mergers, acquisitions + more

  • Chopt Creative Salad acquired Dos Toros Taquiera. Terms were not disclosed. Dos Toros will form a new holding company called Founders Table Restaurant Group.
  • Famous Dave's parent BBQ Holdings acquired Granite City Food and Brewery, (recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection). In a separate deal, Landry's will buy three of Granite City's four Cadillac Ranch restaurants.

Chain News

  • Fast-casual Dave’s Hot Chicken opened its third location in Los Angeles with plans to add a dozen more restaurants in the near future.
  • Breakfast and lunch concept First Watch plans to open its first Chicagoland location in suburban Oak Brook later this year.
  • Illinois-based Gloria Jean’s Coffee continues to lean into catering to drive-thru orders with the addition of their Parr, Texas location.
  • Pizza Inn opened its first restaurant in Stillwater, Okla. It is the first of six locations that franchisees Tony Nemer and Sissi Nemer are set to open throughout Oklahoma and Kansas.
  • River City Restaurant Group acquired nine Noodles & Company restaurants and plans to develop 22 new units over the next 12 years.
  • Sushi burrito concept Roll On In and boozy shakes brand Buzzed Bull Creamery opened their fourth co-branded location, this one in Charlotte, N.C. There are also plans underway to open 10 co-branded units in the Atlanta metro area.
  • Fast-casual build-your-own pizza concept Squisito, Too plans to open four restaurants in Tennessee over the next year, including one at the University of Tennessee campus.


  • KFC Chicken CrocsNo stranger to cheeky branding campaigns, Kentucky Fried Chicken partnered with Crocs during New York’s Fashion Week to debut two limited-edition versions of branded clogs. One was an exclusive to fashion week and was worn by global avant garde artist Me Love Me A Lot (MLMA). The other, pictured here, will be available for purchase in the spring by any local avant-garde artist.


  • Amanda Clark joined Papa John’s International as chief development officer. Clark most recently served as executive vice president of restaurant experience for Taco Bell. 
  • Qdoba added Mitchell Lee to its team as director of franchise development. Most recently Lee was with Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. 

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