Personnel Updates:

Benchmark Hospitality reported the following promotions: Alex Cabañas to CEO/President, Greg Champion to Exec VP and COO, Jackie Allee to Director of Communications. The company also named Andy Finn VP, Group Sales and appointed Kirk Coleman to Director of Corporate Information Technology.

Boston Pizza Restaurant appointed Mark Pacinda as CEO/President of US and Mexican operations.

Brinker announced that Joe DePinto has been elected Chairman of the Board of Directors, succeeding Doug Brooks.

Carvel named Chris Campagna as VP of Brand Marketing; he was most recently at Atlanta Bread Company.

Chick-fil-A named Dan Cathy its new Chairman/CEO. Cathy, who has been COO replaces his father, Truett Cathy, who will remain at the company as Chairman Emeritus.

Cinemark Holdings’ new VP of Food and Beverage Phillip Couch will assume the role 1/1/14.

Craft Brew Alliance announced that CEO Terry Michaelson will step down in January and Andy Thomas, CBA’s President of Commercial Operations, will take his place. The company also hired Ken Kunze as Chief Marketing Officer. Additionally, Derek Hahm was named to a new role of Chief of Staff and will be responsible for a number of key corporate functions, including human resources, administration and corporate affairs.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. named Carol Austin VP of Marketing for Baskin-Robbins U.S. & Canada, replacing Dan Wheeler, who has been appointed VP, New Products and Innovation for Dunkin’ Donuts U.S.

East Coast Wings & Grill appointed Bryant Murray as Director of Franchise System Training.

Hersha Hospitality named Dani Elhachem Senior VP of Operations. Elhachem was most recently the VP of Operations at Denihan Hospitality Group.

HOA Restaurant Group (dba Hooters) appointed Jim Parrish as COO and Mark Whittle as VP of Franchise Development for North America.

Jack in the Box Inc. announced the promotions of three executives: Mark H. Blankenship, Ph.D., to Exec VP and Chief People, Culture & Corporate Strategy Officer; Paul D. Melancon to Senior VP of Finance, Controller & Treasurer; and Keith Guilbault to Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer.

Johnny Rockets announced the appointment of James Walker as Chief Development Officer (CDO); most recently, Walker served as the CDO for Family Sports Concepts (dba Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and The Brass Tap). The company also hired Chad Hope as CFO from Family Sports Concepts and announced the appointment of Scott Chorna as Senior VP of International Development.

Las Vegas Sands named David Horton as the new Chief Marketing Officer; he was the Global Head of Marketing for Hilton Hotels and Resorts.

Le Duff America Inc., owner of Bruegger’s Bagels, announced that Miguel Fernandez will join the Burlington-based company in the newly created role of COO. Fernandez was most recently Exec VP and COO for Apple Metro Inc.

Loews Hotels & Resorts appointed Mary Reid Executive Director of National Accounts for the Midwestern region.

Long John Silver’s named Joseph Lutz COO.

Lyfe Kitchen hired Elizabeth Carrier as Director of Franchise Operations.

Marriott International named Karin Timpone as Global Marketing Officer.

Maui Wowi Hawaiian, a Hawaiian coffee and fresh fruit smoothie franchise, announced the recent hiring of Ms. Kerri DeLaRosa as Director of Franchise Support.

McDonald’s will restructure its European business effective 1/1/14: Jill McDonald will become President of the North West Division (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and the UK); Mark Hawthorne will become Managing Director of McDonald’s UK; Khamzat Khasbulatov will become President of a new Central Division (all markets across Central and Eastern Europe including Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine); Alexey Semenov becomes COO and Managing Director of McDonald’s Russia; Piotr Jucha will be Regional VP for Central Europe for all Central Division markets except Russia. The Southern Division will continue to consist of Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Morocco, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, with Jean-Pierre Petit as Division President and Joao Lopes as Regional VP responsible for all markets apart from France.

Montage Hotels & Resorts hired Andrea Evans as Corporate Director of Human Resources.

Native Foods Café hired John Miller as CFO.

Newk’s Holding Company promoted Kevin Anderson to VP of Company Operations.

Palms Casino Resort appointed Daniel Lee as CEO, taking over from Joseph Magliarditi. Lee was previously CEO of Pinnacle Entertainment.

Pret A Manger promoted Joseph Iazzetta to VP of Store Development.

Real Mex Restaurants selected James J. Zenni as Chairman. The company also announced the following appointments: Blake Barnett to Chief Financial Officer; Rio Gueli to Exec VP of Operations; Mark Bartholomay to Exec VP of Operations; Jared Dougherty to Senior VP of Marketing; Thanh Ninh to Senior VP of Human Resources.

SBE named Corey Conrad as Director of Special Events.

Smashburger CEO Dave Prokupek resigned and was replaced by President Scott Crane.

Stellar Restaurant Group (dba Boloco) CEO, John Pepper, resigned.

Texas Roadhouse appointed Celia Catlett as General Counsel.

The Broadmoor named Jack Damioli VP and Managing Director.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf named John Dawson as President and CEO, replacing Mel Elias.

The Woodstock Inn & Resort named Gary Thulander President and General Manager.

Tijuana Flats hired Todd Chase as CFO.

Union Square Hospitality Management hired Sabato Sagaria as Chief Restaurant Officer.

Veggie Grill named Gantry Praw as VP of Marketing.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced that Douglas McMillon will become CEO on 2/1/14. He will succeed current CEO Michael Duke, who will retire.

Wendy’s Co. hired Bob Wright as COO; he was most recently President/COO at Charley’s Grilled Subs.

