Personnel Updates:

Alamo hired Christian Parkes as its new chief branding officer.

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. named James Lyons Senior VP of Development. He was most recently at Quiznos.

Atlanta Fixture & Sales Co. hired Jess Logan to serve as sales training manager.

Auntie Anne’s Inc. promoted Okey M. Reese to VP of Real Estate.

Autogrill SpA has appointed Steve Johnson as HMSHost’s CEO/President, replacing Tom Fricke who will be leaving the company as his contract comes to completion.

Back Yard Burgers Chief Marketing Officer Monte Jump has added the role of COO to his responsibilities.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. promoted David Pace to President of Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

Bob Evans Farms, Inc. announced the appointment of Mark Hood as CFO.

BR Guest Hospitality named Richard Breitkreutz Corporate Director of Beverage Operations.

CEC Entertainment, Inc. (dba Chuck E. Cheese’s) announced that its Board of Directors appointed Thomas Leverton as CEO, effective 7/23/14.

CiCi’s Pizza hired two new VPs; Steven Jones was named VP of Operation Services and Training, and Brett Willis was hired VP of Development.

Cinemark Holdings, Inc. announced Sean Gamble has been appointed as the company’s Executive VP and CFO and will join the team effective 8/25/14.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (dba Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s) announced the promotion of Ned Lyerly to President of its International Division.

Cosi, Inc. hired Scott Carlock as CFO; Carlock will replace Bill Koziel.

Denihan Hospitality Group appointed Edward Maynard and Valerie Ferguson as VP of Operations.

Destination Hotels & Resorts appointed Dani Stern Senior VP.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. announced Jeff Miller as the company’s new Executive Chef and VP of Product Innovation. Dunkin Brands also announced the following appointments and promotions: Roxanne Bensason has been promoted to VP, International Field Marketing, supporting Europe, Latin America and the Middle East; Sara Larcombe has been promoted to Senior Director, International Field Marketing, supporting China, Japan and Korea; George McAllan has been appointed International Managing Director for Dunkin’ Donuts China; Paul Reynish has been appointed VP, Operations, supporting Dunkin’ Brands’ Joint Venture partnerships in Japan and Korea.

Farmer Boys announced that Karen Eadon joined the company as VP/Chief Marketing Officer. Farmer Bros. also announced that Mark A. Harding, Senior VP of Operations, will leave the company on 7//31/14.

Foxwoods Resort Casino announced the appointment of Franco Pilli to the position of Senior VP of Player Development and Casino Marketing.

Fresh To Order (f2o) promoted Craig Light to VP of Operations and Andrew Head to Director of Training and Compliance. In addition to the promotions, f2o hired Joshua Henighan as Director of New Store Openings, John Collins to Director of Franchise Operations, and Glenn Slattery to Director of Store Development.

Hastings Entertainment CEO John Marmaduke and CFO Dan Crow resigned from their positions following the company’s acquisition by Draw Another Circle LLC.

HRI Lodging promoted Larry Daniels to Regional VP of Operations.

Hyatt named Julienne Smith Senior VP of Franchise and Managed Development for Hyatt Place and Hyatt House in North America based.

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. announced the following management changes:  the position of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, currently held by Jim Perry, has been eliminated; Robert Goldstein has been named (non-executive) Chairman; the position of Chief Strategic Officer, currently held by Eric Hausler, has been eliminated and Mr. Hausler has been named the Company’s CFO.  Mr. Hausler succeeds Dale Black who is leaving the Company to pursue other interests.

King’s Seafood Company has restructured its operations under which the company has been split into two groups: King’s Signature Restaurants and King’s Fish House Group. The Signature division is headed by Mark Augarten, King’s vice president of operations, and The King’s Fish House Group will be headed by Heath Bumgardner, vice president of operations. Overseeing both divisions is R.J. Thomas, who was named president and chief operating officer of King’s Seafood Co.

Marco’s Pizza named Tony Libardi as Executive VP of Operations.

Omni Hotels & Resorts appointed Charlie Muller VP of Acquisitions and Development.

Omni Hotels & Resorts appointed Ms. Kris Singleton as the new CIO.

Patxi’s Pizza named Peter Serantoni joins the brand as Chief Culinary Officer and Glenis Welzien was named Director of Supply Chain.

Performance Food Group, Inc. named Jim Hope to the new role of Executive VP of Operations.

Pieology Pizzeria announced that Bob Baker has been named company president. Most recently, he was president and CFO of Cafe Rio Mexican Grill. Pieology also hired Amber Morales as Director of Training; she was most recently at CB Franchise Systems.

