Personnel Updates:

Bar Louie hired P. J. Evans as VP of Franchise Development; he was most recently at Go Roma.

Boloco hired Paul Booras as VP of Operations.

Brinker International announced that Wyman Roberts will become CEO/President effective 1/1/13; he will succeed Doug Brooks, who will continue as Chairman of the Board through 12/13. Roberts will also retain his current role as President of Chili’s Grill & Bar.

Buffalo Wild Wings hired Andy Dinsmore as VP of Food and Beverage Experience.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that Donald Colvin will join the company as Exec VP and CFO.

Capriotti’s hired Bruce Evans as VP of Franchise Sales; he was most recently as CiCi Enterprises.

Captain’s D’s hired Jason Henderson as VP of Product Innovation; he was most recently Director of Food & Beverage for AMC Theatres.

Carmike Cinemas hired Thomas Wilkinson as Director of Real Estate and Development.

Crumbs Bake Shop, Inc. named Eric Wesolowski as COO; co-founders Jason and Mia Bauer left the company effective 11/28.

Darden Restaurants announced the Chief Marketing Officer JJ Buettgen had resigned.

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group named Jeff Carcara as COO.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc.’s Chief Global Strategy Officer Neil Moses will leave the company in mid-March 2013; the position will not be filled.

Great Wolf Resorts promoted Tim Black to COO/Exec VP.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters hired Brian Kelley as its new CEO, effective 12/3/12.

Hilton Worldwide named John Rogers Global Head for Embassy Suite Hotels.

Ignite Restaurant Group (dba Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap) announced that Michael J. Dixon has been named CFO/Senior VP, effective 1/2/13; he will succeed Jeffery L. Rager. Dixon most recently held a similar position at Pinkberry.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort named Brendon Bashford as Executive Chef.

Lane Hospitality hired John Price as Director of Independent Hotel Operations.

Loews Hotel Holding Corporation named Jim Caul as Director of Sales and Marketing for the Loews Don CeSar Hotel. Loews Hotels & Resorts also announced that David Wiener has been promoted to Senior VP, Sales.

McDonald’s replaced Jan Fields, President of McDonald’s USA, with Jeff Stratton, effective 12/1/12.

New Jersey Restaurant Association (NJRA) announces the hiring of Marilou Halvorsen as its new President.

Papa John’s International promoted Caroline Oyler to Senior VP of Legal Affairs. Papa John’s also hired Steve Higdon as Senior Director for Partnership Marketing and Integration.

Pizza Inn Holdings named Randy Gier CEO.

Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington named Kathy Hollinger as President, effective 12/15, succeeding Lynne Breaux.

Ruby Tuesday hired JJ Buettgen as CEO/President and named Matthew Drapkin as Chairman, effective 12/1/12.

Salsarita’s added Mark Cote as VP of Operations.

South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association named John Durst as CEO/President.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts named Mary Casey Senior VP of Sales for the North American Division.

Station Casinos announced that Stephen L. Cavallaro has been appointed President of Station Casinos LLC.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. named Raymond L. “Rip” Gellein Jr. as CEO/President, replacing Laurence Geller who stepped down from the position.

The Counter promoted Bryan Vicentini to President/COO.

UFood Restaurant Group announced that Chairman/CEO George Naddaff  and COO Charlie Cocotas have resigned; Richard Golden was named Chairmen/CEO.

White Lodging announced Carrie Rosencrans has been named the new Regional VP of Operations for the Denver, CO, region. White Lodging Services also announced Rocky Wruck as the new Regional Director of Operations for Region 5 (FL) and Chris O’Donnell as the new Regional Director of Operations for the newly created Region 16 (IN, OH). White Lodging also named Giorgi Di Lamis as VP of Food and Beverage.

Wingstop promoted Dave Vernon to Chief Development Officer.

Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. announced the promotions of Stephanie P. Gamble to VP of Brand Development and Richard Fletcher to VP of Talent Management.

Zoës Kitchen promoted Kevin Miles to CEO.


Financial Focus:

AMC Entertainment changed its fiscal-year end from the Thursday closest to 3/31 to 12/31, beginning with the current fiscal year.

AMF Bowling filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. reported net sales of $3,859,198,000 for the year ending 9/29/12.

Jack in the Box Inc. reported revenues of $1,545,026,000 for the year ending 9/30/12.

Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority reported net revenues of $1,399,313,000 for the year ending 9/30/12; F&B sales were $92,149,000.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

AFC Enterprises, Inc. announced the completion of its planned acquisition of 27 KFC restaurants out of bankruptcy in CA and MN. One property will be sold and 26 of the acquired restaurants will be converted into the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced that it is exploring options for its Mimi’s Café chain, including a possible sale.

