Freedom of Expression

Mellow Mushroom takes “unique” to a whole new level — from the way it bakes its pizza to its free, anti-corporate culture and hippy-inspired store design and decor.

Papa Murphy’s To Double Alabama Expansion

Vancouver, Wash.Papa Murphy’s Holdings, Inc. has signed expanded store development agreements with Waterman Acquisition Company, LLC to develop an additional 12 new Papa Murphy’s pizza stores in Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala., and two stores in Raleigh, N.C., over the next 4 years. Currently there are 42 Papa Murphy’s stores located in Alabama and North Carolina.

Arby’s Plans 138 New Restaurants; Adds To Executive Team

Atlanta — Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), parent company of the franchisor of the Arby’s brand, has signed several recent franchise development agreements beginning late fourth quarter 2015 through March 15, 2016 for the development of 138 new restaurants. This news follows a strong year of development for Arby’s in 2015 with 61 new restaurant openings and 179 remodels system-wide.

FOCUS Brands Inc. Names Chief Financial Officer

Atlanta — FOCUS Brands Inc. has appointed Michael Dixon as chief financial officer for its more than 5,000 ice cream shops, bakeries, restaurants and cafes through its affiliate brands, which include Auntie Anne's®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, McAlister's Deli®, Moe's Southwest Grill® and Schlotzsky's®.

Wahlburgers Signs Major Development Deals

Boston — Wahlburgers, the better burger restaurant founded by Chef Paul Wahlberg with celebrity brothers Mark and Donnie, has signed franchise deals with five new franchise groups to open over 30 stores in several major metro markets in Massachusetts, California, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. Seven restaurants are currently open, with three more slated within the next few months in Boston's Logan Airport, Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

Brinker International Names EVP of Strategic Innovation

Dallas — Brinker International, Inc. has named John Cywinski as executive vice president of strategic innovation, effective March 7, 2016. Cywinski has held multiple leadership positions at Yum! Brands, Inc., Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar®, McDonald's Corporation, BURGER KING® and The Walt Disney Company. Most recently, he served as president of KFC U.S.

Smashburger Plans To Expand in Casinos

DenverSmashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant, plans to add additional casino locations across the country. The following restaurants are scheduled to open in spring and fall 2016, bringing the brand's casino-based location count to four restaurants.

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