Personnel Updates:

bd’s Mongolian Grill promoted Brad Russell to Director of Marketing.

CMI(Corporacion Multi Inversiones) named Tim Pulida as CEO/President of Campero USA Corp. and Pollo Campero International.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores Inc. announced that Laura A. Daily was appointed Senior VP of Retail, effective 5/7/12.

Dave & Buster’s named John B. Mulleady as Senior VP of Development, responsible for Real Estate and Construction for the company.

Donatos Pizza name Bonnie Brannigan VP of Marketing.

Dunkin’ Brands Inc.’s CIO Daniel Sheehan has left the company to work for Modell’s Sporting Goods.

Fresh Enterprises (dba Baja Fresh Mexican Grill) appointed Chuck Rink as CEO, assuming the role from David Kim who has left the company.

Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC appointed Richard Del Valle to the newly created position of VP of Restaurant Operations Support, responsible for quality assurance and training.

InterContinental Hotels Group named Larry Light as Global Chief Brands Officer.

Kona Grill promoted Jenny Elkins to VP of Operations and Chris Moran to VP of Food and Beverage.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. announced that Kenneth A. May has resigned as President and COO; CEO James H. Morgan, Jr. has reassumed the role of company president.

McAlister’s Deli appointed Peter Wright as VP of Franchise Development.

McDonald’sannounced that Tim Fenton has been elected COO, effective 7/1/12.

Panera Breadannounced that John Maguire resigned as COO/Exec VP, effective 5/31/12; Panera also appointed Thomas Patrick Kelly Interim CFO.

Planet Hollywood named Steve Heeley as CEO/President of its Earl of Sandwich concept; replacing Seth Makowsky. Heeley was most recently with Au Bon Pain.

Ruby Tuesday hired Michael O. Moore to succeed Marguerite N. Duffy as CFO when she retires as of 6/5/12.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that Matt Avril, President of the Hotel Group, Denise Coll, President of Starwood North America, and Miguel Ko Chairman/President of Starwood Asia Pacific are retiring. Sergio Rivera and Osvaldo Librizzi have been promoted to Co-President Starwood America; Stephen Ho has been promoted to President of Asia Pacific; Qian Jim has been promoted to President of Greater China; John Peyton has been promoted to Senior VP of Global Initiatives, and Robert Hermany has been promoted to Senior VP of Operations.

The Krystal Company named Doug Pendergast as its new CEO succeeding Fred Exum Jr; he was most recently at Craftworks Restaurant and Breweries Inc. Krystal also named Al Ryan as VP of Operations and Partha Mukherjee as CIO; they were both most recently at Church’s Chicken.

The Wendy’s Company COO for North American Operations Steve Farrar retired effective 4/20/12; John Peters was named to assume his duties.

Wyndham Hotel Group appointed Frank Trampert as Managing Director of the Asia Pacific region.

Zaxby’sappointed Blake Bailey to CFO, succeeding Tony Townley; Townley will assume the new position of Exec VP.


Financial Focus:

 O’Charley’s Inc. submitted written notice to NASDAQ that it was going to voluntarily delist its common stock, effective 5/10/12.

OSI Restaurant Partners LLC reported total revenues of $3,841,443,000 for the year ending 12/31/11.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Apple J sold all 32 of its Applebee’s restaurants to Apple Gold, effective 4/24/12.

Huddle House Inc. was acquired by Sentinel Capital Holdings.

KSL Capital Partners LLC announced an agreement to acquire the Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa; closure is expected within 30 days.

Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. acquired the Riviera Black Hawk Casino from Riviera Holdings Corp.

O’Charley’s Inc. was acquired by Fidelity National Financial Inc.; O’Charley’s operations will be merged into those of American Blue Ribbon Holdings.

Papa John’s International acquired 56 franchised locations in the Denver and Minneapolis markets out of bankruptcy from franchisee PJCOMN Acquisition Corp.; six in Denver were immediately sold to an area franchisee.

Ruby Tuesday agreed to acquire the fast-casual Lime Fresh Mexican Grill chain; Ruby Tuesday has been a master franchisee of the brand since 2010.


Industry Insight:

Bennigan’s Franchising Company has opened restaurants in El Salvador and South Korea.

Bloomin’ Brands, new parent company of OSI Restaurant Partners, plans to issue an IPO for the company.

Burger Kingmanagement announced a deal to take the company public again; as part of the process, the company plans to sell all but about 100 of its more than 1,000 company-owned restaurants.

Cosi, Inc.announced that it has entered into a development agreement with a new franchisee, Fast Casual S. A., to develop Cosi restaurants in Costa Rica. The agreement calls for Fast Casual S.A. to develop five locations over five years beginning with their first location expected to open later this year.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc signed an exclusive agreement with foodservice distributor Sysco Corporation to provide its franchises with a range of foodservice products.

Good Times Restaurants announced it has entered into advisory agreement with Heathcote Capital to explore strategic transactions.

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation announced today that it has signed a development agreement for 40 locations in Moscow over the next five years.

McDonald’splans to begin franchising in Russia for the first time under a new agreement with Rosinter, the country’s largest restaurant holding company.

Pollo Tropical closed its five restaurants in NJ.

Smashburger opened a restaurant in Kuwait, its first international location. Restaurants are planned for Canada and Latin America later this year. Smashburger also opened its first location in Canada with a restaurant in Calgary AB.

The Wendy’s Company announced an agreement with The Wissol Group to develop 25 restaurants in Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan over the next 10 years.


Real Estate:

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is planning to open a location in New York City which is expected to be ready in 2013.

Darden Restaurants, Inc.  announced it has entered into an area development agreement with Restaurant Operators, Inc. (ROI) to develop and operate Darden’s 

Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands in Puerto Rico; the new agreement calls for ROI to initially develop a minimum of three additional LongHorn and eight Olive Garden restaurants over the next five years.

Del Tacoplans to open 8-10 locations in Charleston SC and is seeking qualified franchisees.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants is seeking franchisees for GA, IN, NV, WA and WI.

Dunkin’ Donutsannounced three franchise agreements for 25 restaurants in San Antonio and Houston TX over the next six years.

GB Restaurants Inc. owners Glenn and Tina Beattie announced an agreement to open more than 20 Corner Bakery Café restaurants in CT and RI in coming years.

Lube Holdings(dba Quaker Steak & Lube) announced an area development agreement for three restaurants in the Philadelphia market; the first is expected to open in 2013.

Moe’s Southwest Grill has signed a deal that will bring an additional 25 restaurants to the Washington, D.C., metro area over the next six years.

Panera plans to add drive-through windows to about 80 new or retrofitted stores this year; drive-throughs are a factor for new sites.

Ruby Tuesday plans to close up to 27 locations of its namesake brand in the coming months.

Schlotzsky’ssigned its largest multi-unit deal that will results in 61 new locations in AZ, Minneapolis, and Orange County, CA.


Green Initiatives:

Bob Evans Farms Inc. broke ground on its new office campus in New Albany OH; the company expects the project design and construction practices to earn the campus LEED certification at the gold level through the U.S. Green Building Council.

McDonald’sUSA ranked #11 on the EPA’s updated list of the Top 50 Green Power Partnership organizations; 30% of its green energy use is powered by wind.

Starbucks Corporation ranked #8 on the EPA’s updated list of the Top 50 Green Power Partnership organizations; it uses biogas, geothermal, small hydro, and wind sources.

SUBWAY announced that its salad bowls – and lids – are now made from 95% post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials; predominately from plastic soda and water bottles.