Personnel Updates:
AFC Enterprises, Inc. announced that Andrew G. Skehan has been named COO International of its Popeyesbrand. Mr. Skehan most recently served as COO of Wendy’s/Arby’s International.
Benihana Inc. announced that it has hired David Flanery as CFO, effective immediately; he was formerly CFO at Papa John’s International Inc.
California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. named G.J. Hart as Executive Chairman and CEO/President succeeding Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, the CPK co-founders. Hart was most recently at Texas Roadhouse.
Destination Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Jason Gold as VP of Hospitality Investments.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit hired Joette Young as Marketing Director, promoted Paige Blackorby to Senior Marketing Manager and named Hayley Hamre and Aaron Brewer as Brand Managers.
El Pollo Loco, Inc. announced the appointment of Dennis Farrow to the position of COO.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. announced the appointment of Stephen L. Gibbs as its VP and Chief Accounting Officer effective immediately.
HOA Restaurant Group (dba Hooters) announced that Terrance M. Marks, President and CEO of Cary, N.C.-based convenience store chain The Pantry, will join the restaurant company this fall as President and CEO. Marks succeeds Coby Brooks. HOA also announced that Trish Farley has joined the organization as Controller; she joins the company from AmRest, one of the largest Applebee’s franchisees.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that Jeff Semenchuk will serve as its first Chief Innovation Officer.
InterContinental Hotels Group announced the promotions of Robert (Bob) Ekman to VP, Franchise Development for North America and Greg Aden to succeed Ekman as Regional VP, Midscale Franchise for the Western U.S. region.
McDonald’s Corporation announced that Steve Easterbrook will resign as President of McDonald’s Europeeffective 9/30/11. The Board of Directors has elected Doug Goare, current Exec VP of McDonald’s Global Supply Chain and Real Estate Development, as President of McDonald’s Europe, effective 10/1/11. The Board also elected Jose Armario, current Group President of McDonald’s Canadaand Latin America, to succeed Goare as Exec VP of Global Supply Chain, Real Estate Development and Franchising.
O’Charley’s Inc. announced that Wilson L. Craft, O’Charley’s Concept President, has resigned; O’Charley’s, Inc. President and CEO David W. Head will serve as interim Concept President while the Company conducts a nationwide search to fill the position.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced management changes at its Boomtown Biloxi and Argosy Casino Sioux City properties. Effective 8/29, Kees Eder will become General Manager of Boomtown Casino Biloxi following his tenure as General Manager of Penn National’s Argosy Casino Sioux City; Lance George will succeed Mr. Eder as General Manager of Argosy Casino Sioux City. Mr. George joins Penn National from Pinnacle Entertainment. Penn National Gaming, Inc. also announced that Joe Hasson has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg. Mr. Hasson will report to John Finamore, Senior VP Regional Operations of Penn National Gaming.
Pinnacle Entertainment announced that Geno M. Iafrate, currently Senior VP and General Manager of L’Auberge Lake Charles with oversight of Boomtown New Orleans and Boomtown Bossier, has been promoted to Senior VP of Louisiana Operations with direct oversight of the Company’s four Louisiana properties. Keith W. Henson, who most recently has served as VP of Casino Operations and Assistant General Manager at L’Auberge Lake Charles will succeed Geno Iafrate and has been named VP and General Manager. Sue Ascanio has been promoted to Senior VP. In addition to her role as General Manager at Belterra Casino Resort & Spa in IN, she will have additional oversight of River Downs Racetrack in Cincinnati, OH.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. announced the appointment of Stuart B. Brown as Senior VP and CFO.
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts named Radha Arora President of the company based in Dallas. Arora replaces current President and CEO John Scott III.
Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc. has named Cheryl J. Henry Chief Branding Officer, replacing former Chief Marketing Officer Jill Ramsier.
Sunstone Hotel Investors named Ken Cruse as President and CEO of the company.
Taco Bell Chief Marketing Officer David Ovens resigned for personal reasons.
Texas Roadhouse, Inc, announced executive management changes at the Company, effective 8/18/11: W. Kent Taylor will resume the role as CEO of the Company and will also retain his positions as Chairman of the Company and Board. Mr. Taylor’s return to his prior position as CEO follows the resignation of G.J. Hart, former President, CEO. In addition, Scott M. Colosi has been named President of the Company. Finally, G. Price Cooper, IV has been named CFO of the Company.
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated announced that Donald Evans joined the Company as Chief Marketing Officer.
Zoup! Fresh Soup Company has named Clyde Manion as its Purchasing Specialist.
Financial Focus:
Brinker International reported revenue of $2,761,386,000 for the year ending 6/29/11.
Dharod Inc. filed bankruptcy for its 18 Burger King restaurants which were later sold at auction.
SYSCO Corp. reported total sales of $39,323,000,000 for the year ending 7/2/11.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
Cinemark Holdings, Inc. announced that the company has acquired ten theatres in Argentinafrom Hoyts General Cinema South America, Inc.
Global Franchise Group, which manages Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery, has announced the two brands will be united into one concept.  The new concept, which will remain under the Marble Slab Creamery name, will include elements of both Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s including Marble Slab’s frozen slab innovations and both brand’s most popular flavors and ice cream products like MaggieMoo’s MaggieMia’ Ice Cream Pizza and MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream Cupcakes. 
MTY Food Group Inc. entered into an agreement to purchase the Mr. Submarine Ltd. chain. MTY will also buy 20-unit Koryo Korean BBQ Franchise Corp. MTY is also in the process of closing a deal to buy the 133-outlet Jugo Juice Canada Inc. chain.
