Personnel Updates

• Boston Market (42) named Eric Wyatt COO.

• CEC Entertainment (16) named Mahesh Sadarangani the new President of Peter Piper Pizza and Sherri Landry Chief Marketing Officer.

• Church’s Chicken (64) named Randall Lawrence VP of Supply Chain.

• Coolgreens (6) brought in Todd Madlener as VP Operations and Amanda Powell as Director of Operations and Training.

• Cornerstone Restaurant Group (8), operator of Michael Jordan’s restaurants, appointed Josh Zadikoff President. He’s the son of Cornerstone’s founder and CEO, David Zadikoff. In other moves Danny McGowan becomes COO and Matt Goldstick is the new CFO.

• Dickey’s Barbecue Pit (18) brought in Jared Madry to serve as its VP of Construction.

• Four Foods Group (12), a multi-brand franchisee named added President to the list of titles worn by co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Shauna Smith.

• Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (20) welcomed David Catalano onboard as COO. Catalano arrives at Fuzzy’s from Logan’s Roadhouse.

• KFC (55) CEO Roger Eaton will retire at the end of the year to be replaced by Tony Lowings, a longtime YUM! Brands executive.

• Noodles & Co. (16) appointed Ken Kuick CFO.

• McDonald’s (260) Chief Restaurant Officer Doug Goare will retire at the end of the year, and the company will reorganize its international operations. Joe Erlinger becomes President of International Operated Markets (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and the UK), while Ian Borden becomes President of International Developmental Licensed Markets (much of the rest of the world). Chris Kempczinski remains President, US.

• MOD Pizza (32) named John Maguire COO. Maguire recently exited his CEO position at Friendly’s and Johnny Rockets.

• Papa John’s (36) promoted Mike Nettles to the newly created position of Exec VP and Chief Operating and Growth Officer. In other promotions, Justin Falciola is the new Senior VP and Chief Analytics and Technology Officer; Ann Fischer becomes Senior VP of Customer Experience; Paul Fabre is Senior VP, Menu Strategy and Innovation; and Melissa Richards-Person becomes Senior VP and Chief Brand Officer.

• Paris Baguettte (8) named Darren Tipton VP of Operations.

• Pizza Hut (40) promoted Vipul Chawla to President of Pizza Hut International.

• Rave Restaurant Group (16) promoted Bob Bafundo to President and Andrea Allen to Chief Accounting and Administrative Officer.

• Real Mex Restaurants Inc. (16) named Randy Sharpe CEO and Ned Algeo CFO.

• Roy Rogers Restaurant (9) named Al Jones Director of Operations.

• Shake Shack (81) brought in John Karangis (formerly of Union Square Hospitality) as Executive Chef and VP of Culinary Innovation.

• Starbucks (463) has a new CFO, Patrick Grismer. Current CFO Scott Maw will retire in November.

• T.G.I. Friday’s Inc. (16) named Ray Blanchette CEO. Blanchette was formerly CEO of Ruby Tuesday’s.


Financial Focus

• RAVE Restaurant Group reported FYE 6/28/18 results: Total consolidated revenue decreased 42.0% to $15.1 million, due primarily to falling sales and store closures at Pie Five.


Industry Insight

• Applebees lost its legal battle to take back the 160+ stores currently owned by bankrupt franchisee RMH Franchise Holdings.

• Bojangles’ may be looking for a buyer.

• Carrols Restaurant Group added 40+ Burger King locations, bringing its total to 848.

• Charleys Philly Steaks opened its 600th worldwide location; of those, approximately 510 are located in the US.

• Cracker Barrel is hoping the introduction of fried chicken will help reverse a Q4 decline in traffic and same store sales.

• Dunkin’ Donuts will be known as simply “Dunkin” beginning in January when it will start to phase out the use of “Donuts” in its store name and branding as part of a plan to reposition the chain as a quick serve coffee company.

• Mr. Gatti’s Inc. continued to refranchise. It sold 13 corporate locations in Austin, TX.

• RAVE Restaurant Group closed 5 Pie Five locations and also announced a new streamlined prototype for the concept.

• Starbucks is planning layoffs and leadership changes in the face of struggles in recent quarters. The changes are likely to occur through mid-November.

• Subway now offers delivery at 9,000 locations after the company partnered with four 3rd party service providers, Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates.

• Urban Plates has secured a $35 million loan from Goldman Sachs and will use the cash to expand from 15 units (CA) to 50 over the next 3 years.

• Zoe’s Kitchen is partnering with American Airlines to offer a number of new in-flight dining options.


Mergers and Acquisitions

• Elite Restaurant Group (Slater’s 50/50 and Daphne’s) acquired 17-unit Patxis Pizza. In another deal, the company acquired Noon Mediterranean out of bankruptcy. With Noon, Elite will rebrand the 12 stores with the Daphne’s banners and develop a Noon/Daphne hybrid menu for the stores.

• Inspire Brands will buy Sonic Inc. for $2.3 billion.

• Lyfe Kitchen was sold by the Carlisle Group to its Chicago franchisee L3 Hospitality Group. The three Chicago area stores are the only ones that remain open, and L3 plans on expanding from this new base.

• Romano’s Macaroni Grill will acquire the Sullivan’s Steakhouse chain from Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group for $14 million.

• Taylor Gourmet, a 17-unit Washington DC chain, closed all of its locations.


Real Estate

• Del Frisco’s will open its first Double Eagle Steakhouse in California next month (San Diego) with a second planned (LA).

• JINYA Ramen Bar opened its first Nebraska location in Omaha.

• MOOYAH Burgers opened its first Rhode Island and first casino location in the Tiverton Casino Hotel.

• SAJJ Mediterranean has three new units in development – Irvine, San Jose and San Ramon, CA.

• Wendy’s is looking at Quebec for expansion opportunities. The company opened its 13th location recently and plans to build to 50 by 2023.


Just because we don’t mention it here doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – or we didn’t capture it. In the past four weeks, we’ve updated more than 2,070 companies in the Restaurant Franchisee Premier Database, with many of those companies’ records updated at multiple points.