A roundup of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including mergers and acquisitions, recommended reading, development news from Fiesta Restaurant Group, Wingstop, Hurricane BTW and more. 

mergers, acquisitions + more

  • Online franchise industry lender Apple Pie Capital acquired franchise lending consultancy Funding Solutions, LLC.
  • Clevenger Associates, a West Coast-based foodservice consultancy, has merged with MVP Services Group of Dubuque, Iowa. The move allows Clevenger to expand its footprint in the Midwest and place a stronger focus on management advisory consulting.
  • SPYR, INC., announced plans to spin off its restaurant division, Eat at Joe’s, to become a separate publicly traded company. The new company will focus on licensing and possibly franchising of the Eat at Joe’s name and concept as well as the manufacture and distribution of branded foods.


  • Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent of Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana, closed 30 Pollo Tropical restaurants and plans to relaunch both brands.
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings’ fast-casual spin-off Hurricane BTW, announced seven new franchised locations, one in New Jersey and six in Florida. The emerging chain has a total of 56 locations in its pipeline, all scheduled to open in the next 42 months.
  • Rum producer Tiger Reef, Inc. announced plans to brand and develop casual-dining properties in the Caribbean under the name Mermaid Reef Ocean Grill & Lounge. The first location is expected to open in St. Maarten.

go big or go home (or have it delivered)

  • Fast-casual Torchy’s Tacos announced that General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, made a significant minority investment in the chain. General Atlantic joins the five founding partners of the restaurant chain as shareholders.
  • Panera plans to expand its delivery service to 35 to 40 percent of its cafes in 2017, adding more than 10,000 new delivery jobs. Panera Delivery launched in 2015.
  • Wingstop Restaurants Inc. is testing delivery at select locations in the Las Vegas area. As part of the test, the company is utilizing multiple service providers. The test launched on April 3 and will run through the middle of the summer. The chain also announced plans to open 30 franchised locations in Malaysia over the next 6 years.

recommended reading

  • Business Insider: The team behind “the best restaurant in the world” is opening a new fast-casual concept in New York City
  • Bloomberg: Superstar Chef Wolfgang Puck returns to fine dining roots.
  • Why 2017 is the year of the luncheonette