Yum! Brands is realigning its brand divisions effective 1/1/14. U.S. and international operations will be combined for KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell; Yum! Restaurants China and Yum! Restaurants India will remain as separate divisions. Micky Pant was named CEO of KFC, Scott Bergren and Greg Creed will remain as CEO of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, respectively. Yum! Brands President Rick Carucci will retire in 3/14.


Financial Focus:

Ark Restaurants Corp. reported total revenue of $130,598,000 for the year ending 9/28/13.

Starbucks Corporation reported total net revenues of $14,892,200,000 for the fiscal year ended 9/29/13.

Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. reported total revenue of $240,780,000 for the year ending 9/30/13; F&B sales were $30,155,000.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Carmike Cinemas, Inc. announced and later concluded its acquisition of the nine entertainment complexes operated by Muvico Entertainment LLC in CA, FL and IL.

Centre Partners, a New York-based private equity firm, completed its acquisition of Nashville-based Captain D’s.

Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. announced that it has acquired a majority stake in JF Restaurants, LLC and JF Franchising Systems, LLC, owners of the Just Fresh Restaurant chain.

NPC International acquired an additional 54 Wendy’s locations in the Salt Lake City market.

Roark Capital Group finalized its previously announced acquisition of acquire CKE Inc., parent of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s.

Wendy’s franchisee Bodan Inc. (aka Group W Partners LLC) acquired an additional 23 restaurant in OR and WA.


Industry Insight:

Arabian Nights dinner attraction in Kissimmee will close at the end of December.

Bloomin’ Brands entered an agreement to acquire controlling interest in its Outback Steakhouse operations in Brazil.

Burger King Worldwide signed a joint venture deal with French restaurant operator Groupe Olivier Bertrand to build 250 restaurants in France.

Chez Henri closed in Cambridge, MA, after 19 years.

Cinemark Holdings completed the divestiture of its holdings in Cinemark de Mexico S.A. de C.V.

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. voluntarily deregistered its stock in a cost-saving measure.

James Coney Island is changing its name and signage to the name JCI Grill.

Johnny Rockets opened its first location in Malaysia.

Joyce Foods Inc. changed its name to Joyce Farms Inc.

KFC closed its last location in Syria.

Menchie’s opened its 350th location.

Panda Express opened its first location in Guam.

Panera Bread plans to build catering hubs to move the catering business out of its stores in order to enhance customer service.

Quiznos signed a franchise agreement that takes the company into Indonesia for the first time; the agreement calls for the franchisee to open 100 locations in Indonesia in the next 10 years.

Yum! Brands is realigning its brand divisions effective 1/1/14. U.S. and international operations will be combined for KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell; Yum! Restaurants China and Yum! Restaurants India will remain as separate divisions. Micky Pant was named CEO of KFC, Scott Bergren and Greg Creed will remain as CEO of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, respectively. Yum! Brands President Rick Carucci will retire in 3/14.


Real Estate:

Auntie Anne’s expects to open 65 nontraditional units in 2014.

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza signed an agreement for 19 locations in areas including Austin and San Antonio, TX; New Orleans; Jackson, MS.; and Birmingham, AL. Another agreement will bring six restaurant to Raleigh-Durham, NC.

Corner Bakery Café signed two multi-unit franchise agreements for new restaurants in AZ (13) and WI (10).

Dunkin’ Donuts announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement with three existing franchise groups to develop twelve new restaurants in Detroit, MI., over the next several years. Dunkin’ Donuts also plans to open 12 restaurants in the Memphis area beginning in 2015.

Glory Days Grill is offering franchise opportunities in the tri-state area, covering parts of Greater Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland and is recruiting experienced franchisees.

Huddle House signed deals for eight new restaurants in AL, GA, and IL and is looking to expand further.

Jack in the Box Inc. projects 10 new JIB restaurants and 60-70 new Qdoba locations.

Kona Grill is planning three restaurants in the Atlanta market.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. announced it will open four of its signature doughnut shops in Anchorage and Matanuska Valley, AK, during the next three years.

M.O.D. Pizza opened its first locations in CA and OR.

McAlister’s Deli franchisee Southwest Deli will develop 24 restaurant in ID, NM, TX, and UT.

Pie Five Pizza signed a franchise agreement for 10 locations in Nashville.

Quaker Steak & Lube signed a development agreement for seven restaurants along the I-10 corridor from Beaumont, TX to Destin, FL. The seven markets include Beaumont, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Gulfport/Biloxi, and Mobile/Pensacola/Fort Walton with an option to develop additional locations in the Shreveport/Bossier, Alexandria and Monroe markets.

Smashburger is seeking sites in the Central Florida market for up to 18 stores between Orlando and Jacksonville; Atlantic Retail Properties is acting as broker.

Smoothie King has eight area development agreements to expand in Wichita and other markets.

Taco Bell plans to add 2,000 new restaurants in the U.S. in the next 10 years.

The Habit Burger & Grill is launching a franchising program with the hope of expanding on the East Coast.

Togo’s announced it has signed development agreements with new and existing franchise operators to open two restaurants in Los Angeles, two in Sacramento and single new locations in units in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Riverbank, El Centro and Petaluma.

Tropical Smoothie Café plans to add 15 more locations in AL and is seeking franchise partners for development in Birmingham, Mobile, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Florence.


Green News:

Hersha Hospitality Trust was selected to receive NAREIT’s 2013 Lodging & Resorts Leader in the Light Award for its EarthView program, the company’s sustainable portfolio-wide energy use practices and sustainability initiatives. EarthView, Hersha’s sustainability program, is the internal driver of the company’s success in managing and reducing its portfolio-wide energy use. Through the EarthView program, Hersha achieved reductions in energy, water and waste that lowered the company’s environmental impact while producing property-level savings.