A round up of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including franchise news, mergers and acquisitions and OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in America.



franchise & expansion notes

  • Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar will open a franchised location in Bentonville, Ark., in 2017. The chain operates five locations in Missouri and plans to open a sixth in Kansas City, Kan.
  • Bojangles’, Inc. signed a new multi-unit development agreement with Bo Forever, LLC of Yardley, Penn., to open four new Bojangles’ restaurant over the next four years in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. The chain also recently unveiled a new prototype.
  • Arizona-based healthy fast food restaurant brand Grabbagreen has entered the Pennsylvania market with a two-store agreement. The chain also recently entered the Dallas market.
  • Pie Five Pizza debuted its first drive-thru with the opening of its Yukon, Okla., location.
  • Tropical Smoothie Café signed a franchise agreement to open six new locations in South Carolina.

go big or go home

  • Fast-casual “better chicken” chain Slim Chickens is expanding to international markets for the first time through a partnership with Alghanim Industries. The franchise agreement will bring Slim Chickens to the Middle East and North Africa.

launches, m+a's, reorgs

  • Cara Operations Limited acquired majority ownership in Original Joe’s Franchise Group Inc. for $93 million. Of the total, $90 million was used by Original Joe's to reacquire its trademarks and royalty rights from Diversified Royalty Corp.
  • Indianapolis-based furniture and fixture manufacturer Facility Concepts, Inc. (FCI) acquired commercial architectural millwork company International Woodworking Inc.
  • Logan’s Roadhouse emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy after closing 34 units. The post-bankruptcy plans include a revised menu, a marketing push, and employee training programs. Logan’s currently has 195 company-operated and 26 franchised restaurants in 20 states.
  • MTY Food Group Inc. acquired 60 percent of the assets of La Diperie via a newly formed subsidiary. La Diperie currently franchises five restaurants in Quebec and Ontario.
  • Hospitality company sbe completed its acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group, bringing sbe’s portfolio t0 22 hotels and 129 entertainment and hospitality venues.

of note

  • ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen opened on November 19. An arts and culinary incubator and gallery, ArtHouse is the collective vision of the City of Gary, community members, Midwest artists and laborers, and Artistic Director Theaster Gates. In the coming weeks, ArtHouse will host a culinary incubation center and training kitchen, along with trainings and seminars to help establish and engage local artists and drive economic activity in the region.
  • OpenTable announced its list of The 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2016.