Personnel Updates:

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has named Thorsten Kirschke President of the group’s Asia-Pacific region, replacing Simon Barlow in the role.

CEC Entertainment Inc. (dba Chuck E. Cheese’s) CEO/President Michael H. Magusiak will retire on June 2; the company has initiated a search for his replacement.

Così, Inc. announced the appointment of R.J. Dourney as its CEO/President. Cosi also announced that Stephen Edwards, previously CEO/President, will assume the role of Executive Chairman.

Crumbs Bake Shop, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Frederick G. Kraegel as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The company also announced that Edward M. Slezak has been appointed as permanent CEO and Ronda S. Kase has been named Secretary.

DiamondRock Hospitality Company announced that Troy Furbay will join the company as Exec VP and CIO, effective 4/22/14.

Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. announced  two executive promotions: Lou Beccarelli, Regional VP, Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC; and Rick Woods, VP, Baskin-Robbins Operations U.S. and Canada.

Elevation Burger named Rick Altizer as its new CEO.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts  announced the promotion of Christopher Norton to the newly created role of Executive VP, Global Product and Operations and named Jane Burnell VP Sales Americas.

Hersha Hospitality Trust named Charles Paloux VP of Asset Management.

Homestyle Dining LLC, parent company of Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants, announced that John Kelly has joined the company as VP of Marketing.

Ignite Restaurant Group Inc.’s Chief Marketing Officer, Robin Ahearn, stepped down on April 1, and the company said it will not replace the position.

Intercontinental Hotel Group announced the departure of COO Robert Morse and the appointment of Lew Fader as interim COO.

Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group promoted Barry Pollard to Senior VP – Hotel Operations and James Lin to Senior VP – Restaurants & Bars

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. announced that Senior VP Kenneth J. Hudson will retire from the Company by the end of the year.

Loews Hotels & Resorts has promoted Michael Palmeri to Senior VP, Acquisitions and Development.

McDonald’s Corp. COO Tim Fenton will retire effective 10/1/14; the position will not be replaced.

Mexican Restaurants, Inc. announced that Curt Glowacki is no longer MRI’s CEO/President and that Loic Porry is no longer MRI’s COO. MRI also announced the appointment of Marcus Jundt as CEO, Perry Brush, President and Chief Development Officer and Lawrence Neumann, CFO.

Omni Homestead Resort has appointed Wayne Kearney as Director of Resort Sales.

Orion Food Systems announced that Steve Watkins has been promoted to CEO.

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association named John Longstreet CEO/President effective 4/21/14; he was most recently at Lube Holdings (dba Quaker Steak & Lube).

Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc. announced several additions to its leadership team: Chris Smith has been promoted to Senior VP of Operations for Pie Five Pizza; Perry Jones was hired as its new VP of Real Estate; Donna M. Lee has been appointed Controller of Pizza Inn Holdings; and Christian Cox joined Pizza Inn as Director of Information Technology.

Sage Hospitality appointed Todd Iseri Area Director of Sales and Marketing.

Sonesta named Mark Sherwin as Executive VP Operations.

Spire Hospitality appointed Greg Horeth to COO.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced that Osvaldo Librizzi will step down from his current role, Co-President of The Americas, at the end of the year. Sergio Rivera, currently Co-President of the Americas, will become President of the Americas. Starwood also appointed Jorge Giannattasio as Chief of Latin America Operations & Global Initiatives, and named Achim Lenders as VP Global Food and Beverage.

Tavistock Restaurants announced that John T. Bettin has been selected as CEO of its Upscale Collection of restaurants.

Togo’s Eateries, Inc. announced the promotion of Eric Coolbaugh to Director of Regional Marketing.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint added Scott Goodrich to its executive team as VP of field operations and support.


Financial Focus:

Affinity Gaming reported net revenue of $390,488,000 for the year ending 12/31/13.

Canterbury Park Holdings reported net operating revenues of $46,736,000 for the year ending 12/31/13.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurants reported total revenues of $333,115,000 for the year ending 12/30/13.

ClubCorp Holdings reported total revenues of $815,080,000 for the year ending 12/31/13.

Crumbs Bake Shop Inc. reported net sales of $47,203,000 for the year ending 12/31/13.

