Personnel Updates

Caribou Coffee and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group have a new CEO. JaB Holdings appointed Sarah Spiegel to fill the role of CEO at both organizations. Spiegel had been COO and Brand President for Einstein. In a related move, John Butcher has been named President of Caribou Coffee.

Church’s Chicken announced that Tony Moralejo has assumed the position of Exec VP, International Business. In other news, the company promoted Laura Reese to Senior Director, Digital Marketing.

CKE Restaurants Inc. has reshaped its C-Suite. In the first round of the reshuffle, the company hired Jeff Jenkins as Chief Marketing Officer and Tom Brennan as COO while promoting Chip Seigel to Chief Legal Officer. In round 2, Joanna Shepard was named Chief People Officer and Stephen Carvelli was named CIO, while Jim Sullivan was promoted to Chief Development Officer.

Dunkin’ Brands Group announced the promotion of Jason Maceda to Senior VP, Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada.

East Coast Wings Corp. hired Mark Lyso as its new Exec VP of Operations.

Fox Restaurant Concepts named Chandon Clenard as Corporate Brand Chef for True Food Kitchen.

Hard Rock named Stephen Judge President of Restaurant Operations.

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q COO Bryan Lyman was promoted to President following Roark Capital’s acquisition of the concept.

The Krystal Co. named Catherine Jefferson Chief People Officer.

Lenny’s Grill & Subs hired Jennifer Benjamin as VP of Franchise & Market Development.

Logan’s Roadhouse named David Catalano COO.

Quaker Steak & Lube hired Bruce Lane as VP of Franchise Services.

Rave Restaurant Group appointed Tim Breen as VP of Franchise Operations at Pie Five.

Rita’s Franchise Co. named Phyllis Savar Levy CMO. She replaces Robin Seward.

Salsarita’s announced Ken Green as its new President and COO.

sbe Entertainment Group brought in Scott Kleckner to serve as VP of Restaurant Operations.

Smoothie King Franchises named Dan Harmon COO (replacing the retiring Tom O’Keefe) and Jennifer Herskind to the newly created post of Chief Marketing Officer.

Starbucks Corp. named Lucy Lee Helm Chief Partner Officer (Human Resources).

Sysco CEO Bill DeLaney will leave the company at the end of the year, at which point President and COO Tom Bené will assume the position.

Taco John’s hired Tom Meyer as VP of Marketing.

WingHouse Bar and Grill announced the appointment of Dennis Prescott as CEO.

Wingstop Restaurants Inc. named Stacy Peterson, formerly its CIO, to the newly created position of Chief Experience Officer.


Industry Insight

Baskin-Robbins partnered with DoorDash to offer delivery at more than 600 locations in 22 cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.

Bold Food LLC, with sights set on expansion, announced the launch of a global licensing program for Bobby’s Burger Palace as well as a ‘mini-IPO’ for the concept.

Buffalo Wild Wings identified 83 restaurants that it will sell to franchisees this year.

Costco is trialing a burger at food courts in Seattle and a limited number of California locations.

Firehouse Subs opened its first airport location (Jacksonville, FL), which also becomes the first location to serve breakfast.

Four Foods Group acquired Hawaiian-inspired mini-chain Mo’Bettahs (UT). The acquisition raises the company’s total restaurant count to 100+.

Pizza Hut plans to hire 14,000 new drivers in the second half of 2017 and roll out new delivery software in a bid to up its delivery game.

Punch Bowl Social received a private equity investment from L Catterton that will fund expansion.

Smashburger has teamed with marketing company Punchh to begin offering Apple Pay in stores later this year.

Subway announced that its new design concept, Fresh Forward, is now in place in 12 pilot locations. Plans for a large-scale rollout have yet to be announced.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Back Yard Burgers has a new private equity owner, Axum Capital Partners.

Firebird Restaurant Group acquired four-unit Village Burger Bar.

Flynn Restaurant Group acquired 34 Panera locations from Panera’s original franchisee, Original Bread. The latter no longer holds any Panera locations.

Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q was acquired by Roark Capital.

US Foods Inc. is acquiring Midwest broadline distributors Braunger Foodservice, The Thompson Company, and Variety Foods with plans to close the deal this month. US Foods will continue to operate all three companies.


Real Estate

Bar Louie is expanding to the West Coast with 59 locations (corporate and franchised) planned in California over the next 5 years.

Big Fish Restaurant Group (DE) purchased three properties – Washington Street Ale House, Mikimotos Asian Grill and Sushi Bar and Stingray Restaurant

Checkers & Rally’s will introduce its 4.0 store concept as it adds 28 new Central Florida locations in the next few years. A notable feature of 4.0 is its single drive-thru lane.

Freshii is just one of two dozen foodservice concepts planned for the Irving Music Factory, a $200 million entertainment and restaurant venue in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which will open over Labor Day weekend. Others include Boi Na Braza Brazilian Steakhouse, Bar Louie, Gloria’s Latin Kitchen, Grimaldi’s Pizza, Kabuki, TCBY, and Yardhouse, all of which are featured in CSG’s Restaurant Franchisee Premier Database.

Ground Round opened its first restaurant in Vermont.

Honeygrow plans to expand its footprint to 25 locations this year, focusing on the Boston, Chicago and DC markets.

Pie Five is expanding into New York and New Jersey with new franchisee AR Pizza, LLC.

Texas De Brazil opened its first Kentucky location in South Lexington.