A Sweet Deal

Shopping mall veteran Cinnabon sweetens the deal for franchisees, landlords and customers with a hot new prototype and lucrative licensing.

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. Signs Middle East Expansion Agreements

Tampa, Fla. — Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is expanding its international presence with plans to develop 26 Outback Steakhouse and Abbraccio restaurants in the Middle East over the next 5 years. There are currently six Abbraccio restaurants in Brazil with more scheduled to open by the end of the year. Abbraccio is the name used for Carrabba's Italian Grill outside of the U.S.

Huddle House To Open First Location Inside a Hotel

Atlanta — In November 2016, Huddle House will open its first restaurant inside a hotel. The new Huddle House will be part of the Days Inn hotel in East Stroudsburg, Pa., and will become the largest in the system with a footprint of approximately 5,000 square feet.

Brinker International Promotes COO to President of Chili's

Dallas — Brinker International, Inc. has named Kelli Valade president of Chili's® Grill & Bar. Previously, she was COO of the brand. In her new role, Valade will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of domestic restaurant operations, marketing, franchising and PeopleWorks.

Wendy’s To Open First Restaurant in Brazil

Dublin, Ohio — The Wendy's Company plans to enter Brazil this month, with plans for significant restaurant expansion over time. This growth will be driven through Wendy's Brazil, a joint venture formed in 2015 between affiliates of Infinity Services and Starboard, one of Wendy's® largest U.S. franchisees, and a subsidiary of The Wendy's Company. Wendy's Brazil plans to hold the grand opening in mid-July for two restaurants in São Paulo.

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Plans Up To 10 New Restaurants in South Florida

Miami and Palm Beach, Fla. — Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a vibrant fast-casual restaurant concept serving creative Mexican food, will expand its presence in South Florida. Two existing franchise groups will each develop three to five restaurants in their respective markets, totaling six to 10 new restaurants in South Florida over the next 5 years.

UFood Grill Plans Self-Order Kiosks at All New Locations

Boston — Ufood Grill has signed an agreement with NEXTEP SYSTEMS to install self-order kiosks at all new locations, effective immediately. The UFood Grill executive team recently debuted the interactive kiosk at the 2016 International Franchise Expo in New York City and received a wonderful reception from attendees.

Umami Burger To Expand Internationally With 10 Restaurants in Japan

Los Angeles — Umami Burger has partnered with Japan-based Medeiros Holdings Co., Ltd., to open 10 Umami Burger restaurants across Japan over the next 5 years. The agreement is Umami Burger’s first expansion outside the United States. The first restaurant is expected to open in Tokyo by the end of 2016 with future locations to follow in Kanagawa, Osaka, Aichi, Hyogo, Kyoto and Fukuoko prefectures.

El Pollo Loco Expanding in Tucson, Arizona

Costa Mesa, Calif. — El Pollo Loco, a leading fire-grilled chicken chain, has signed a franchise development deal with new franchise partner PLM Restaurants L.C., which will open six new restaurants by August 2019 in the Tucson, Ariz., area. In addition, PLM Restaurants has also completed the acquisition of two existing El Pollo Loco restaurants in the Tucson market.

Johnny Rockets Opens First Drive-Thru Restaurant

Lake Forest, Calif. — Johnny Rockets has opened its first drive-thru restaurant in the country at LangTree Lake Norman in Mooresville, N.C. The brand is the first quick-casual restaurant chain to have a drive-thru and will open additional drive-thrus later this year.

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