Fired Up Inc. (dba Johnny Carino’s) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed 19 underperforming stores.

Granite City Food & Brewery reported restaurant revenue of $134,163,000 for the year ending 12/31/14.

Hastings Entertainment reported total revenues of $435,962,000 for the year ending 1/31/14.

InnVest REIT reported total hotel revenue of $585,088,000 for the year ending 12/31/13.

Quiznos filed a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy to facilitate restructuring.


Mergers & Acquisitions:

Full House Resorts announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with The Majestic Star Casino LLC to acquire all of the outstanding membership interests of the entity operating Fitzgerald’s Casino, (the “Fitz Casino”) in Tunica, MS. The agreement is subject to Full House obtaining financing for the acquisition within 90 days of its execution, obtaining regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions.

Gordon Food Service acquired Glazier Foods Co.

K-MAC Holdings Corp. acquired an additional 21 Taco Bell restaurants in the Oklahoma City market.

Morgan’s Foods, Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement in which Apex Restaurant Management, Inc. will acquire Morgan’s Foods; the proposed acquisition is subject to approval by Morgan’s Foods’ shareholders and is expected to close during the summer of 2014.

Newk’s Eatery chain has been acquired by private-equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announced two significant transactions: the closing of the sale of the Marriott London Grosvenor Square hotel and the acquisition of the remaining 50% ownership interest in the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

The Manischewitz Company was acquired by an affiliate of Bain Capital.

Tropicana Entertainment Inc. announced that it has completed its acquisition of Lumiere Place Casino, HoteLumiere, and the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis from Pinnacle Entertainment.

Williston Holding Company, Inc. announced that it acquired approximately 80% of Mexican Restaurants, Inc.


Industry Insight:

Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced it will close Harrah’s Tunica. The property will cease operations on 6/2/14.

Cici’s Pizza locations in central OH closed.

DineEquity, Inc., parent company of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants, announced the opening of the first IHOP restaurant in Bahrain.

Dunkin’ Donuts has signed an agreement to open about 65 locations in Brazil.

Famous Brands International, parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, has announced a master franchise agreement that will bring 28 TCBY stores to Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam within the next 10 years.

Fuddruckers inked a deal for 10 restaurant throughout Italy, the first of which opened recently.

GRILLiT Inc. changed its name to Healthy & Tasty Brands Corporation.

Johnny Rockets announced an area development agreement for Hawaii and Guam.

Legal Sea Foods opened a new concept called Legal Crossing.

Restaurants Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, revealed its new name and look last week. Liam Dolan is the new Chairman.

Starbucks plans to introduce alcohol and light food offerings at thousands of its urban locations.

The Wendy’s Company completed its System Optimization initiative by selling a total of 418 company-operated restaurants in four U.S. markets.


Real Estate:

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza announced plans for three NY locations.

Chick-fil-A is planning a big expansion into New York City.

Corner Bakery Café signed a new multi-unit development agreement to open its first restaurants in Central and Eastern TN as well as the state of KY beginning next year

Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, announced the signing of a multi-unit store development agreement for five Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and one Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin-Robbins combination location throughout East Texas. The first restaurant is planned to open in summer 2014, and the remainder by 2018. Dunkin’ Donuts also announced an agreement for three new restaurants in Colorado Springs.

Fresh To Order (f2o) signed multi-unit franchise agreements for 11 new Fresh To Order restaurants in Charlotte, NC.; Greenville, SC.; and Gwinnett County, GA.

GRILLiT announced master franchise development agreements for CA, AZ and TX.

Jersey Mike’s would like to have approximately 30 locations across Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties within the next five years.

Johnny Rockets is focused on developing markets in TX’s largest cities: Houston, Dallas and San Antonio; its flexible footprint range from 700-7,000 square feet.

Larry’s Giant Subs opened its first MN location.

MOD Pizza expects to open 20 locations in the remainder of 2014; the company is targeting WA, OR and Los Angeles as well as Phoenix, Houston, and San Francisco.

Peet’s will open 23 stores in Washington DC and nearly 20 stores in Chicago.

Sonic, the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain, is searching for as many as 13 franchise operators in New York’s Capital Region.