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 and more.

mergers + acquisitions

  • Restaurant investor Kitchen Fund has invested in San Francisco-based Indian fast-casual concept Curry Up Now. This news comes hot on the heels of Curry Up Now’s acquisition of Tava Kitchen.
  • Global Franchise Group, franchisor of Hot Dog on a Stick and Pretzelmaker, among others, acquired Round Table Pizza and its affiliated concepts (Round Table Clubhouse and Round Table Pizza Wings Brew). Round Table has 440 U.S. locations in 7 states and 10 international units.
  • Ruby Tuesday, Inc. was acquired by NRD Capital, an Atlanta-based private equity firm for approximately $335 million.
  • Private-equity firm L. Catterton has acquired Irving, Texas-based Tex-Mex restaurant chain Uncle Julio's, with plans to expand the 29-unit chain into more markets. The firm's previous restaurant investments include P.F. Chang's, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen and Velvet Taco.
  • Andrew and Peggy Cherng, co-founders of Panda Restaurant Group have made a strategic investment in 12-unit fast-casual Urbane Café.

global development

  • Denny’s Corporation announced plans to expand into Europe through a franchise agreement with Denny’s Magic Diners U.K. The agreement will bring 10 locations to the U.K. over the next several years with the first expected to open in Wales by the end of the year.
  • Domino’s Pizza opened its first store in Birkirkara, Malta. The new unit features the chain’s pizza theater design. Domino's operates in more than 85 markets worldwide, with more than half of its global retail sales coming from international stores.
  • sbe signed 10 global hospitality deals in North America, Latin America and the Middle East through a mix of management and licensing agreements. The company stands to double its global hotel footprint by 2021. Additionally, an estimated 24 restaurants and lounges are going to be part of the new and existing hotel pipeline.

domestic development

  • Arby’s Restaurant Group signed a development agreement to build 25 new restaurants in the Chicago area over the next five years.
  • Fast-casual Mediterranean concept The Hummus & Pita Co. announced plans to open five new franchised units in the Denver market.  
  • Pollo Campero opened its second location in Las Vegas, and it’s 75th overall.
  • Saladworks plans to open five to seven locations in the Atlanta area.

recommended reading

  • FE&S: Workstations That Work
  • WSJ: Mobile-Ordering Apps Create Problems for Restaurants
  • NYT: An architect designed a calmer restaurant. It was very stressful.