Q&A with Keith Sirois, Chief Executive Officer, Big Boy Restaurants International

Big Boy is dead! Long live Big Boy! That seems to sum things up for the Warren, Mich.-based franchisor. It would appear, on one hand, that better days are behind the aging brand despite an attempt four years ago to rev sales with a new full-service prototype. 

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A Call to Action: Contemporize Casual Dining

It’s a refrain repeated too often by casual industry observers: Casual dining is dying. Yes, some big-name brands in the segment are struggling. Full-service concepts that made Technomic’s 2014 list of the Top 500 Chain Restaurants (ranked by U.S. system-wide sales) posted sales growth of 2.4 percent in 2013, compared with the 3.8 percent growth recorded by limited-service concepts.

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Restaurant Chains Are Going Global, Here's How

For brands looking to expand into international markets, location should almost be last on the list of considerations. While hot international growth markets such as Canada, the Middle East and parts of Asia remain attractive, it’s their correspondence to other factors that make a successful transition.

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Now Brewing: Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room

Starbucks Coffee Company has opened the doors to its first Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room in Seattle. The new concept is dedicated to roasting, coffee education and increasing availability of the company’s small-lot Reserve coffees, all of which will be roasted in this facility.

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Wahlburgers Beefs Up Expansion Plans

Wahlburgers, a better-burger concept founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg and subject of an A&E TV reality series, is rapidly expanding its North American footprint. In early December the company announced multi-unit franchise deals in Florida and New York.

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New FroYo Chain on Growth Track

Having grown to a dozen stores across Upstate New York since July of 2013, Hoopla! Frozen Yogurt is now crossing state lines.

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