A roundup of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk in the last month, including a bunch of international development deals, mergers and acquisitions, milestones and more from Pinstripes, Pie Five Pizza, Jimboy's Tacos and more.

mergers, acquisitions + more

  • Marketing agency FCB acquired design firm Chute Gerdeman.
  • Caribou Coffee acquired Bruegger’s Bagels from Le Duff America. Relatedly, Dallas-based Le Duff completed its refranchising of its la Madeleine brand and announced the U.S. launch of its Brioche Doree café chain.
  • Fast-casual Mexican chain Cafe Rio was acquired by Freeman Spogli & So. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


  • Captain D’s signed a development agreement for nine new restaurants in the greater Tampa Bay region of Florida.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts announced plans for six new restaurants, including two multi-brand locations with Baskin-Robbins in the Atlanta and Macon, Ga., areas. The megachain also announced plans to open seven new restaurants in and around the Raleigh-Durham area.
  • The Greene Turtle signed a development agreement with a new franchise group to develop 10 locations of the family-friendly sports bar in Northern New Jersey and Northeastern Pennsylvania.
  • Jimboy’s Tacos will expand its presence in Southern California with 20 new locations in Orange County. The company operates 38 locations throughout California and Nevada.
  • Pinstripes Bistro, Bowling and Bocce opened its eighth location, its second in the Washington, D.C., metro area. The new, 37,000-square-foot Bethesda, Md., unit is the first of five 2017/2018 openings planned for the Chicago-based experiential dining and entertainment concept, including first-time entries in the markets of Cleveland, Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, and San Mateo, Calif.


  • Redding, Calif.-based Black Bear Diner, opened its 100th location in August, this one in Tucson, Ariz.
  • FOCUS Brands, Inc. opened its 600th Auntie Anne’s unit, this one in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June and it will also open its 600th Cinnabon location, in Saudi Arabia, this year.
  • Tropical Smoothie Café announced it has signed its 100th franchise agreement of the year, which will expand its footprint in the greater Pittsburgh area.

go big or go home

  • Fogo de Chao opened its first location in the Middle East in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
  • Kona Grill opened its first international franchise location in Monterrey, Mexico.
  • Papa John’s International signed development deals to move into three new countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Poland. Papa John’s plans to open 16 restaurants over the next five years in Kazakhstan. The brand plans to open its first restaurant in Kyrgyzstan in the fourth quarter of 2017, with a plan to open six restaurants in Bishkek over the next three years. They also will be opening 23 restaurants in Poland beginning in late 2017.
  • Pie Five Pizza announced its first international development agreement. The chain will open its first international location in Pakistan in 2018.
  • Wingstop Restaurants Inc. announced that it will enter the Australia and New Zealand markets. Over the next 10 years, 110 restaurants will open across Australia and New Zealand with the first set to open in Brisbane during the first half of 2018.