Boyd Gaming Corporation completed its previously announced acquisition of Peninsula Gaming LLC.

Caesars Entertainment Corporation completed the previously announced sale of Harrah’s St. Louis casino to Penn National Gaming Inc.

Carmike Cinemas Inc. completed its purchase of 16 entertainment complexes in seven states from Rave Reviews Holdings LLC. The complexes are in AL, FL, IL, IN, PA, TN, and TX.

Fertitta Entertainment (dba Golden Nugget Inc.) completed the previously announced acquisition of the Isle Casino in Biloxi, MS; it is renamed the Golden Nugget Biloxi.

Luby’s Inc. reported plans to acquire the Cheeseburger in Paradise concept and locations.

Marlu Investment Group acquired 42 company-owned Arby’s restaurants in Portland and Seattle. At least 17 locations will be remodeled and five new locations will be built in the next several years.

Starbucks Coffee agreed to acquire Teavana Holdings, a retail tea store chain. No timetable was reported for closure.

TC Global (dba Tully’s) has agreed to be acquired out of bankruptcy by Jonah Retail Holdings later this year.


Industry Insight:

Burger King plans to open its first restaurant in South Africa early next year.

Family Sports Concepts (dba Beef ‘O’ Brady’s) signed a development agreement for restaurants in Mongolia.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers will relocate its corporate office to 260 N. Rock Road in Wichita, KS.

Kinkead’s in Washington, DC, is closing 12/22/12.

McLane Foodservice, a division of McLane Company, Inc., announced that it has entered into a distribution services agreement with Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc., to service all restaurants across the nation.

P.F. Chang’s opened its first location in Turkey.

Starbucks expects China to be its second-largest market by 2014.

The Cheesecake Factory opened its first location in Kuwait.

Tim Hortons opened its first location in Oman.


Real Estate:

Boston Pizza International introduced a new smaller design in Canada, 4,100 sq.ft. vs. 5,900 and 5,300 sq.ft. The company also has a 3,000-3,500 sq.ft. prototype.

Burger 21 will open one franchised restaurant in Charlotte, NC, and four restaurants in Fairfax County, VA, and Montgomery County, MD.

Burger King plans to remodel about 2,500 locations over the next few years.

Checker’s Drive-In Restaurants opened its first location inside a Walmart Supercenter in Oldsmar, FL; another is planned for Haymarket, VA.

Corner Bakery Café announced a franchise agreement to open its first location in Nassau County in 2013.

Dave & Buster’s will open its first location in upstate NY in the summer of 2013.

Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for 11 restaurants throughout Green Bay and Milwaukee, WI. The first restaurant is planned to open in 2014 and the remainder by 2019. The company also signed an agreement for 10 restaurants in Grand Rapids, MI.

El Pollo Loco plans to remodel up to 100 locations next year.

Famous Dave’s has new agreements for 16 units in southern CA, one each in Riverside and Montebello CA, Lansing MI, Independence MO, and Yakima WA.

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. is converting several Sweet Tomatoes sites in AZ into Field Kitchens; the restaurants will include the salad buffet meals but also include meats, sandwiches, and beer and wine.

Grimaldi’s Pizza has opened a location in CO.

Jamba Inc. plans to expand throughout CA with a plan for up to 120 new stores over the next seven years.

Lube Holdings (dba Quaker Steak & Lube) signed an area development agreement for four new locations in the Houston market; the first will open in 2013.

Mama Fu’s announced new deals for development of 10-12 new locations in Dallas and Collin Counties in TX over the next 15 months.

Pizza Inn Holdings Inc. announced it has awarded its first two franchise development agreements for its newest concept, Pie Five Pizza; eight locations are planned for Salt Lake City and 10 for Charlotte NC.

Pizza Patrón is seeking franchisees in the following markets: Chicago, OK, LA, AR, CA, and TX (excluding markets for which there are exclusivity contracts — the Rio Grande Valley, San Antonio, Laredo, and Dallas).

Starbucks Corp. announced that a 523 sq.ft. drive-through location will be the main expansion prototype for its Seattle’s Best Coffee division; they will be operated primarily by franchisees and located on empty suburban lots and out-parcels.

TCBY plans to open 15 to 20 franchises in the Houston area. TCBY is also looking for franchisees in the Triad area of NC.

Twin Restaurant Holding (dba Twin Peaks) announced a 10-store development agreement for south FL.


Green Initiatives:

Apple-Metro will open New York City’s first LEED-certified restaurant in mid-December, an Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Harlem.

MGM Resorts is one of 130 organizations that signed on for the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge; the initiative will reduce food waste by 5% in the first year.