Personnel Updates:
16 Handlesnamed Larry Feierstein as VP of Franchise Development.
Ameristar Casinos, Inc. appointed Matt Schuffert as Senior VP/General Manager of Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago, Jonathan Little as Director of Government and Community Relations, and Christie Scott as Regional Manager of Public Relations.
Barbeque Integrated Inc. (dba Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill) named former Morton’s CEO/President, Chris Artinian, as CEO/President.
Burger King Holdings’ Chief Brand and Operations Officer, Jonathan Fitzpatrick, resigned.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservice Association hired Stephanie Jones as VP.
Church’s Chicken hired Robert Crews as Chief Marketing Officer/Exec VP.
CKE Restaurantshired Jim Sullivan as Senior VP of Domestic Franchise Development and announced that Ned Lyerly has been named Exec VP of International; Sullivan was most recently at Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC.
Dunkin’ Brands Group named CFO Neil Moses to the new position of Chief Global Strategy Officer where he will oversee strategy, finance, global supply chain and information technology functions; Paul Carbone has been promoted to CFO.
Farmer Bros.’General Counsel Larry B. Garrett is no longer with the company.
Fazoli’snamed Craig Sherwood to lead its franchising effort; he was most recently at Corner Bakery Café.
Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. named David Goronkin as CEO; he was most recently CEO at Real Mex Restaurants. He succeeds Michael Mack who is leaving the company along with President Ken Keane.
HEI Hotels & Resorts promoted Anthony Rugledge to CEO; Gary Mendell will remain as Chairman.
Lawry’s Restaurants, Inc. named John Van de Kamp as Chairman, succeeding Richard N. Frank.
MOOYAH Burgers Fries & Shakes hired Wyatt Hurt as Senior Director of Operations; he was most recently with Cici’s Pizza.
New Castle Hotels & Resorts appointed Charles Snyder to the acquisitions and development team.
Pizza Inn Holdings announced that Clinton J. Coleman will serve as Interim CEO, replacing Charles R. Morrison.
Romacorp. named Brad Smith as COO. Chukk Mills was promoted to VP of Franchise Operations, and Jessie Bray was promoted to VP of Training and Human Resources.
Ruby Tuesday, Inc. announced that Founder/Chairman/CEO/President Sandy Beall  has announced his intention to step down from management and the board. An executive search will begin immediately, and Beall will continue to serve in his current roles until a successor is named.
Sage Restaurant Group promoted David Marsh to the role of Senior VP of Operations.
Sbarro Inc. named George Wooten Senior VP of Operations.
Starbucks Coffee Company plans to hire Pascal Rigo as Senior VP and General Manager of La Boulange following Starbucks’ acquisition of the bakery. Starbucks also appointed Blair Taylor as Chief Community Officer.
The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille promoted Bob Barry to CEO/President.
Tossedpromoted Chief Development Officer A. Michael Toroyan to the additional post of COO.
Veggie Grill named Debbie Porter as Director of Marketing; she was most recently at Fox Restaurant Concepts.
Wingstopnamed Charles R. Morrison as CEO/President; he was most recently at Pizza Inn Holdings and succeeds James Flynn who remains Executive Chairman.
Yum! Restaurants International named Andrea Rolim as General Manager of its Brazilian operations.
Financial Focus:
Benihana Inc.reported revenues of $253,077,000 for the year ending 4/1/12.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. reported net sales of $1,654,413,000 for the year ending 4/27/12.
Darden Restaurants Inc. reported sales of $7,998,700,000 for the year ending 5/27/12.
Isle of Capri reported net revenues of $997,371,000 for the year ending 4/29/12.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
J. Alexander’sannounced it has agreed to be acquired by Fidelity National Financial Inc., the owner of American Blue Ribbon Holdings(dba Bakers Square, Village Inn, and O’Charley’s among others); the transaction is expected to close in the 4th quarter.
Performance Food Group, Inc. announced it acquired Institution Food House, Inc. from Alex Lee, Inc.
Pinnacle Entertainment concluded the sale of its Boomtown Reno casino-resort operations.
Starbucks Coffee Company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire San Francisco-based Bay Bread, LLC and its La Boulange bakery brand; no closing date was announced.
