Personnel Updates:

Affinity Gaming named Richard S. Parisi as Chairman, succeeding Don R. Kornstein.

American Restaurant Group (dba Dick’s Wings & Grill) named Richard Akam as CEO, succeeding Michael Rosenberger.

Aramark hired Tod MacKenzie as Senior VP of Communications; he most recently held a similar position at DineEquity.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced the appointment of Jim Mizes as President and COO; previously, he served as President of Freebirds World Burrito.

Boneheads Grilled Fish and Piri Piri Chicken named Bryan St. George as Director of Franchise Support.

Buffets Inc. appointed Keith Kravcik as CFO.

CBC Restaurant Corp. (dba Corner Bakery Café) promoted Gregg Koffler to VP of Franchise Sales.

Churchill Downs promoted Austin Miller to Senior VP of Gaming Operations.

CiCi Enterprises named Darin Harris as CEO, replacing Mike Shumsky who retired in mid-August.

The Columbia Restaurant Group has named Michael Kilgore chief marketing officer.

Crave hired Lane Schmiesing as Chief Marketing Officer.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. announced two senior leadership appointments: Salli Setta to President of Red Lobster and Dave Pickens to Chief Restaurant Operations Officer for Darden.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. announced that Chief Restaurant Officer Brian Unger was retiring effective 7/18/13; as part of its planned executive succession, CFO Manny Hilario was named COO, replacing Mr. Unger. A search is underway for a new CFO.

El Pollo Loco named Larry Roberts as CFO and hired Kay Bogeajis as COO.

Famous Brands International (dba TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies) announced that it has appointed Michael Chao to the position of CFO.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts announced the appointment of Allen Smith as CEO/President.

The Greenbrier named Bryan Skelding as Executive Chef.

Host Hotels & Resorts has promoted Gregory Larson to CFO.

Huddle House Inc. hired Jonathan Benjamin as Chief Development Officer; he was most recently at Corner Bakery Café; Sean McLendon joined the company as Director of Culinary Innovation

J. Alexander’s LLC promoted J. Michael Moore to COO/VP and Mark Parkey to CFO/VP.

Johnny Rockets named Gary Campanaro as CFO; he was formerly at El Pollo Loco.

Luna Grill hired Daniel Lowe as Director of Operations.

The Marcus Corporation announced the appointment of Rolando B. Rodriguez CEO/President of Marcus Theatres, succeeding Bruce Olson, who is retiring in September. Rodriguez has been president and CEO of Rave Cinemas in Dallas for the last two years.

Massachusetts Restaurant Association named Bob Luz to succeed Peter Christie as CEO/President; Luz was most recently at American Blue Ribbon Holdings.

MGM Grand Detroit named Marc Guastella as VP Hotel and Restaurant Operations.

MGM Resorts International announced three senior level promotions: Alan Feldman as Exec VP, Global Government and Industry Affairs; Clark Dumont as Senior VP, Corporate Communications; Jenn Michaels as Senior VP, Public Relations. MGM Resorts International also announced the following personnel appointments to its Corporate Diversity and Community Engagement Department: Mr. Ondra Berry, VP of Diversity & Inclusion Development; Patty Coaley, Executive Director of Diversity & Inclusion Development; Shelley Gitomer, VP of Philanthropy & Community Engagement; and Tony Gladney, VP of National Diversity Relations. The company also promoted Michael Evans to CEO of MGM Hospitality.

Outrigger Enterprises Group hired Ed Case as its Chief Legal Officer/Senior VP, replacing Donna Leong.

Papa John’s International, Inc. announced the promotion of Tony Thompson to President/COO.

Penn National Gaming named Gary DeWitt as General Manager of Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, effective January 2014.

Pier House Resort & Spa named Joseph Dantoni as General Manager.

Real Mex Restaurants named Andy Mai as CIO/Senior VP; he was most recently as S.B. Restaurant Co. (dba Elephant Bar).

Red Lion Hotels Corporation announced the retirement of CEO/President Jon E. Eliassen; James P. Evans will serve as Interim CEO/President.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers appointed Cathy Cooney as Chief People Officer/Senior VP.

Rita’s Italian Ice appointed Michael Lorelli Executive Chairman and interim CEO, replacing Jonathan Fornaci.

Sage Hospitality named Kenneth Widmaier COO.

Sprinkles Cupcakes named Dustin Guzmán as VP of Talent.

SSP America appointed Jagpreet Singh to General Counsel.

SYSCO Corp. hired Scott Charlton as Senior VP for Distribution Services, succeeding Fred Lankford who retired.

Tootie Pie Company Inc. replaced CEO Don Merrill Jr. with Leslie Doss.

