A quick list that includes branding news, expansion plans, restaurant openings, pizza and more.


  • Inc. magazine released its list of the top 5,000 fastest growing privately held companies in America. The top 10 restaurant companies are: Chicken Salad Chick (37), Melba’s Old School Po’ Boys (123), The Chicken & Rice Guys (206), Nekter Juice Bar (334), MOD Pizza (373), Saxby’s Coffee (629), Pizza Schmizza (678), Hawkers Asian Street Fare (1247), Figueroa Moutain Brewing Co., (1353), and Surly Brewing (1410).
  • Technomic Inc. reports in On Demand Delivery: Disrupting the Future of Foodservice, that even when restaurants have a formal agreement with a third-party ordering or delivery service, 76 percent of consumers hold the restaurant at least partially responsible for any errors in the transaction.
  • In other Technomic news, a new forecast expects overall consumer spending on alcoholic beverages in the away-from-home channel will grow at a modest 2.3 percent, with similar expectations for 2017. Total alcohol volume in bars and restaurants is expected to be flat in 2016.


  • Charlie Graingers Hot Dogs, Brisket and BBQ, based in Wilmington, N.C., announced a development agreement that will bring more than 100 stores to Florida. Since launching franchising in 2015, the burgeoning chain has over 350 commitments for stores, mostly in the southern U.S.
  • Elevation Burger — the organic “better burger” concept — announced plans for 20 new restaurants in Egypt.
  • MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes opened a new restaurant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., its 100th since launching in Plano, Texas in 2007.
  • Real Mex Restaurants — operators of Chevys Fresh Mex, El Torito, Acapulco, and Pink Taco — is actively seeking one or more strategic acquisitions within the next twelve months that would effectively double the company.
  • True Food Kitchen plans to open two new locations in the Bay Area in October. The operation has 12 locations in the U.S. and boasts an anti-inflammatory diet menu.


  • Leading restaurant design firm api(+), headquartered in Tampa, Fla., hired Fernando Castillo as studio director for its Miami office.
  • sbe, the Los Angeles-based leading lifestyle hospitality company that develops, manages and operates award-winning hospitality venues, announced today it has hired Philippe Zrihen as Partner and member of its Executive Committee.

pizza is happening

  • Texas-based Gatti’s Pizza announced a five-year partnership with The University of Texas to bring its pies to campus locations.
  • Pie Five opened a second location in Virginia and a fifth location in Baltimore. The chain currently has more 90 locations in the US.
  • Pieology, named the fastest-growing chain by Technomic, has opened a location in Goleta, Calif.
  • PizzaRev is seeking franchisees and scouting for corporate stores in and around the Austin and San Antonio, Texas, markets.
  • Uncle Maddio’s Pizza signed a development deal to open two new stores in Florida’s panhandle.