Personnel Updates:
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema named Craig Paschich divisional President and Tim Reed chief development officer.
Alhambra Theatre & Dining hired DeJuan Roy as Executive Chef.
Baker Bros American Deli’s new President is Henry Leonard.
Bennigan’s Franchising announced the following promotions: Shawn Finn to VP of International Operations, Dan Poudrier to VP of Operations and Training, Jennifer Gamble VP of Marketing, and Nikki Tichansky to Brand Manager.
Captain D’snamed Laurie Lawhorne as CFO.
Carlos O’Kelly’s co-founder Darrel Rolph passed away.
Carrols Restaurant Group and CEO Alan Vituli agreed not to renew Mr. Vituli’s employment agreement; Vituli will remain in office until 12/31/11; Daniel T. Accordino will succeed Vituli as of 1/1/12.
Crumbs Bake Shop, Inc. named Julian R. Geiger as the Company’s new President and CEO; co-founder Jason Bauer will become Senior VP of Business Development.
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group announced the appointment of Tom Pennison to the position of CFO.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Jennifer Fox as President.
Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc. named Joe Brink VP of Supply Chain Management; Brink most recently served as VP of Supply Chain Management for Souper Salad and Grandy’s.
Firehouse Subshas announced the promotion of Vincent Burchianti from VP of Finance and Technology to CFO.
Foxwoods Resort Casino named Jessica A. Baran as VP of Resort Sales. Foxwoods also named Jens Baake VP, Food and Beverage.
Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announced that Jim Risoleo will assume a new position with the company as Exec VP and managing director – Europe, effective 1/1/12.
Interstate Hotels & Resorts announced that, effective 12/1/11, Jim Abrahamson, Interstate’s President and COO, will transition to CEO.
KFC named Jason Marker Chief Marketing Officer of the chain’s U.S. restaurants; he succeeds Barry Westrum.
Kona Grill, Inc. announced that Mark S. Robinow is no longer Exec VP, CFO, and Corporate Secretary, effective 11/21/11.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. announced that Kenneth A. May has joined the Company as its new President and COO.
Loews Hotelsannounces the appointment of Michael Palmeri as VP, Acquisitions and Development.
Metz Culinary Management promoted Jim Dickson to senior VP of Corporate Dining, Higher Education, Independent and K-12 Schools; Metz also promoted Vanessa Weaver to Director of Marketing and Sales.
Papa Murphy’s International announced President Ken Calwell will assume the position of CEO, effective 12/31/11. Papa Murphy’s CEO John Barr will step down at the end of the year.
Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that Jim Rigot has been named General Manager of Hollywood Casino Baton Rouge effective 11/30/11.
Rib Crib BBQ & Grill named Marc Chastain President, succeeding owner Bret Chandler.
SIR Corp. named Bruce Elliott President of its Jack Astor’s concept; CEO Peter Fowler will assume Elliott’s title of corporate President.
Sysco Corporation announced the following executive leadership team promotions: Mike Green was named Exec VP and Group President of all operating companies; Larry Pulliam was promoted to Exec VP and Group President for contract sales, distribution, procurement, supply chain and IT functions; Russell Libby was named Senior VP as well as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary; Brian Beach was promoted to Senior VP as well as President Sysco Ventures.
The Tavern Restaurant Group hired Paul Dagenbach as its new Corporate Chef and Mark Bodenstein was named Executive Chef of Nicholson’s Pub.
The Wendy’s Company announced that David Karam, President of North America, will be leaving the Company, effective as of the end of 2011; his position will not be filled.
White Lodging named Cody Feaster as Regional VP.
Wingstop Restaurants announced that Wes Jablonski has been named to the newly-created position of Chief Franchise Relations Officer.
Yum! Brands Inc. named Niren Chaudhary as President of its new India division. The company also announced that Micky Pant was promoted to CEO of Yum Restaurants International effective 12/5/11, replacing Graham Allan, who is retiring.
Financial Focus:
Caesars Entertainment filed a preliminary registration document with the SEC in preparation for becoming a publicly-held company.
Dippin’ Dots Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to avoid foreclosure.
Friendly Ice Cream Corp. won bankruptcy court approval of guidelines that will govern the auction of virtually all its assets. A U.S. bankruptcy judge gave Friendly permission to sell the business at a 12/22/11 auction.
Jack in the Box Inc. reported revenues of $2,193,298,000 for the year ending 10/2/11.
Perkins & Marie Callender’s plan of reorganization was approved by the bankruptcy court and it emerged from bankruptcy at the end of November.
Sbarro Inc.’splan of reorganization was approved and the company emerged from bankruptcy protection.
Starbucks Corporation reported total net revenues of $11,700,400,000 for the year ending 10/2/11.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
Giordano’s Enterprises Inc. was acquired out of bankruptcy by an affiliate of Victory Park Capital.
Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. acquired one Cadillac Ranch Restaurant in MN and is finalizing the agreement to purchase another six in FL, IN, MD, MN, and PA.
Interstate Hotels & Resorts acquired Noble Investment Group’s hotel management business, Noble Management Group.
