A roundup of interesting bits of news that came across the editor’s desk, including a bunch of mergers and acquisitions, development deals, Panera’s tech push pays off, and more.

mergers + acquisitions + more

  • Broadstone Net Lease, Inc. a private REIT managed by Broadstone Real Estate, LLC acquired 25 Bob Evans Restaurant locations in 8 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
  • Ignite Restaurant Group sold its Brickhouse Tavern + Tap and Joe’s Crab Shack brands to an affiliate of Kelly Companies, a San Diego-based private equity firm. To facilitate the sale, Ignite and certain of its subsidiaries have filed for reorganization under Chapter 11.
  • 4B’s Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Star Buffet, Inc. acquired Antler’s Restaurant in Libby, Mont. Antler’s will be converted to a 4B’s Restaurant later this year. Star Buffet, Inc. is a multiconcept holding company with 26 restaurants in 11 states.
  • A subsidiary of Montreal-based MTY Food Group Inc. will acquire 80 percent of the assets of Houston Avenue Bar & Grill and Industria Pizzeria + Bar.


  • Casual-dining concept Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar signed a two-unit agreement to bring the brand to Massachusetts. Based in Dallas, Boston’s operates 27 locations across 15 states. This is hot on the heels of the restaurant’s announced rebranding. Its sister brand, Boston Pizza, has more than 400 locations in Canada, and recently debuted a new flagship.
  • Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop signed agreements with a trio of franchisees to bring a total of 12 new locations to the Salt Lake City area over the next 3 years.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts plans nine new restaurants, including one multi-brand location with Baskin-Robbin, in St. Louis.
  • Perkins Restaurant & Bakery franchisee K Investments Limited purchased five corporate stores in Pennsylvania and signed a five-unit development agreement to open locations in New York and Pennsylvania. K Investments is part of JDK Management Group, which now franchises a total of 37 Perkins restaurants.
  • Ohio-based breakfast-and-lunch chain Sunny Street Café opened its 18th location, this one in Columbus. It is the chain’s eighth location in central Ohio.

go big or go home (or have it delivered)

  • sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt launched a nationwide acquisition and rebranding push to add as many U.S.-based locations as possible in 2017. Systemwide, sweetFrog has 240 stores across 28 states and 10 international locations in Egypt and the Dominican Republic.
  • Tropical Smoothie Café opened its 600th location.


  • Panera Bread Company announced that digital sales — those made via mobile, web or kiosks — have topped $1 billion on an annualized basis and could double in 2019.

recommended reading

  • San Diego Tribune: Shop Til You Drop — At These Restaurants
  • Mic: How Instagram Changed Restaurant Design — and How We Eat
  • BloombergBloomberg: America’s Fast-Casual Boom is Over
  • NewsweekNewsweek: Inside Nobu Downtown: How Architect David Rockwell and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Built Their Perfect Restaurant