PizzaRev has launched a new catering program and appointed Bibiana Deaver as the new Catering Sales Manager.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. named Todd Burke as VP of Corporate Communications.

Project Pie named Brian Watkins as Director of Operations and Steve Brigandi CAO and General Counsel.

Pyramid Hotel Group hired John Green as Senior VP, Asset Management; he was most recently at the Wyndham Hotel Group.

Pyramid Hotel Group hired John Green as Senior VP, Asset Management.

Reading International, Inc. announced that CFO Andrzej Matyczynski is retiring effective 9/1/14.

Real Mex Restaurant’s CEO/President Charly Robinson has left the company.

Red Lion Hotels Corporation announced it has hired David Attardi as Regional VP of Lodging Development, Angela Rowe as Manager of Franchise Sales Development, and Sarah Frank as Director of Brand Marketing. Red Lion Hotels also announced the company has added Phil Lovas and Mike Castro as Regional Vice Presidents of Lodging Development.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers’ Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Todd A. Brighton notified the company that he will resign from his position with the Company effective on or about 7/1/14. Red Robin later decided to eliminate the position of COO, which is held by Eric C. Houseman, due to an internal restructuring; Mr. Houseman’s employment with the Company will end on or about 8/1/14.

Rita’s Italian Ice announced the appointment of Eric Taylor as Senior VP and Chief Development Officer.

Ruby Tuesday, Inc. announced that Jill Golder has been promoted to Exec VP and CFO effective immediately, succeeding Michael Moore who announced his retirement.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa named Vincent Turrano as VP of Food and Beverage.

Teriyaki Madness announced the addition of Heather Winslett as the company’s Director of operations.

The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. hired Chef Jason Miller to lead culinary development.

Umami Burger chain named Paul Clayton as CEO.

White Lodging named Bruce Hoffmann Senior VP and CFO.

Wyndham Hotels named Josh Lesnick Chief Marketing Officer.


Financial Focus:

Barnes & Noble reported sales from retail bookstores of $4,295,110,000 for the year ending 5/3/14.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. reported total sales of $1,328,552,000 for the year ending 4/25/14; restaurant sales were $956,759,000.

Crumbs Bake Shop announced it is closing all of its stores.

Darden Restaurants Inc. reported sales of $6,285,600,000 for the year ending 5/25/14.

El Pollo Loco Holdings filed an S-1 with the SEC in preparation for going public, reporting total revenue of $314,727,000 for the year ending 12/25/13.

Quiznos announced it has successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from Chapter 11.

S.B. Restaurant Co. (dba Elephant Bar Global Grill/Wok Kitchen) filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and closed 16 locations this month.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Bowlmor AMF announced that it has entered into an agreement with Brunswick Corporation to acquire Brunswick’s bowling center business. Bowlmor AMF expects to operate the business as a stand-alone entity, retaining the retail branding and maintaining existing locations. The transaction is expected to close in approximately 90 days.

Cardiff International Inc. announced the finalization of its acquisition of Romeo’s NY Pizza.

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. announced it signed a definitive agreement to purchase 21 BURGER KING restaurants from Kessler Group, Inc. located in or around Rochester, NY and in the “Southern Tier” region of Western New York State. The transaction is expected to close by the end of July 2014.

Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. announced that it completed the previously announced acquisition of three Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in FL.

Doc Popcorn has been acquired by Dippin’ Dots Franchising LLC.

Food Management Partners acquired Furr’s Fresh Buffet and Dynamic Foods out of bankruptcy. In time, all management functions for Furr’s will be absorbed into Food Management Partners’ corporate office in San Antonio. Day-to-day management of Dynamic Foods will remain in Lubbock.

Hastings Entertainment, Inc. was acquired by Draw Another Circle LLC; the transaction privatized the company.

NPC International, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of 56 Wendy’s restaurants.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. announced it has completed the acquisition of 32 Red Robin franchised restaurants in the United States and Canada that were formerly operated by Mach Robin, LLC and Mach Robin, LLC’s Canadian affiliate; the restaurants are located in AB, BC, IL, ID, NV, NM, and UT. The Company plans to maintain the Canadian office in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Third Lake Capital acquired Ker’s WingHouse; WingHouse Founder Crawford Ker stays on as CEO.

United Natural Foods, Inc. has completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the stock of Tony’s Fine Foods; Tony’s is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of UNFI, and will continue to operate as Tony’s Fine Foods.


Industry Insight:

American Restaurant Concepts, Inc., announced that it has changed its name to “ARC Group, Inc.”

Applebee’s has announced its intention to add more than 20 restaurants in the Middle East by 2017.