US Foods has acquired New City Packing Co. in Aurora, Ill. The facility will be the new site of US Foods’ Stock Yards Chicago. The current Stock Yards Chicago location will be open until September.
Industry Insight:
Burger King announced plans to open 1,000 franchise locations in China over the next five to seven years as well as a deal for several hundred new restaurants in Russia.
Cinnabon has opened its first location in Jamaica.
Denny’sopened its first restaurant in the Dominican Republic which is also its first restaurant in an airport.
Johnny Rocketswill be moving into Brazil, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia this year.
Mrs. Fields Famous Brands is relocating its headquarters to Broomfield, CO.
Pollo Tropicalhas entered into an exclusive multi-unit franchise agreement in Guatemala for the development of at least five Pollo Tropical restaurants.
Skor Foodservice, acquired by Colabor in 5/11, stopped existing as a company on 6/18/12; the new company name is Summit Foodservice/A division of Colabor.
Sprinkles Cupcakes announced an agreement for 34 locations in the Middle East.
Starbuckshas opened its first location in Costa Rica and has hundreds of locations planned for Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Wetzel’s Pretzels plans for 10 stores in Japan over the next two years, in addition to agreements for franchise development in China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Yum! Brandswill double its presence in Thailand to 1,000 by 2020.
Real Estate:
ACG Pizza Partners LLC (dba Stevi B’s Pizza) announced the signing of an agreement to develop four Stevi B’s Pizza locations in the greater Columbus, OH, market.
Baristas Coffee Company opened its first AZ location.
Bob Evans Farms Inc. plans to remodel 150 restaurants to its “Farm-Fresh Refresh” format in its current fiscal year.
Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ’N Biscuits expects to add nine new restaurants, including seven in metro Atlanta, by the end of 2012.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is seeking locations in MT.
East Coast Wings & Grill signed a development agreement for 10 restaurants through NC and SC over the next five years.
Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill announced the company’s expansion into the Washington DC/Baltimore market. Garbanzo is planning to open five to 10 company-owned locations in this area over the next 12-24 months.
Ground Roundhas signed deals to open 9 more restaurants and return again to known markets in NJ, WI and MN.
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill appointed Comras Co. as its exclusive leasing agent for South FL; the company plans to open approximately 200 new locations throughout the eastern US.
Liquid Nutrition is opening six locations this summer in BC, ON, and QC.
Manny and Olga’s Pizza Systems Inc. announced the expansion of four restaurants in College Park and Rockville, MD and Brookland and H Street NE neighborhoods in Washington, DC.
MooYah Franchise plans to open 20 restaurants in 2012 in markets in FL, OK, TX, and VA.
P.F. Chang’swill open its first location in Canada in late July, and second location will open in late 2012 in Montreal.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen plans to open 11 restaurants over the next 5 years in the Phoenix DMA and is hosting an executive roundtable on July 31st in the market to discuss opportunities with qualified franchisees.  To get information about the event, visit
Quaker Steak & Lube plans to expand its presence in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO, and is seeking qualified franchisees.
The Fuzzy Peachannounced agreements for six new units, all in NC.
Toppers Pizzais expanding outside of its WI markets and is seeking growth opportunities in Chicago and Minneapolis.
Uncle Maddio’sis targeting the Southeastern states for expansion and is seeking qualified
Wingstopannounced a multi-unit agreement for 12 restaurants throughout OR; the first location will open next year.
Zaxby’ssigned a multi-unit development agreement for the VA cities of Norfolk, Richmond, and Virginia Beach.
Green Initiatives:
Red Robinhas deployed Site Controls Energy Management System across 40 of its restaurants, resulting in 9-15% decreases in energy consumption. Other Red Robin sustainability efforts include collection of cardboard packaging and used fryer oil for recycling, and replacement of lighting with state of the art LED’s in most of Red Robin’s more than 330 company-owned restaurants. The company is also testing solar panels in three of its CO restaurant locations.
Starbucks Coffee, Staples, and The J.R. Simplot Company are among five companies that have joined the White House’s Better Buildings Challenge. The companies have pledged to upgrade more than 50 million square feet of combined commercial building space, including 15 manufacturing facilities, as they strive to meet the Better Buildings goal of cutting building energy use at least 20 percent by 2020.