Pokemoto Opens First Tennessee Location

Burleson, Texas — Pokemoto, Muscle Maker, Inc.’s expanding Hawaiian poke bowl restaurant concept, is opening a new Pokemoto Hawaiian poke eatery in Gallatin, Tenn., one of the fast-growing cities in the state. Located at 1025 Nashville Pike in Gallatin, this

Salad Collective Acquires Tokyo Joe’s

Golden, Colo. — Salad Collective, a Golden, Colo.-based operating company of better-for-you brands MAD Greens and Snappy Salads, has acquired Tokyo Joe’s, adding to its portfolio another Colorado-grown fast casual concept with strong regional consumer appeal. The acquisition of the

International Dairy Queen Names New COO, International

Minneapolis — International Dairy Queen Inc. (IDQ) has hired Nicolas Boudet as chief operating officer, international. Boudet will lead the international business, including operations, franchise development, supply chain and marketing in more than 20 countries outside of the U.S. and

What a Waste Program

— By Michael Hess —   5 tips for successful waste management in the retail and restaurant industries.     Owning a restaurant or retail location comes with a great deal of responsibility — including waste disposal. Regardless of business

Starbucks Enters New Era of Growth Driven by 3-Year Reinvention Plan

Seattle — At Starbucks’ recent biennial Investor Day in Seattle, interim CEO Howard Schultz, CFO Rachel Ruggeri and other Starbucks leaders showcased the company’s Reinvention plan, which aims to invest in partners, customers and stores. The plan is expected to

WaBa Grill Inks 20-Store Development Deal for Northern California

Anaheim Hills, Calif. — WaBa Grill is growing its footprint throughout Northern California with a new development deal that will bring 20 more restaurants from Fresno to Sacramento. The 20-store development deal was signed by longtime WaBa Grill franchisees Gurpreet

Slim Chickens Adds Several Locations to South Dakota and Iowa

Sioux Falls, S.D. — Slim Chickens, a leading fast-casual franchise in the better-chicken segment, is expanding its presence throughout eastern South Dakota and northwest Iowa. Existing franchisee Todd Porter of TNT Chicken is spearheading this expansion. Porter is well-versed in

Need a Boost?

— By John Moody —   Insights for boosting profit margin with technology.     According to the USDA, the level of food price inflation for restaurant food purchases rose 7.4% from May 2021 to May 2022. While some operators

Bloomin’ Brands Selects api(+) for Fleming’s Flagship

Tampa, Fla. — api(+) is providing branding, design and architecture services for a new Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar flagship, a freestanding, 300-seat fine dining concept to be located near Bloomin’ Brands’ headquarters in Tampa, Fla. api(+) was selected

Au Bon Pain Reveals New Bakery-Cafe Design

Dallas — Au Bon Pain, the bakery-cafe brand known for its gourmet convenience, has revealed a bold new store design. Planned to roll out companywide in 2023, the new design continues Au Bon Pain’s forward momentum started in July 2021,

Starbucks Names Next Chief Executive Officer

Seattle — Starbucks has selected Laxman Narasimhan as its next chief executive officer and a member of the Starbucks board of directors. Narasimhan will join Starbucks as incoming CEO on October 1, 2022 after relocating from London to the Seattle

Mo’ Bettahs Promotes President to CEO

Salt Lake City — Mo’ Bettahs Hawaiian Style Restaurant has promoted its president, Robert Ertmann, to chief executive officer. He has served as president of the brand since 2021. Mo’ Bettahs will look to his guidance and leadership as the

Panera Tests New AI Ordering Technology for Drive-Thru Lanes

St. Louis — On Aug. 29, 2022, Panera Bread began testing AI technology in drive-thru lanes with an aim to improve and enhance the guest experience. With support from OpenCity, select Panera bakery-cafes in the greater Rochester, N.Y., area have

REGO Restaurant Group Partners with BCubed Manufacturing

Denver — As part of its brands’ continued transformations, REGO Restaurant Group — parent company of fast-casual sandwich chain Quiznos and regional Mexican chain Taco Del Mar, among other brands — has inked a strategic partnership and development deal with

Pokemoto Opens First Mississippi Location

Burleson, Texas — Pokemoto, Muscle Maker, Inc.’s expanding Hawaiian poke bowl restaurant concept, has opende its first Mississippi franchise location in Oxford, Miss. The opening marks the first of three previously inked franchise deals in the Mississippi market. Being near

WaBa Grill Signs 20-Unit Development Deal for Northern California

Anaheim Hills, Calif. — WaBa Grill, one of the nation’s leading healthy rice bowl chains, has signed a 20-unit Northern California development deal during its second quarter. Following an impressive first quarter, second quarter same store sales (SSS) rose to

French-Mediterranean Restaurant, LouLou, Opens in Santa Monica

Santa Monica, Calif. — Husband-and-wife duo Erik and Florence Chol recently opened an upscale French-Mediterranean concept, LouLou, within the outdoor Santa Monica Place shopping center in the beachside town of Santa Monica, Calif. The new restaurant and lounge, which captivates

Mongolian Concepts Adds New VP of Technology to Executive Team

Irving, Texas — Mongolian Concepts, the management group behind three fresh bowl brands — Genghis Grill, Flat Top Grill and BD’s Mongolian Grill — has hired Jason Levinson as vice president of technology. He will leverage the latest in technology

Juice It Up! Reinvigorates Franchise Growth

Newport Beach, Calif. — Juice It Up! has reinvigorated franchise growth in 2022, ending the first half of the year with 84 locations in various markets, having opened five new locations since the beginning of 2022. The brand remains committed

IBEX Names Business Development Manager

Glenview, Ill. — IBEX, an ITW Food Equipment Group brand, has recently named Lisa Tyler as business development manager. She has more than 20 years of foodservice experience. In this new role, Tyler will be responsible for strategy, implementation and

Jack in the Box Offers Multi-Unit Incentive Program for Franchisees

San Diego — As part of its aggressive franchise growth strategy, Jack in the Box Inc. is sharing an incentive program with multi-unit franchisees that offers significant financial benefits to those who enter into a minimum 3-unit development agreement. “We

Carrabba’s Italian Grill Promotes Pat Hafner to President

Tampa, Fla. — Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. has promoted Pat Hafner to president of Carrabba’s Italian Grill. He will be responsible for leading the operations and development for approximately 220 Carrabba’s restaurants across the United States. Hafner started his career with