Industry Insight:
AFC Enterprises, Inc., the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, announced it has entered into a lease for a new corporate headquarters in Dunwoody, GAwhen the lease on the company’s current building expires in the latter part of the year. The new headquarters will be located at The Terraces North at 400 Perimeter Center Terrace, where the company will occupy approximately 55,000 square feet of Class A office space. Popeyes anticipates a move-in date in the fourth quarter of 2011.
American Dairy Queen Corp. reached a franchise agreement to expand into Guatemala, with the first store to open in the capital, Guatemala City, in October. The companies plan to open 15 stores by 2015.
Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Company is becoming Barnie’s CoffeeKitchen.™ The brand renaissance will include a new logo, website, updated packaging, a complete renovation of the company’s six Central FL corporate stores and the introduction of a new location in Downtown Orlando at CityArts Factory.
Darden Restaurants is planning to open at least 37 Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and Capital Grilles in Mexico over the next five years.
KFC has opened a restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya– the franchise’s first location in East Africa — and Kenya‘s first U.S. franchise.
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation announced that it has signed new development agreements with its Japanese franchisee pursuant to which the franchisee has agreed to build 73 new locations in the Kanto, Kansai and Chubu regions of Japanover the next five years.
Quiznos has entered the Indian market with an outlet in the city of Hyderabad.
Wendy’s Co. is bringing its corporate headquarters back to Dublin OH; the fast food chain announced plans for an $11 million renovation of its 35-year-old Dublin office complex and the return of 50 executive-level jobs that were moved to Atlanta after the company’s 2008 acquisition by Triarc Companies Inc.
Real Estate:
Bd’s Mongolian Grill has signed a multi-unit development agreement to open five bd’s Mongolian Grill locations in and around Pittsburgh. The first location is scheduled to open in mid-November and will be the brand’s first location to open in PA.
Beef ‘O’ Brady’s announced the signing of its first California franchise agreement in Hesperia, CA. The Hesperia restaurant, which is projected to open by 2012, will be built with Beef ‘O’ Brady’s new prototype in mind, which includes new color and design elements to refresh the restaurant’s appeal while catering to a wider array of casual diners.
Bennigan’s is interested in expanding and could open 10 restaurants each in Dallas and Houston, as well as five restaurants each in San Antonio and Austin.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit signed a deal to open three Dickey’s Barbecue Pit locations in Ogden, Layton, and Logan, UT.
Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for four new restaurants in Northern Huntsville, AL. The first restaurant is slated to open in 2012 and the remainder by 2016. Franchise opportunities are still available in AL, specifically in Birmingham, Dothan, South Huntsville, Guntersville, Decatur, Athens, Scottsboro and Muscle Shoals.
Firehouse Subs plans to open 26 restaurants in Puerto Rico in the next few years, with an ultimate goal of 50 to 60 locations.
Frisch’s Restaurants, Inc. announced that it closed six of its 35 Golden Corral restaurants at the close of business on 8/23/11. Four of the six underperforming restaurants – Western Hills, Ridge Road, Lawrenceburg and Hamilton – were operated in the greater Cincinnati area and the remaining two were operated in West Akron and Medina, Ohio.
Muscle Maker Grill plans to add 16 restaurants to its existing locations by the end of the year. As part of its growth, Muscle Maker Grill is also expanding geographically, as restaurants are scheduled to open in multiple states including CA, FL, PA, and NJ.
Panera Bread largest franchisee, Covelli Enterprises, plans to expand the chain’s restaurant count by at least 30 in the next five years, including several to open within a year.
Penn Station East Coast Subs hopes to open 25 shops in the Kansas City area during the next five years.
Pizza Ranch has signed an area development agreement to open eight new Pizza Ranch locations in MT
Starbucks Corp. announced plans to open 800 new stores during its fiscal year that ends September 2012, which is a 33 percent increase compared to 2011. By region, 200 are slated for the United States, which will be split equally between company-operated and licensed stores. Internationally, the company plans to open 600 stores, most of which will be licensed. China will account for 25 percent of the total, or 150 stores. The company’s goal is to operate 1,500 stores in Chinaby 2015.
Yard House Restaurants announced it plans to open eight locations within the next year. Yard House will open five locations in 2012 starting in March with its second MA location at Fenway Triangle in Boston. In April, the company will open in GA at Atlantic Station in Atlanta, and in May it will open its third CO location in Lone Tree. The company will open its first Pacific Northwest location in June at Pioneer Placenear downtown Portland, OR, and Yard House will open its fourth FL location next summer at Mizner Parkin Boca Raton.
Green Initiatives:
Darden Restaurants is taking its commitment to sustainability to a new level. The company announced today that it will soon begin installation of 1.1 megawatts of solar panel roofing at its Restaurant Support Center (RSC) in Orlando. The project will be the largest private solar array in Florida and it will generate enough power to subsidize 15 to 20 percent of the RSC’s annual usage, or the equivalent of taking the campus off the grid for nearly two months. Upon completion later this year, Darden’s rooftop solar installation is expected to produce up to 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, equaling the average annual energy usage of approximately 163 homes while reducing carbon emissions by more than 1,300 metric tons annually.
Dunkin’ Brands published its first Corporate Social Responsibility Report; the company’s report includes a number of details about how it is working to reduce its environmental footprint. Among the details in the report are its purchase of 100% Fair Trade certified espresso for its coffee, its first LEED certified store, in St. Petersburg, FL, and its ongoing quest to find a green alternative to its styrofoam coffee cup and pink polystyrene ice cream spoon.