Personnel Updates

• Blaze Pizza LLC (28) has named Mandy Shaw as permanent CEO and President. Shaw had been serving as the interim CEO since August of this year.

• CKE Restaurants Inc. (40) named Chad Crawford as Chief Brand Officer. Crawford was most recently President of North America at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

• Doctor’s Associates Inc. (72) has named John Chidsey as CEO. The company has not had a permanent CEO since June 2018.

• Just Salad LLC (15) has named Stefan Boyd as their new CFO. Boyd has previously served as CEO of Noon Mediterranean and CFO of Le Pain Quotidien.

• The Krystal Co. (15) has announced that CEO, Paul Macaluso and CFO, Berry Epley are leaving the company. Krystal has named Tim Ward President and COO and Bruce Vermilyea as CFO.


Mergers & Acquisitions

• JCJ Tex Mex/Wings LLC has acquired the La Finca restaurant chain. The Tex-Mex chain has two locations and was founded in 1995 in Katy, Texas.

• T.G.I. Friday’s Inc. has entered into an agreement with Allegro Merger Corp that would take the chain public. If it moves forward, the deal is expected to close in Q1 of 2020.


Industry Insight

• Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has announced that it will be extending the lifespan of its Carne Asada, even potentially adding it to its core menu. The product was introduced a couple months ago to critical success.

• Doctor’s Associates Inc. has started efforts to slow closures of their Subway brand. The company has closed 2,300 locations since 2015. In efforts to combat this; the company has been asking franchisees who want to close their stores if they’d be willing to sell to another franchisee instead of outright closing it.

• KFC Corporation has opened a drive-thru only location. The pilot store is in Newcastle, Australia and features five drive-thru lanes including dedicated online pickup lanes.

• McDonald’s Corporation is facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the company has allowed rampant sexual harassment within the chain that has been unanswered by corporate.


Financial Focus

• Twin Restaurant Holding LLC has partnered with ApplePie Capital to allocate $30 million towards franchise expansion.


Real Estate

• Chicken Guy! has announced expansion plans in Tennessee. The expansion will begin with an opening in Downtown Nashville next year and continue from there.

• Starbucks Corporation has opened their largest Reserve Roastery to date in Chicago. The space is 35,000 square feet and spans five floors.

• The Steak n Shake Operations Inc. has raised their number of temporary closures to 106 units. Parent company Biglari Holdings is still actively looking for franchise partners to reopen the stores.

• Yogurtland Franchising Inc. has announced it will be opening 4 new locations of its brand in Indonesia this month. The openings are part of a three year plan to open 10 locations in the country.



• McDonald’s Corporation has invested in two Texas-based renewable energy startups. The company says the renewable energy commitments will equate enough power for more than 2,500 of their restaurants.

• Noodles & Company has introduced a 10% markup on delivery orders. This premium pricing strategy seems to be catching on in the restaurant industry as a way to offset the costs associated with third-party delivery fees.