Personnel Updates:

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. President Hala Moddelmog left the company to pursue other opportunities. Arby’s also announced that Rob Lynch will join the company as Arby’s Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer.

Black Angus Steakhouse named Dave Wolfgram its next CEO, effective 10/14/13. Wolfgram, who recently stepped down as chief executive of Andre Boudin Bakeries Inc., replaces Meredith “Merry” Taylor, who plans to retire.

Bojangles’ Restaurants Inc. announced that Randy Kibler plans to retire from his role as President and CEO once a successor is identified.

Boloco hired Eric Kinneburgh as Director of Culinary, including R&D, vendor relations, and food safety.

Canterbury Park officials announced that Eric Halstrom is returning as VP of Racing Operations; he was most recently at Churchill Downs Incorporated.

Carlson named Brad Hall as CFO and Treasurer.

CEC Entertainment (dba Chuck E. Cheese’s) hired Tim Ferrell as Safety Manager.

Church’s Chicken appointed Joe Christina as Exec VP of the chain’s U.S. Operations.

Concord Hospitality named Dean Wendel as Director of Food and Beverage.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. announced that Drew Madsen, Darden’s President and COO, will retire 11/24/13. Until his retirement, Mr. Madsen will serve as President, Transition Support. He will be succeeded, effective immediately, by Gene Lee, who currently serves as the President of Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group. With Lee’s appointment, the responsibilities of Kim Lopdrup, who has been leading the company’s New Business Development initiatives, have been expanded to include leadership of Darden’s Specialty Restaurant Group.

Del Taco announced the following promotions and appointments to its leadership team: Mike Lucero has been promoted to the role of VP of Franchise Development and Real Estate; John Druse has been promoted to VP of Design and Construction; Eric Grundmeier was named VP of Supply Chain and Quality Assurance; and David Wetzel was named VP of Franchise Operations. Grundmeier was most recently VP of Supply Chain and QA for Qdoba Restaurant Corporation.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. enhanced its IT leadership team with the appointment of David Starmer as VP – IT, Store Systems, and Paul Zaher as VP – IT, Marketing Systems. Mr. Starmer joined Dunkin’ Brands from Papa Murphy’s International.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. announced the appointment of John Coletta as CFO, effective 10/21/13. Coletta joins Einstein from the Quiznos sandwich chain.

Folk’s Folly has hired Benjamin Turk as its new Executive Chef.

Huddle House named Alison Delaney Chief Marketing Officer. Delaney succeeds Marc Butler, who left the company last month. Most recently, Delaney served as VP of menu innovation with Carlson Restaurants and was responsible for the T.G.I. Friday’s brand.

It’s Go Time LLC (dba Project Pie) has named Todd Owen VP of Franchise Development.

Ker’s Winghouse Bar & Grill appointed Kenneth Cox as CFO. He was most recently at Fresh City Acquisitions.

Loews Hotels & Resorts hired Alisha Waid as Executive Director of National Accounts for the Mid-Atlantic region and named Patty Metcalf-Sobczak as Executive Director of National Accounts for the Southeast region.

Marcus Hotels & Resorts announced that Joseph Khairallah has been appointed COO and Jeff Peterson has joined the company as VP of Operations.

McAlister’s Deli appointed Jeff Sturgis to the newly created role of Chief Development Officer, where he will lead development functions including franchise sales, real estate, store design and construction.

McDonald’s Corp. named Atif Rafiq as the company’s first Chief Digital Officer.

McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Neil Golden is leaving the company in early 2014.

MOD Pizza hired John Dikos as VP, Strategic Partnerships. Dikos served previously as Director of Franchise Development for Qdoba.

MTR Gaming Group, Inc. announced the appointment of Joseph L. Billhimer as permanent President and COO.

New York State Restaurant Association has named Melissa Autilio Fleischut has its next President and chief executive. Fleischut succeeds Rick Sampson.

Newk’s Eatery announced the hiring of Gary Brem as Director of Development and Klara Smith as the company’s General Counsel.

Pret A Manger has announced Robert Naylor as President of U.S. operations.

Quaker Steak & Lube announced it has hired chef Andre David Halston as the company’s Corporate Chef effective 10/21/13.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. announced the appointment of Michael Kaplan as Senior VP and Chief Legal Officer. The company also announced the appointment of John Schaufelberger as VP of Brand Marketing.

Richard Sandoval Restaurants announced the appointment of Alfonso Sumano to the position of Exec VP.

The Marcus Corporation announced the resignation of Kirk A. Rose, President of Marcus Hotels & Resorts. Thomas F. Kissinger, Senior Exec VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, will lead the Marcus Hotels & Resorts division until a successor is announced.

The Second Cup Ltd. announced that it has appointed Steve Boyack VP Finance and CFO.

