Personnel Updates:
ARAMARKannounced the appointment of Steve Reynolds as Exec VP, General Counsel and Secretary, effective 9/4/12.
Carlsonnamed Trudy Rautio as CEO/President; she succeeds Hubert Joly who left to become CEO of Best Buy.
Church’s Chicken hired Craig S. Prusher as Senior VP/General Counsel; he was most recently at Burger King Corporation.
Compass Group named Charles LaMonica Division President for Morrison Healthcare.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. announced that Executive Chairman Michael A. Woodhouse will be resigning from that position in early November; James W. Bradford will be named Non-Executive Chairman at that time.
First Watchhired Chris Olson as VP of Finance; he was most recently at Ruth’s Hospitality Group.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill promoted Bob Bafundo to VP of Franchise Operations.
Hilton Worldwide named CTO Bill Murphy to the position of CIO.
Jack in the BoxChief Marketing Officer Terri Funk Graham resigned; the company is not seeking a replacement.
Liquid Nutrition appointed Evan Brown as CFO.
McAlister’s Deli named Donna Josephson VP of Marketing; she previously served as Regional Marketing Director for The Wendy’s Company Inc.
Michael Mina San Francisco’s new Executive Chef is Ron Siegel.
Pizza Hut’s CIO Baron Concours is now CIO of YUM! Brands international operations.
Salsarita’snamed former Bojangle’s executive Chris Bailey as its VP of Franchise Development.
Sbarroappointed Angela Hornsby as Chief People Officer; she was most recently at DineEquity. Sbarro also hired Eric Taylor as VP of International Franchise Development and Dave Gleason as VP of Franchise Development for North America.
Smashburgernamed Brett Willis as Senior VP of Franchise Sales; he was most recently at Johnny Rockets.
Stonewood Holdings, LLC announced the promotion of Sam Aguilar to Regional Director of Operations for the Southwest Florida Region of Stonewood Grill & Tavern.
The Homesteadnamed Sean O’Connell as Executive Chef and Kevin Phenegar as Director of Food and Beverage.
Tropical Smoothie Café named Scott Pressly as Chairman and promoted Mike Rotondo to CEO.
Tropicana Las Vegas Inc. appointed Daniel M. Wade President and COO.
Vail Resorts, Inc. announced that Jeffrey W. Jones, chief financial officer and president of the company’s lodging, retail and real estate businesses, will be retiring effective 12/ 31/12. The company will begin an immediate search for his replacement.
Waterford Hotel Group appointed Christopher Flagg as director of development.
Financial Focus:
Brinker International reported revenues of $2,820,722,000 for the year ending 6/27/12.
SYSCO Corporation reported sales of $42,380,939,000 for the year ending 6/30/12.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
AMC Entertainment was acquired by Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., China’s largest investor in cultural and entertainment activities.
Benihana Inc. announced the completion of its acquisition by funds advised by the Private Equity Group of Angelo, Gordon & Co.; the transaction privatized the company.
Darden Restaurants completed its previously announced acquisition of Yard House USA Inc.
Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. announced it executed an agreement to acquire eight Buffalo Wild Wing restaurants located in IL and IN. DRH expects to complete the purchase by the end of October 2012 subject to customary closing conditions.
Heartland Food Corp. acquired 121 Burger Kingrestaurants from the franchisor, making it the second largest Burger King franchisee in the world.
Reinhart Foodservice Louisiana LLC announced that it entered into an agreement with P.A. Menard, Inc. to acquire certain assets of the latter’s business in New Orleans, LA. The transaction subsequently closed on 8/20/12. P.A. Menard’s operations will be subsequently integrated into Reinhart’s New Orleans distribution facility.
Tavistock FREEBIRDS LLC agreed to acquire seven restaurants in the Central Valley of CA from a Qdobafranchisee; the restaurants will be converted to company-owned and –operated FREEBIRDS WORLD BURRITOS locations.
Tropical Smoothie Café was acquired by BIP Opportunities Fund.
Unique Pizza and Subs Corporation announced that it has signed a Definitive Agreement to acquire privately held Pizza Fusion Holdings, with closing expected by the end of the third calendar quarter. Pizza Fusion will become a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company Unique Pizza and Subs.
Industry Insight:
Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. awarded FM Facility Maintenance a comprehensive facilities services contract that will eventually cover more than 1,100 corporate Arby’s locations across the U.S.
Buffalo Wild Wings announced an agreement for 22 new restaurants in the Middle East.
California Pizza Kitchen offices have relocated to 12181 Bluff Creek Drive, 5th Floor, Playa Vista, CA 90094; the office number is 310-342-5000.
Caribou Coffeehas begun an on-site growth strategy in one of its core markets by partnering with Jewel-Osco, one of the largest grocery store chains in the Chicago area. Three locations will open in 2012 and another five in 2013.
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group LLC began trading as a publicly-held company on the NASDAQ Select Market as DFRG.
DineEquity, Inc. announced  the opening of the first IHOP restaurant in the Middle East, an IHOP in The Mall of the Emirates, in the Al Barsha district of Dubai, United Arab Emirates; the opening marks the first of a 40-restaurant development agreement for restaurants in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Egypt.
Domino’s Pizza opened its first location in Nigeria.
International Dairy Queen Inc. announced it will add its Orange Julius smoothie brand to all of its Dairy Queen locations by November.