Burger King has expanded its BK Delivers program to Atlanta, Fresno, Kansas City, and Montgomery.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced it will close Showboat Atlantic City effective 8/31/14.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. opened its 600th international restaurant location with a new Hardee’s in Kazakhstan.

Denny’s Corporation recently launched a ‘Denny’s Latino’ Facebook page; the company states more than one in five of Denny’s customers are Latinos.

Famous Brands International (dba TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies) signed a new master franchise deal to develop 24 dual branded locations of TCBY/Mrs. Fields throughout the United Arab Emirates.

Gordon Food Service announced that it will open a new distribution center in Aberdeen MD before the end of 2014; the facility will serve foodservice operators in the Baltimore MD, Washington DC, and Philadelphia PA areas.

KFC Corp. opened its first store in Bolivia.

Legacy Foodservice Alliance announced that Chin’s Import Export Company, Inc., Portland, OR, became a member.

Mama Fu’s Asian House announced a deal to expand the brand into the United Arab Emirates, with the first location set to open in Q1 of 2015.

Marco’s Pizza opened its 500th location.

Noodles & Company introduced catering in its CO locations.

Quiznos will be moving its downtown Denver headquarters this summer to the Denver Tech Center. The Denver-based franchise sub-sandwich chain will move from a 20-story office building downtown, 1001 17th St., to the DTC’s 7595 Technology Way.

Sbarro announced its entry into Bolivia with a new store opening at the Ventura Mall in Santa Cruz.  Sbarro Bolivia SRL plans to open a total of 10 eateries in Bolivia over the next decade.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation announced a new strategic partnership to build multiple Six Flags-branded theme parks in China over the next decade.

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group announced its expansion internationally with a steakhouse opening in London in early spring 2015.

Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group is expanding into London with an early spring 2015 opening.

Umami Burgers closed its only FL location.

US Foods opened the country’s fourth CHEF’STORE in Tempe, Ariz.

Wingstop recently opened its first location in Jakarta Indonesia.

Y. Hata & Co. is opening a new division named ChefZone, adding cash-and-carry distribution to the Honolulu-based food distributor’s portfolio.


Real Estate:

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. announced plans to launch a major remodeling program across its nationwide network of nearly 3,400 Arby’s quick-service sandwich restaurants. The turnkey revitalization initiative includes a new building image, team member re-training program and franchisee remodel financing solution.

Bar Louie plans to add 200 new units by 2018. This year, there are plans to open 25 locations and over the coming 24 months, Bar Louie has set its sights on adding corporate units in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and TX. Growth in franchise expansion is focused on the West Coast and parts of the Southeast.

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza announced that its 25th restaurant is set to open next month in Mission Viejo CA, and its 60th restaurant is scheduled to open in New Orleans LA in December. Its first NY location opened in mid-July.

Bojangles’ Restaurants, Inc. opened its 600th location. The chain expects to open 55 to 60 locations throughout the Southeast this year, adding new restaurants in more than 25 market areas including Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Orlando, FL; Richmond, VA; Nashville, Knoxville, and Tri-Cities, TN. This year’s expansion is part of Bojangles’ long-term growth plan to have 1,000 units open by 2020.

Burger 21 announced today it has signed a multi-unit franchise agreement to develop three additional restaurants in the Atlanta area.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is planning to open 10 to 15 restaurants in the Baltimore area over the next five to eight years.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants Inc. signed a development agreement to expand its growth in the Philadelphia market, almost doubling its restaurant base from 23 to 40 by 2018.

Corner Bakery Café recently announced its entry into OR, with plans to open 12 neighborhood cafés in the state of OR and Vancouver, WA.

Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for five restaurants in North and South Greensboro, NC; the locations will incorporate traditional and combination unit development with sister brand, Baskin-Robbins, with the first restaurant planned to open in 2015.

East Coast Wings & Grill is announced plans to add nine more Central Florida locations by 2020.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers has signed agreements for two dozen Freddy’s locations in metro Orlando, slated to open over the new few years.

Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. plans to start franchising its J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood concept.

Huddle House is adding 10 units over the next five years in NY and six new units in NJ, marking the 50-year-old brand’s first foray into that area.

Marco’s Pizza is launching an ambitious expansion plan in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where the booming market is primed for the experience of authentic Italian pizza.

McAlister’s Deli announced it has signed an agreement for three locations in Tallahassee and Panama City, FL.

Moe’s Southwest Grill has signed 120 new franchise deals in the first six months of 2014. Moe’s continues its aggressive expansion this year with new restaurants being developed in significant markets, such as Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.

Papa Murphy’s is planning to add 15-17 stores in the Memphis area.