The Wendy’s Company announced that Margaret R. Nollen has been named to the new position of Senior VP, Investor Relations and Strategy.

Tin Drum Asiacafé named two former Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. executives to new positions. Ray Biondi, Arby’s former Senior VP of Franchise Management, has been named Tin Drum’s new COO, and Joe Ippolito, Arby’s former VP of Operations, has been named Tim Drum’s VP of Operations.

Twin Peaks recently announced two executive promotions: Tim Timbs has been named VP of Supply Chain Management and Shannon Glaser has taken on a new role to become Senior Director of Franchise and Development.

Uncle Julio’s has named Tom Vogel as President and CEO, replacing Todd Conger. Vogel, is the former CEO of Kentucky-based Logan’s Roadhouse.


Financial Focus:

ARAMARK filed an initial registration document with the SEC in preparation for becoming a publicly-held company.

Hilton Worldwide filed an S-1 registration document with the SEC in preparation for becoming an initial public offering.

Pizza Inn Holdings Inc. reported revenues of $41,860,000 for the year ending 6/30/13.

Vail Resorts reported total net revenue of $1,129,797,000 for the year ending 7/31/13; dining revenues were $114,984,000.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Ablak Holdings (parent of Vocelli Pizza) acquired Rockn’ Joe Coffeehouse and Bistro.

MTR Gaming Group, Inc. and Eldorado Resorts, LLC announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which MTR Gaming Group will combine with the parent company of Eldorado Resorts, LLC in a stock merger. The combined new company will remain publicly traded and be named Eldorado Resorts, Inc. The anticipated closing of the transaction is in mid-2014.

MTY Food Group completed its acquisitions of Alimentation ThaiZone Inc. and Extreme Brandz,


Industry Insight:

Anton’s of Greensboro NC closed after more than 50 years.

CEC Entertainment (dba Chuck E. Cheese’s) opened its first unit in Peru.

Chipotle Mexican Grill opened its first German location in Frankfurt.

Clover Hill Foods, LLC announced that it is changing its name to Clover Mountain Foods, LLC.

Cold Stone Creamery entered South Africa.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. announced it has signed an area development agreement with Secret Recipe, a leading restaurant operator in Asia.  The company will initially develop 13 units under Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands in Malaysia.

Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it has signed agreements with two franchise groups to begin developing Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in the United Kingdom.

Fatburger opened its first location in Tunisia.

Johnny Rockets opened a location in Honduras.

Krispy Kreme opened its first shop in Moscow.

Saladworks plans to open up to 30 stores in Canada, the first of which will open early next year in Vancouver.

Sunny Street Cafe has signed a development agreement for Eastern Canada.

Wingstop is expanding into the United Arab Emirates with 15 new stores that will begin opening in the middle of next year.


Real Estate:

Bar Louie has 40 projected new openings for 2013 and 2014, including Ashburn VA, Minnetonka MN, Rochester NY, and Boston MA. In addition, Bar Louie has plans for nearly 100 new corporate and 100 franchise locations across the U.S. within the next five years.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced that it will open eight new restaurants in Southern CA in the coming months.

Boston Market opened a restaurant in Hialeah FL, the first new location in seven years; four more will open this year with Jacksonville FL as the next market.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants plans to open 46 new restaurants in Baltimore MD by 2018 through new franchises.

Cinnabon is planning a rapid expansion in MO and southern IL.

CBC Restaurant Corp. (dba Corner Bakery Café) announced plans to open as many as ten new restaurants in Northeast FL as part of a new multi-unit restaurant franchise agreement.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. has announced an agreement for six new shops for the San Antonio market and another agreement for 11 shops throughout western TX.

Freshii will open 16 new locations in new and existing markets in the remaining months of 2013.

Fuddruckers is expanding its footprint in Southern CA through a new franchise development partnership that will result in ten new stores throughout Orange County over the next several years.  The first is slated to debut by early 2015.

MOD Pizza plans to open seven more restaurants in CA, OR and WA by the end of the year, and is looking for franchise partners.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery announced a six-unit franchise development agreement in IA and NE over the next six years.

Roy Rogers Restaurants plans to open 100 new franchised location over the next five years.

Smashburger plans up to 30 new locations in the Washington DC market in the next five to seven years.

Togo’s Eateries, Inc. announced the signing of two multi-unit franchise agreements with an existing franchise group to develop 20 new restaurants in OR and CA over the next several years.

Twin Peaks opened its first Mississippi location. The company is also planning for its first location in MO.


Green News:

Las Vegas Sands Corp. has achieved a leadership position regarding the quality of climate change data it has submitted to the global marketplace through CDP, the world’s only global environmental disclosure system.

The InterContinental Hotels & Resorts brand is proud to be the first hotel chain to have all of its IHG corporate-managed restaurants in the U.S. and Canada become Certified Green Restaurants.