A roundup of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including mergers and acquisitions, development deals, new hires, and much more.

mergers, acquisitions + more

  • Balmoral Funds LLC, in partnership with Gala Capital Partners, LLC, acquired fast-casual better-burger chain MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. Now in its tenth year, MOOYAH expanded its presence into several new states and surpassed 100 units in 2016.
  • Montreal-based MTY Food Group Inc. made two acquisitions of Canadian chains recently. The group acquired The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro for an estimated $8 million. The Works has 27 restaurants in operation in Ontario, four of which are corporate stores. MTY also acquired Steak Frites St.-Paul and Giorgio Ristorante for an estimated consideration of $0.3 million. There are currently six Giorgio Ristorante locations and nine Steak Frites St-Paul in operations.


  • Arby’s signed development agreements to build 10 new restaurants in Canada over the next three years.
  • Fast-casual seafood chain Captain D’s signed a franchise development agreement to open five new restaurants in South Carolina. The chain recently credited its reimage with brand growth. 
  • Smoothie King signed 34 franchise and development agreements for 48 new stories and opened 28 new stores in 15 states in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Thai Express and Ginger Sushi Boutique, based in Canada, announced the signing of an area developer agreement in the U.S. in Florida. Ginger Sushi Boutique is known as Sushi Shop in Canada.

new hires + promotions

  • ApplePie Capital named Ronald Feldman chief development officer. He previously served as chief development officer at FranData, and as a principal and co-founder of Franchise America Finance (FAF) and The Siegel Financial Group.
  • Famous Toastery named Jeff Panella chief development officer. Most recently, Panella served as national vice president of business development for Wireless Zone.
  • Kristie Oldham was recently named partner at Richardson Design. She dissolved her own firm to join the Richardson Design team 10 years ago and served as design + trend director until her recent promotion.
  • Peter Ortiz joined Überrito as chief development officer. Prior to joining Überrito Ortiz was vice president of franchise development and recruitment at FOCUS Brands.

go big or go home (or have it delivered)

  • Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. refranchised 45 company-owned Outback Steakhouse locations in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico to Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts, Inc. and its affiliates as well as eight Outback Steakhouses and one Carrabba's Italian Grill in Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming to Evergreen Restaurant Group LLC.
  • Fast-casual Così, Inc., announced that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a private company. The restructured entity is now owned by MILFAM II L.P., AB Value Partners, LP, AB Value Management LLC and AB Opportunity Fund LLC.
  • Papa Murphy’s will employ delivery from Amazon restaurants at seven company-owned stores in the Portland and Seattle areas.
  • Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar is opening its 13th location in Alexandria, La., in November. The sports bar chain has locations in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee with plans to open 73 more.
  • branding

recommended reading

  • Business Insider: Chains invest in delivery to help sales
  • Fast Company: Under new ownership, Michigan chain invests in stores and community amid Flint water crisis
  • Washington Post:They Eataly Effect or why chefs keep opening food halls. Related: Michael Mina to open food hall in Hawaii.