’s Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
SPoT Coffee Ltd. reported revenue of $4,904,740 for the year ending 12/31/10.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
DineEquity, Inc. announced that it has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Apple American Group LLC for the sale of 66 Applebee’s company-operated restaurants located in MA, NH, ME, RI, VT and parts of NY; closing is subject to regulatory processes related to liquor license transfers and other customary closing conditions. The company anticipates closing the transaction in the third quarter of 2011.
Golden Gate Capital reported the conclusion of its previously announced acquisition of California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.; the transaction privatized the company.
Heartland Food Corp. acquired 80 Burger King restaurants from bankrupt Duke and King Acquisition Corp.
Roark Capital Group said it has acquired the parent company for Corner Bakery Cafe and Il Fornaio restaurants.
Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina was purchased by a company formed and controlled by Phil Friedman, former McAlister’s Deli CEO; Friedman will serve as CEO of Salsarita’s Holdings LLC and Larry Reinstein will serve as President/COO.
Singer Equipment Co., a PA-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealership, has acquired the assets of M. Tucker Co., a NJ-based dealership.
Sizzler USA has been acquired in a management buyout from previous owner, Australian-based Pacific Equity Partners.
Wendy’s/Arby’s Group reported a definitive agreement to sell its Arby’s Restaurant Group to a buyer formed by Roark Capital Group.
Whit-Mart Inc. has sold its 13 SC Applebee’s restaurants to an affiliate of the Apple Gold Group; Whit-Mart retained its 12 Applebee’s locations in the Louisville, KY, market.
Industry Insight:
Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, announced the opening of its 4,000th international location, in Novena Square, Singapore.
BLT Restaurant Group is now ESquared Hospitality.
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. announced an agreement to expand into Taiwan with a new franchise partner; as part of the agreement, a minimum of 6 new California Pizza Kitchen restaurants are expected to open in Taiwan over the next 5 years.
CKE Restaurants opened its first Carl’s Jr. location in Canada.
Davidson Hotel Co. is changing its name to Davidson Hotels & Resorts.
DineEquity, Inc. announced a multi-restaurant franchise agreement for the development of 40 new IHOP Restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.
El Chico announced its first Saudi Arabian location in the city of Riyadh.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. announced it has signed exclusive development and licensing agreements with Alsea, S.A.B. de C.V. to develop 17 P.F. Chang’s restaurants throughout Argentina, Chile and Colombia over the next ten years. The first location is scheduled to open in Santiago, Chile in early 2012.
Quiznos and independent gasoline-convenience retailer Hess will partner to open 49 Quiznos restaurants inside Hess locations in the Tampa Bay area by the end of 2011. Quiznos also announced it signed a master franchise agreement to open the first of its restaurants in Brazil as part of the company’s international development initiative. The plan calls for seven Quiznos to open by the end of the year and expansion plans call for the eventual development of 200 Quiznos shops in Brazil.
Starbucks Coffee Company has assumed 100% equity of its business in the China provinces of Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Hubei, and the municipality of Chongqing. As a result, Starbucks now has full control of more than half of the Starbucks retail stores in Mainland China.
Wendy’s opened the first of 180 planned locations in Russia.
Yum Brands Inc., parent of the KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains, plans to enter Argentina within a year.
Real Estate:
Au Bon Pain announced the launch of a major cafe remodeling program that will transform all of its cafes.
Baskin-Robbins is offering opportunities for qualified candidates to purchase existing restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
Caribou Coffee expects Atlanta to be a major growth market in the near future, with the potential for 100 locations in the metro region in the next five to 10 years.
Cheba Hut “Toasted” Subs, the nation’s only counter-culture themed restaurant franchise, has announced a nationwide search for franchise brokers.
Dunkin’ Donuts announced it has signed agreements with three franchisees to develop 12 new restaurants throughout Tampa, FL, over the next several years.  Dunkin’ Donuts also announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for four new restaurants in Montgomery, AL; the first restaurant will open in 2012 and the remaining three units will be developed by 2016.
Firehouse Subs announced that Ryan Franklin, former COO of Lone Star Steakhouse and Texas Land & Cattle Steakhouse, has begun his development of Dallas, Texas as a Firehouse Subs Area Representative; he will own and operate one restaurant, which will be used as his training restaurant to assist in the future expansion of the territory and has signed on to develop a total of 80 restaurants over the next several years.
Fox and Hound Restaurant Group opened a smaller prototype restaurant (7.000 square feet) in Harrisburg, PA.
Gaylord Entertainment announced its plans to develop a resort and convention hotel in Aurora, CO.
IHOP has two new locations under construction in central IN and is planning for three more in the area.
Mazzio’s LLC has signed a new franchise development agreement that will bring the chain to the East Coast; the agreement entails a 30-unit development plan throughout VA.
Pinkberry is expanding into IL with a new location in Chicago.
Potbelly Sandwich Works opened its first location in WA with a restaurant in Seattle.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. is testing a smaller prototype between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet; several locations have been identified for the smaller format, primarily in the Denver area.
Saladworks has announced an agreement with a multi-unit developer to open three stores in the next three years in Boston, MA.
Toppers Pizza aims to open 12 to 16 restaurants in the Indianapolis area in the next two years.
Twin Peaks Restaurants will open six to 10 new locations in 2011, with a goal to open two restaurants each month in the next year.
Technology News:
ERJ Dining, LLC., which has signed a multi-year contract with Table Top Media, has completed the first phase of deployment of Ziosk touchscreen devices to its 30 Chili’s locations in St. Louis, Chicago and Central Illinois. TableTop Media is the creator of the Ziosk, a digital promotion and pay-at-the-table device for the casual dining restaurant market. A Ziosk resides on each table and enables guests to see promotions, play games, watch movie trailers, sign up for e-clubs, order desserts, take surveys and pay on demand when they are ready to depart.
McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited and MasterCard Canada have introduced the MasterCard PayPass contactless payment technology at participating restaurant locations throughout the country. PayPass point-of-sale terminals have been installed in over 1,400 McDonald’s restaurants in Canada.
Taco Bell is rolling out an entertainment network across its 5,600 locations. Guests will be able to interact with the network by downloading music, receiving opt in text messages, engaging in social media campaigns and accessing free Wi-Fi. All locations will be equipped by 2015.
Green Initiatives:
Moe’s Southwest Grill in Williston, VT, received LEED silver certification, making it the first restaurant in the chain and state to earn the honor. Some of the green design and construction features that impacted the project include LED lighting, energy-efficient cooking equipment and an air-control system that is expected to reduce energy consumption by 22%. In compliance with LEED standards, the building materials were locally sourced and the laminates, paint and adhesives are all low-emission to help enhance the air quality of the restaurant. In addition, this new location features low flow sink aerators, low flow toilets and waterless urinals. Finally, a unique regional feature is the Freeaire management system for the walk-in cooler that overrides the condensers and evaporators once the outside air reaches a temperature that is equal to or cooler than the desired walk-in temperature.