A round up of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including milestones for Erbert & Gerbert’s, Johnny Rockets and DineEquity, mergers and acquisitions, links to news you need to know.

go big or go home

  • Dine Equity, Inc. announced new agreements for two of it’s brands: IHOP Restaurant will debut in Thailand and India and Applebee’s Grill and Bar will enter Bahrain, Oman and Panama as part of a plan to double the company’s international presence by 2021. In related news, DineEquity announced it will open the first ever co-branded IHOP Restaurant and Applebee’s Grill and Bar in Detroit’s Millender Center in 2017.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts is teaming up with New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, in partnership with existing franchisee Vik Patel, to develop up to 69 new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Louisiana. The first location under the new partnership is planned to open in 2017, and the group will also co-own five existing Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Louisiana. There are currently a dozen Dunkin’ locations throughout the state.
  • Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop opened its 100th store in New Brighton, Minn.
  • Johnny Rockets announced several milestones for 2016: the chain celebrated its 30th anniversary, it opened a store in its 30th country, it opened the most stores in one year in the brand’s history, and it has more stores operating at once than any other times in the brand’s history.
  • Denver-based multiconcept operator Sage Restaurant Group is opening its fourth Urban Farmer Steakhouse but its first in Denver in June 2017. It will feature interior design by Xan Creative, a Denver-based firm that has designed numerous local restaurants including Atomic Cowboy and Los Chingones. The restaurant’s branding is by The Made Shop.

launches, m+a, reorg

  • Argosy Private Equity and MTN Capital have acquired a controlling stake in Rita’s Franchise Company, LLC, from Falconhead Capital. Terms were not disclosed.
  • Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen has completed its acquisition of 44 restaurant locations from Kentucky-based Greer Companies, its largest franchisee. The purchase increases the chain’s corporate-owned restaurant locations to 139 out of 164 locations nationwide. Cheddar’s is a portfolio company of L Catterton and Oak investment Partners.
  • Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., paving its way to a Chapter 11 restructuring, has sold its assets to Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. Specific terms were not disclosed. In a release, Garden Fresh said it would emerge from the financial restructuring with between 90 and 104 restaurants, a stronger capital structure and significantly less debt.

of note

  • Generation Z is already shaping the restaurant industry, reports
  • Fastcompany reports that the 64-unit fast-casual Sweetgreen will go cashless in 2017. The company says that employees can perform 5% to 15% more transactions every hour when they don’t have to handle money.