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. has agreed to be acquired by Landry’s Inc.;  the companies expect the deal to close in late December or January.
NPC International Inc., the largest Pizza Hut franchisee in the country with 1,153 restaurants in 28 states, announced that its parent company, NPC Acquisition Holdings LLC, is being sold to Olympus Partners. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals, and is currently expected to close by the end of fiscal 2011.
Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement to sell its Boomtown Reno casino-resort operations. This transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by mid-2012.
Sonesta International Hotels Corp. entered into a definitive merger agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Hospitality Properties Trust of Newton, MA. The transaction is expected to be completed in first-quarter 2012.
Starbucks Coffee Company announced the acquisition of Evolution Fresh Inc., a juice manufacturer/distributor.
The Chalak Group Inc. has officially acquired 11-unit, Dallas-based Baker Bros American Deli.
World Famous Pizza Company Ltd. (dba Nick-n-Willy’s Pizza) announced an agreement to sell ‘certain assets’ of Nick-n-Willy’s to Figaro’s Italian Pizza, Inc.; closing is expected by 12/28/11.
Industry Insight:
AFC Enterprises(dba Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen) has relocated to 400 Perimeter Center Terrace, The Terraces North, Dunwoody, GA, 30346; phone and fax numbers will remain unchanged.
Alhambra Dinner Theatre in Jacksonville, FL, is now Alhambra Theatre & Dining.
Applebee’s Services has relocated to 8140 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO, 64114; the phone number has not changed.
Buca Inc. will be relocating its headquarters to Orlando, FL 4/1/12.
Jamba Inc. opened its first location in the Philippines.
Krispy Kremewill add 23 locations in the Philippines over the next five years.
Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pasta is changing its banner name to Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers opened its first fast-casual concept with burgers, beer and wine called Burger Works in northeast Denver.
Wingstopannounced the company will add 120 restaurants across Mexico over the next seven years.
Yum! Brands Inc. has reorganized its Yum! Restaurants International division (YRI) and has created a separate division to manage its growing group of KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in India. .
Real Estate:
bd’s Mongolian Grill has announced the signing of a multi-unit development agreement to open two resturants in Louisville, KY.
BUBBA burgerhas opened the fourth Original BUBBA burger Grill restaurant as part of the expansion of the new restaurant chain.
Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. has announced the opening of its 800th restaurant nationwide with the simultaneous openings of restaurants in FL, TN, WA, and CA.
Corner Bakery Café plans to open up to 32 eateries throughout northern CA over the next seven years; the chain is seeking locations from San Jose to Napa Valley.
Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced it has signed agreements to develop 25 new Dunkin’ Donuts and two Baskin-Robbins in Louisiana over the next several years.
Dunkin’ Donutsannounced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for 12 new restaurants in Des Moines, IA.  The first restaurant is slated to open in 2012 and the remainder by 2018. 
Energy Kitchenis poised to open 40 new restaurants throughout the United States in the next two years. Energy Kitchen plans to open 21 stores in 2012 across the East Coast, as well as other strategic markets. The expansion includes Boston, Connecticut, Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Charlotte, South Florida, Chicago and Houston.
Fazoli’sannounced commitments for seven new restaurants to be opened in the areas of WV, OH, and IN through the signing of the three new developments deals.
First Watch will open its first restaurant in Indianapolis in early 2012. The company expects to open five to six restaurants total in the Indianapolis market over the next two to four years.
Hot Head Burritos signed a franchise deal to add 30 locations over the next few years.
McDonald’s Corp. is accelerating new unit openings and renovations in 2012. It plans more than 1,300 restaurant openings and more than 2,400 renovations in 2012.
Moe’s Southwest Grill is currently seeking entrepreneurs to own and operate new franchise locations in Columbus, OH.
Quiznos is looking for new locations in the greater Baltimore market.
Schlotzsky’sannounced a franchise deal for 30 new locations in the Philadelphia market.
Spicy Pickle Franchising, Inc.  announced that it entered into a new development agreement with its existing Las Vegas-based franchisee for the development of five additional Spicy Pickle Sandwich Company locations in and around Las Vegas, NV.
Starbuckswill remodel 1,700 locations next year and add at least 200 stores, the first time Starbucks will have added U.S. stores in years.
Steak n Shakeopened its first CO location.
Tossed announced the signing of a 20-store franchise development agreement with Bolla Corporation, a diversified, New York-based real estate and franchise company.
Green Initiatives:
Marriott International and Constellation Energy have agreed to develop over 23 MW of load response capability across more than 250 of the hotel’s properties in the mid-Atlantic, New York, New England, Texas and California. The partnership will allow Marriott to monitor its power use in real time, bid directly into the demand response market and improve energy efficiency, and is expected to save 1.2 million kWh of electricity a year, the two companies said.
Panera Bread’s 35 MD locations are on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top green power purchasers among retailers.
US Foodsactivated a 905 kilowatt, 3,934 photovoltaic solar panel system at its Phoenix division. The solar array is the company’s third installation, including a panel in San Francisco and La Mirada, and one of the largest rooftop installations in Phoenix. It is expected to provide 15% of the division’s power needs annually.