Penn Station East Coast Subs announced deals to expand for the first time into the Chicago (10 locations), Atlanta (5), and Dallas (15) area markets over the next few years. Penn Station plans to open 30 restaurants nationwide in 2014. Additional markets targeted for growth include Kansas City, MO; Richmond, VA; Detroit; Nashville, TN; and NC and SC, as well as a number of other existing markets.

Pie Five Pizza Co. announced that it has awarded eight franchise units to be developed in Lubbock, Amarillo, Odessa, Midland and Abilene, beginning in early 2015. and 18 franchise units throughout Tampa, FL. Pie Five Pizza Co. has also awarded 26 franchise units to Quality Restaurant Concepts LLC which will bring the brand to three new states across the Deep South – AL, MS and Chattanooga TN.

Pieology Pizzeria is planning to open five Portland, OR, locations by 2015.

Pizza Patron plans to open 25 locations by the end of the year, including seven new restaurants in Houston over the next year. The Weitzman Group has been selected by Pizza Patrón to be an exclusive partner in site location and tenant representation.

Project Pie is breaking into the TX market with three Dallas locations and several more in the planning.

Quaker Steak & Lube opened its first Louisiana location.

Rita’s Italian Ice has signed an franchise area development agreement for at least 75 Rita’s stores over the next several years throughout six Northern CA counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz.

Round Table Pizza has jumped into the fast casual segment with the opening of its new concept, Fresh Pixx.

Russo’s Restaurants announced plans to significantly enhance the brands’ footprint in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region. An additional 10-12 restaurants are also planned to open this year in Texas markets like Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin.

Saladworks is on target to open nine new stores in the United States and at least five internationally. New stores opening this summer will be Rochester, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; Franklin, TN; Virginia Beach, VA and Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The fall will kick off with a surge of growth in new markets such as Bowling Green, KY; Morgantown, WV; Boston, MA; and Centerpoint, MI.

Sarpino’s Pizzeria is targeting Orlando to open nearly a dozen stores and has plans for a few other expansion locations throughout FL.

Saxbys Coffee will open nine new locations in the Mid-Atlantic region this year, five of which will be opening in the Philadelphia area. Saxbys is also opening locations in Cincinnati, Washington, DC., Colgate University in Hamilton, NY. and the University of Rochester.

Schlotzsky’s announced company plans to expand throughout the greater Denver area; company plans call for 15 signed franchise deals in the city of Denver and an additional 30 signed deals in the Denver metro area by the end of 2014,

Studio Movie Grill announced locations in Tampa FL, Philadelphia PA, Rocklin and Simi Valley, CA.

Teriyaki Madness recently announced five new franchise deals that will double the total number of locations across the U.S. by 2015, with new markets including AZ, CA, FL, MI, NJ, OH and TN. Other restaurant developments are currently under way in AR, CA, CO, NV and TX. The company’s goal is to open 100 units across the U.S. by 2016.

The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. announced that it is actively seeking franchisees to open new restaurants in Fresno, CA , Greensboro, NC, and Charleston, SC; The Melting Pot is also targeting Asheville NC and New York City for franchise expansion.

Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery is expanding in the Southeast with four locations planned for Broward and Palm Beach counties in South FL.

Tropical Smoothie Café announced plans to develop as many as 40 stores in the Atlanta metropolitan area in coming years, including locations in Buckhead, Midtown, Downtown, Highlands, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Vinings, Marietta, Alpharetta and College Park. Tropical Smoothie Café also announced plans to expand its presence in the greater-Denver area by developing 25 locations in the coming years. Tropical Smoothie Café is currently seeking franchise partners to develop another 15 locations throughout the state, including the following markets: Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Boulder and other metropolitan areas.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint opened its first ND location.

Which Wich plans to add an additional 15 to 20 locations in Phoenix in the next three to four years.


Green News:

Au Bon Pain has expanded installation of SiteSage, an enterprise-level energy and asset management system, to cafes in Boston, New York City and Washington, DC, according to a recent press release. SiteSage allows multi-site operators of small commercial facilities to remotely monitor equipment, diagnosing performance issues and identifying inefficiencies. Operators can monitor performance via web or mobile apps.

Chipotle Mexican Grill plans to purchase more than 20 million pounds of locally grown produce in its restaurants this year, up from its 2013 goal of 15 million pounds.

InterContinental Hotels Group announced that IHG’s patented Green Engage program, the online sustainability program used by more than 2,700 IHG-branded hotels worldwide, is helping hotels address the drought conditions in California. IHG is targeting a reduction in water usage in water-stressed areas by 12% globally by 2017.