Personnel Updates:

American Restaurant Concepts named Daniel Slone as CFO. The company also announced the addition of three industry veterans: Mark Janasik as Director of Operations; Sandi Holley as Director of Training and Quality Assurance; and Michael Small as Director of Business Development.

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza promoted four executives to support its expansion plans: Pat Marzano was named President/CFO, Charles Locke, Jr. was appointed COO, Kevin L. May was promoted to VP of Finance/Controller and Chris Fusaro was appointed regional VP of Operations.

Black Bear Diner hired Doug Branigan as VP of Franchise Development. Branigan was previously COO for the Sprinkles cupcake chain.

Corner Bakery Cafe promoted Gregg Koffler to VP of Franchise Sales.

Crispers hired Dawn Voss as CEO. She formerly the Chief Administrative Officer of Noodles and Company.

Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants Inc. has named Brian Maupin to the newly created position of CIO.

East Coast Wings & Grill announced the promotion of Tom Scalese to COO.

Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC announced that Steven C. Weigel joined the company as COO/Exec VP.

Ginger Beef Corporation announce the passing of CFO Michael Poon; James Leung was named Interim CFO and Corporate Secretary.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. announced that Robert P. Ostryniec becomes its Chief Product Supply Officer

GRILLiT, Inc. hired Ghazi Hajj as the new Chairman/CEO. GRILLIiT’s former CEO, Raymond Dias, transitions into his new role as COO.

HMSHost promoted Sarah Naqvi to CIO.

InterContinental Hotel Group named Thomas DeLouise Director of Food and Beverage Operations, the Americas.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Carrie McIntyre as CFO.

Jack in the Box Inc. announced that Linda A. Lang will retire as the company’s Chairman/CEO, effective 1/4/14. President/COO Leonard A. Comma will become Chairman/CEO/President of Jack in the Box Inc. at that time.

Square 1 Burgers & Bar co-owner Joanie Corneil is now CEO. Corneil owns the Tampa-based burger chain with Bill Shumate and Ray Leich.

LC Corporate, LLC (dba Lion’s Choice) new CEO/President is Mark Disper.

Liquid Nutrition announced that Evan Brown has resigned as CFO and a search has now been initiated to hire his replacement. In the interim period, Greg Chamandy will be assuming the role of CFO. Liquid Nutrition also announced that the Company’s co-founder, Chantal Chamandy, has been appointed President and Chief Marketing Officer.

Luna Grill named Daniel Lowe Director of Operations.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian appointed Mike Weinberger as its new CEO. Owner and former CEO Michael Haith will continue to serve as Chairman

McDonald’s named Sarah Casanova as its new Japan CEO.

Mimi’s Cafe announced the promotion of three executive-level operations leaders: Stuart Gee to VP Operations, Mimi’s Café; Mike Foster to western region VP of Operations; and John Shackelford to eastern region VP Operations.

Morgans Hotel Group Co. CEO Michael Gross resigned; Jason T. Kalisman, the Company’s Chairman, has been named Interim CEO.

Peter Piper Pizza Inc. named its President, Charles Bruce, as its new CEO.

R.W. Smith & Co. named Stuart Sharp to the newly created position of COO.

Rita’s Franchise Co. hired industry veteran Jeff Moody as CEO and John Dombroski CFO/Senior VP, succeeding Robert Guthmann.

Rosa Mexicano announced that Tom Dillon has been named the CEO/President. Previously, Dillon was President/COO at Richard Sandoval Restaurants.

SONIC Drive-In announced the hiring of John Budd in the newly created role of Chief Development and Strategy Officer.

Stockade Cos. LLC named Vince Runco as CEO, succeeding Tom Ford.

Stowe Mountain Lodge hired Robert Clarke as Director of Food and Beverage.

Sysco Corporation named Tom Bené as Executive VP/Chief Commercial Officer and Mike Green as Executive VP and President of Foodservice Operations.

The Marcus Corporation announced the promotion of Thomas F. Kissinger to Senior Executive VP of The Marcus Corporation. In addition, the company announced the promotions of Steven S. Bartelt to Director of Legal Affairs and Mary Beth Castino to Director of Risk Management.

Tim Hortons Inc. announced the appointment of Steve Wuthmann as Executive VP of Human Resources; Tim Hortons U.S.A. named Larry Mench VP of U.S. Operations.

Toppers Pizza named Chris Cheek as the brand’s first Chief Development Officer.


Financial Focus:

Sysco Corporation reported total sales of $44,411,233,000 for the year ending 6/29/13.

Zaxby’s Franchising, Inc. announced it hit a billion dollars in gross sales in the past 12 months.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Cold Stone Creamery and its parent company, Kahala Corp., have new Canadian owners after a controlling interest in the company was sold in an auction to the Markham, ON-based Serruya family.

Flynn Restaurant Group LLC acquired 62 Taco Bell and related Yum! Brands restaurants in the St. Louis market from Gateway Bells LLC.

MTR Gaming Group, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has received notice from Jacobs Entertainment, Inc. that it has withdrawn its non-binding unsolicited proposal to the Board of Directors that the Company acquire Jacobs.

Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. announced that it has completed the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, Inc. Pinnacle later announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of Lumiere Place Casino, HoteLumiere, the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis, and related excess land parcels to Tropicana Entertainment Inc.

Red Lion Beef Corp. (dba Lion’s Choice) was acquired by Mark Disper and his investment fund Black Rock Holdings, LLC. The corporate name was subsequently changed to LC Corporate, LLC.


Industry Insight:

AMC Entertainment moved its headquarters to 11500 Ash Street in Leawood, KS; the phone number is 913-213-3000.

Buffalo Wild Wings signed a development agreement for the Philippines.

Legacy Foodservice Alliance announced that Sansone Food Products, Inc. and Dandy Distributors are new members.

Liquid Nutrition announced that it has decided to relocate its corporate offices from Toronto to Montreal.

Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. announced the grand opening of Freighters Eatery & Taproom, a proprietary restaurant concept in Port Huron, Michigan.

Old Chicago recently teamed up with Anton Airfood Inc. to open multiple locations of the popular bar and restaurant chain in major U.S. airports.

QSR International has signed a three-unit Quiznos development agreement for the country of Nicaragua.

Subway plans to add as many as 1,000 new locations in Europe in 2014.

Taco Bueno is launching its first-ever food truck, TaGO Bueno. The truck will be scheduled at major events and food truck parks around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, with the intention of expanding to other markets including Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The Broiler, a Sacramento steakhouse since 1950, closed over Labor Day weekend.

Tim Hortons opened its first restaurant in Kuwait.

TriMark Century Concepts relocated its Atlanta facility to 6684 Jimmy Carter Blvd., Ste. 200 in Peachtree Corners, GA  30071; the phone number remains unchanged.

Urban Expositions acquired the U.S. restaurant and lodging portfolio from Reed Exhibitions, which includes the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Expo Comida Latina. As part of the acquisition, Urban Expositions also purchased the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York from the New York State Restaurant Association.


Real Estate:

Chuy’s Holdings Inc. opened its first location in OH.

CiCi’s Pizza said it has plans to open nine new restaurants in the South FL area over the next five years and is seeking a franchise partner in the region.

Corner Bakery Cafe announced that it is entering the OK and MA markets, as well as three new markets in FL and CA as part of five multi-unit restaurant franchise agreements. The agreements represent nine new restaurants in San Diego, seven in OK, 14 in Tampa, 10 in Northeast FL and 21 in Boston. The first cafes in each market are expected to open next year.

Del Taco reported seven new franchise agreements for 39 new Del Taco restaurants across the country, including Central CA, CO, GA, NM, SC and TX. Simultaneously, the company has announced five new markets for multi-unit development and a search for new franchise partners. The new markets where Del Taco is looking to develop multi-units and add new franchise partners include Seattle/Portland (60 restaurants), Houston/San Antonio (65 restaurants), Southern GA (Macon/Augusta/Savannah, 22 restaurants), Tampa/St. Petersburg (44 restaurants), and Charleston, SC (9 restaurants).

Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for eight new restaurants in Rochester, NY, and for seven new restaurants in La Crosse and Eau Claire, WI.

Huddle House Inc. will open 11 franchise locations in the NC Triad during the next five years.

McAlister’s Deli, a leading fast casual restaurant, announced its largest franchisee, The Saxton Group, has signed an agreement to develop 30 new restaurants in three states over the next six years. The growth will occur in markets throughout TX, OK, KS and MO with a primary focus in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Kansas City markets.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea announced the opening of six store locations throughout the Columbus, OH area.

Smashburger announced that it is adding franchise partners in five markets: Tallahassee, FL.; Charleston, SC; Salt Lake City; Colorado Springs; and Ventura County, CA, for a total of 19 Smashburger locations. Smashburger is also rapidly expanding in OH, with up to five new locations expected in Columbus.

Sonic Drive-In restaurant chain said it plans to open 14 new Seattle-area locations; the first location will open in the fall of 2014 and the rest by 2018.

Twin Peaks Restaurants announced a development agreement to open the concept’s first restaurants in WI and the Pacific Northwest. Twin Peaks Restaurants also plans to open four locations in Southwest FL.

Yogurtland announced it has signed franchise agreements for 20 more units, bringing the total in the pipeline to 100 additional locations.


Green News:

MGM Grand Detroit completed an LED lamp retrofit of its 61-acre parking garage. The three-month installation boasts 3,117 LED lamps and will reduce the garage’s annual energy use by 80 percent at the destination resort. As a part of the MGM Resorts Green Advantage sustainability platform, the company earlier this year initiated a program to install 1,600 induction technology lighting fixtures covering 160 acres of open lot parking area at its resorts in Las Vegas. Additionally, MGM Resorts recently announced the planned installation of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center.

Ted’s Montana Grill has become the first national restaurant concept to partner with Greener Fields Together, the groundbreaking sustainability and local produce program. Greener Fields Together, created by PRO*ACT, is dedicated to working with foodservice and retail operators to achieve their sustainability goals.

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) welcomed Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. as a new member. TSC is an organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives innovation to improve consumer product sustainability.