Vail Resorts announced the resignation of Exec VP/General Counsel Fiona Arnold, effective upon the hiring of her successor.


Financial Focus:

Brinker International reported total revenues of $2,846,098,000 for the year ending 6/26/13.

ClubCorp Holdings filed an S-1 document with the SEC in preparation for an initial public offering.

Darden Restaurants reported sales of $8,551,900,000 for the year ending 5/26/13.

The Marcus Corporation reported total revenues of $412,836,000 for the year ending 5/30/13.

Ruby Tuesday reported total revenue of $1,251,487,000 for the year ending 6/4/13.

Tootie Pie Company Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Apple Gold Group acquired the 12 Applebee’s restaurant in the Louisville KY market operated by Whit-Mart.

Churchill Downs Incorporated announced that it has completed the purchase of Oxford Casino in Oxford, ME

Doherty Enterprises acquired 38 Applebee’s restaurants from Georgia Apple LLC, bringing its total Applebee’s locations to 100.

Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC completed the acquisition of The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc.

Landry’s plans to acquire an under-development casino in Lake Charles, LA, from Pinnacle Entertainment

NPC International acquired the 13 Wendy’s operated by Value Foods.

Reinhart Foodservice LLC announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Southern Foods, Inc., a family owned broadline distributor serving nearly 1,200 accounts in the Kentucky area, as well as parts of Tennessee and Indiana.

Roark Capital Group bought the Miller Ale House restaurant chain.


Industry Insight:

Caledon Concept Partners Corp. (dba Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant) plans to open Rococo Steak this summer.

Dante’s Down the Hatch closed at the end of June after more than four decades of operation in Atlanta.

Darden Restaurants Inc. announced it is adding two more area developers in Latin America. The company inked new agreements with two multi-brand restaurant operators to bring Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse to Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Peru.

Fatburger has opened its first location in Turkey.

Flash Market Inc. will open 10 additional Pizza Inn restaurants in AL, AR, MS, and TN.

Gordon Food Service is planning three new distribution centers, one each in MI, GA, and PA. In addition, the Ocala FL facility will be consolidated into the company’s Plant City FL operations.

Gosh Enterprises (dba Charley’s Grill Subs, Charley’s Philly Steaks) plans to open 25 restaurants in Russia.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts announced an agreement for 60 new restaurants in South Korea over the next five years.

McDonald’s announced Henry Nguyen as developmental licensee for Vietnam.

NPC International finalized the acquisition of 22 Wendy’s restaurants from The Wendy’s Company.

Quiznos opened its first two Russian locations.

Round Table Pizza opened a restaurant in Mongolia.

Souper Salad has refranchised 16 of its locations since last fall.

Tossed announced a development agreement for the Middle East and North Africa.

The Wendy’s Company plans to sell 425 corporate restaurants to franchisees by the second quarter of 2013.

Wyndham Hotel Group opened its first location in Iraq.


Real Estate:

Captain D’s will be adding four new locations in AL and TN.

Dickey’s Barbecue reported a multi-unit franchise agreement for nine new locations in central CA.

Dunkin’ Brands announced a development agreement for 45 restaurants in southern CA, the first opening in 2015 and another multi-unit development agreement for 18 traditional Dunkin’ Donuts and one co-branded Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins in southern TX between 2014 and 2018.

Einstein Bros. Bagels plans seven restaurants in the Memphis area, three in Birmingham, and two each in Tuscaloosa and Huntsville, AL.

PDQ plans to open locations in AL, GA, PA, TN, and TX within the next year.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced its biggest retail expansion in the company’s history with the grand opening of its Solon, OH store. Over the next 18 months, Peet’s will open more than 90 new stores in eight markets across the Midwest and East Coast. The retail expansion officially begins in Cleveland, OH with a total of 10 stores opening throughout the month, and eight stores in Columbus, OH opening later this month through early September. The expansion will continue later this fall with new Peet’s store openings in PA and MI. Beginning next year and over the next 18 months, Peet’s will roll out new stores in the Midwest and East Coast.

Pie Five Pizza Co., a subsidiary of Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc., announced that it has awarded franchise rights to two veteran restaurant groups that will open seven restaurants in Wichita, KS, and Tulsa, OK and six Pie Five locations in Omaha and Lincoln, NE.

Red Mango is targeting KY, ME, OH, TN, TX, and WI to open numerous locations beginning this year.

Smoothie King Franchises is targeting the Jacksonville, FL, metro area for franchise growth.

Sun Holdings acquired three Krispy Kreme Doughnuts locations in July 2013 and plans to add 15 more.

Togo’s Eateries plans to develop six new restaurants over the next several years in the Salt Lake City area, with the first location scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2014.

Tropical Smoothie Café is targeting AL for growth and plans to add 13 new locations over the next several years.