Jack in the Boxentered into an agreement to outsource its distribution business and expects the transition to be completed by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will add an additional 80 stores in India over the next five years.
Mobay Uptown Restaurant and Barbecue in New York, NY, filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
OSI Restaurant Partners’ parent company Bloomin’ Brands began trading on the NASDAQ Global Market as BLMN.
Pollo Tropicalannounced its first franchise development agreement outside the Western Hemisphere – a 10-unit deal to bring the chain to northern India.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House opened locations in Singapore and San Salvador.
The Cheesecake Factory opened its first international location with a store in Dubai.
Real Estate:
16 Handles is opened four new locations in the New York metro area.
Bennigan’s Franchising Company and shopping center owner Brixmor Property Group formed a strategic partnership to market Bennigan’s franchising opportunities at select Brixmor centers; the two companies are now evaluating up to 30 potential locations for Bennigan’s restaurants for the initial phase of the partnership.
Buffalo Wild Wings announced an agreement for four locations in Puerto Rico by the end of 2016.
Del Tacoannounced a development agreement for 20 locations in new markets in AL and north FL; the first store is planned for early 2013.
Dunkin’ Donutsannounced that the company is recruiting franchisees for the markets of Reno, NV; Wichita and Topeka, KS; as well as portions of TX, including territories in the western, southern and eastern portions of the state that include cities such as Amarillo and Corpus Christi. The company expects that restaurants in these markets will begin to open in 2014. Dunkin’ Donuts also signed a multi-unit store development agreement for 24 new restaurants in AL over the next several years and four more agreements for 29 restaurants in Houston and Waco between 2013 and 2019.
F2o Holding(dba Fresh To Order) plans to open at least 25 new restaurants in the Carolinas over the next four years and is actively seeking franchisees statewide.
Front Burner Brands (dba Burger21)is targeting the Atlanta area for expansion.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill awarded franchise development rights for 10 locations in OK.
Habit Restaurants LLC announced plans to open four additional restaurants in Orange County CA by the end of the year.
Jamba Juice Inc. signed a five-store development agreement for CT.
Mama Fu’s Asian House plans to open 20 locations across AL in the next few years, including six in Birmingham.
Moe’s Southwest Grill will open 25 new locations throughout the Midwest.
On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina is remodeling its locations, using a quieter color palate, a large screened-in patio, and a more open kitchen.
Pancheros Mexican Grill announced five development agreements, adding 39 locations, which include its first commitments on the West Coast. The new commitments will open restaurants in three new states including CA, NV, OR, and additional units in MN.
Papa John’sis hoping to entice new franchisees by offering an incentive package that includes no franchise fee, $50K in equipment, royalty waiver for up to 18 months, and $3K food credit with PJ Food Service.
Pizza Patrónhas executed a development agreement with SA Pizza, Inc. to bring eight more stores to the San Antonio area within the next 31 months. Pizza Patron also opened up the San Diego DMA for development and plans to add 15 more locations in the market. Pizza Patron is also expanding in the Chicago metro area, with 30+ locations being projected for the DMA.
Pizza Ranchhas opened its first restaurant in Billings MT that also marks the first location in the state.
Quaker Steak & Lube signed a three-unit development agreement for cities in ND and SD.
TCBY is looking to add 20 stores in the Dallas/Ft. Worth TX market and 25 stores in Chicago in the next three to five years.
Green Initiatives:
Chipotle Mexican Grill said it plans to serve more than 10 million pounds of locally grown produce for the second year in a row, up from 5 million pounds just two years ago. Food that is locally grown is fresher and better tasting, and supports local farm communities around the country.
The Holland Inc. (dba Burgerville) developed a list of solutions for reducing water and energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the company. The solutions include energy management control systems, onsite renewable energy development, landscaping improvements, appliance upgrades, employee education and awareness programs, and external stakeholder engagement.
Darden Restaurants issued its second sustainability report noting it has made progress in all areas of sustainability across its more than 1,900 restaurants, 180,000 employees and global supply chain. Most notably, the company has exceeded its 2015 goal of reducing water consumption in each of its restaurants by 15 percent on aggregate and is more than half way toward meeting the same goal for reducing energy consumption in its restaurants. The report includes accomplishments such as:
•Completing new green building prototypes for Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse, enabling all new restaurants to align with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.
•Achieving 100 percent recycling rate for discarded fry oil, which totaled 20 million gallons in FY11.
•Tripling the number of Darden restaurants that take part in single-stream recycling of glass, plastics and aluminum.
•Increasing Darden’s landfill diversion rate by 14 percent.
Jamba Juice Company announced that is has enhanced its comprehensive eco-sustainability strategy by forming a strategic relationship with the Global Green USA’s Coalition of Resource Recovery (CoRR), an industry working group dedicated to accelerating waste diversion programs. The alliance will help support Jamba Juice® in their efforts to reduce waste and energy consumption and increase the use of more environmentally friendly materials, including the phasing out of polystyrene, which Jamba intends to complete during 2013.
Starbucks is working with biorefinery scientists to turn its used coffee grounds and bakery food waste into bioplastics, laundry detergents and other everyday products. The coffee chain, which has a goal of offering front-of-store recycling in all of its company-owned coffee shops by 2015, has also developed a “closed loop” recycling system in its Chicago stores, shipping used cups to a Green Bay WI facility where they are mixed with other recyclables and turned into napkins for use in Starbucks locations. And it says it’s looking into turning used cups into serving trays.