Personnel Updates

• Chicken Guy! (5) has hired John Dikos to serve as the company’s first Chief Licensing Officer.

• Ike’s Love & Sandwiches (11) has appointed Michael Goldberg as CEO of the company. He is joined by also newly appoint Chief Marketing Officer Renae Scott and VP of Operations Will Coulehan.

• McDonald’s Corporation (163) has fired CEO Steve Easterbrook. He will be replaced by former President of U.S. stores Chris Kempczinski. The company also announced that global Chief People Officer David Fairhurst had decided to leave the company as well.

• Papa John’s International Inc. (32) has announced that CFO Joe Smith will be leaving the company next spring. Max Wetzel has been hired to serve as Chief Commercial and Marketing officer. In addition, Chief Operating and Growth officer Mike Nettles and CMO Karlin Lindhardt will be leaving the company in 2020. Jim Norberg has been named COO of the U.S. and Jack Swaysland COO, International. Marvin Boakye was given the additional title of Chief Diversity Officer. Also stated by the company, Madeline Chadwick was named Senior VP of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Justin Falciola Chief Insights and Technology Officer, Shane Hutchins Chief Supply Chain Officer and Caroline Oyler Chief Legal and Risk Officer.


Mergers & Acquisitions

• Diversified Restaurant Holdings Inc. is to be bought by ICV Partners, LLC in an all cash deal valued at about $130 million.

• Elite Restaurant Group has acquired the 28 locations of Marie Callender’s that remain open. Marie Callender’s fate was somewhat in limbo after Perkins was purchased by Huddle House but Marie Callender’s was not.

• Meritage Hospitality Group Inc. acquired 5 more Wendy’s locations in the greater Atlanta area. The company already operates 39 locations in the area.

• Simply Southern Restaurant Group LLC was acquired by Brentwood Associates. Details of the sale were not disclosed.


Industry Insight

• BJ’s Restaurants Inc. has announced a pilot program for a beer subscription service. The company says the test would launch in the first half of 2020.

• P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Restaurants has announced that they are transforming one location in Miami’s Brickell Village into a nightclub Thursday through Saturday nights. Chang’s After Dark will be open to those 21 and older and will feature a special late night menu.


Financial Focus

• Bloomin’ Brands Inc. has announced that they are considering a sale. The company stated there is no exact timeline for these efforts.  The company recently reported third quarter revenue of $967.1 million compared to $965 million in the same quarter last year.

• Simply Southern Restaurant Group LLC (parent company of Chicken Salad Chick) saw its 15th consecutive quarter of positive same-store growth. The company also opened 7 new locations in the third quarter.

• Texas Roadhouse Inc. announced a 4.4% increase in company-owned same-store sales for the third quarter. The company also posted a 3.2% same-store sale increase at domestic franchised units.

• YUM! Brands Inc. posted a 4% increase in same-store sales for their Taco Bell brand in Q3. Conversely, their Pizza Hut concept posted a 3% decline in same-store sales in their U.S. segment.


Real Estate

• The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated has announced plans to open 20 new restaurants in 2020. 8 of these restaurants will be concepts under their recently acquired subsidiary Fox Restaurant Concepts.

• Coolgreens is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with plans for expansion. The company has already committed to open 24 locations over the next three years with hopes for a total of 150 stores in the next five years. The company started franchising in 2019.

• Elite Restaurant Group has announced that they will be bringing their Slater’s 50/50 concept to Colorado for the first time. The location is intended to open in late spring 2020.

• Huey Magoo’s Restaurants LLC has announced plans to bring 20 locations to Mississippi. This will be the company’s first foray in the state.

• I Heart Mac & Cheese has signed a deal to bring 3 locations of the concept to Colorado. 2 of the location will open in 2020 with the third slated for 2021.

• IHOP Restaurant System has partnered with TravelCenters of America LLC to bring 94 of their restaurants to the popular travel stops. This is the largest development deal in IHOP’s history. The company also announced it will be bringing 15 new locations to the Toronto area.

• Jamba Inc. has partnered with NA Foodservice Inc. to bring five locations to college markets in Alabama and Georgia.

• The Krystal Co. has announced plans to sell 100-150 of their company-owned locations to franchisees. Krystal has partnered with The Cypress Group to aid them in this transition.

• MOOYAH Franchise LLC has announced the opening of their first location in the state of Ohio. The restaurant opened on November 4th in Middleburg Heights.

• Pieology Pizzeria has announced a partnership with TZG Partners in order to expand the brand into China. The company intends for the Pieology brand to double over the next five years.

• Pizza Hut Inc. closed 98 U.S. locations in the third quarter while only opening 39. This comes amid a restructuring plan the company announced earlier this year where they stated they will be closing up to 500 locations temporarily as they are remodeled into express format stores.

• Shake Shack Inc. has announced 2020 plans of opening 40-42 corporate stores and 20-25 licensed locations.

• SlapFish Restaurant Group has opened their first international location. The franchised unit is in the U.K. and is the first of 25 units the company plans to open in the country by 2025.

• Texas Roadhouse Inc. is planning on remodeling 3 of their Bubba’s 33 concepts to test the effects of reducing the square footage of their restaurants. This project comes at a time when the company is planning expansion for the concept in the near future.

• Todd English Enterprises has announced that they’ve partnered with Fransmart in order to start franchising their Figs brand.



• El Pollo Loco Inc. has spun their take on third party delivery. To both appease customers’ desire for delivery and still turn a profit, the company has curated a specific listing for their delivery menu. It consists of exclusive combo offerings that are catered towards large families. The markup on these offerings reaches as high as 15%.