millenial cooking at home

While restaurant companies scramble to lure in the Millennial share of market with honest, authentic, whole foods and casually hip spaces, that group might be just as happy cooking up a little something at home. Research from The NPD Group backs up this line of thinking among Millennials in both restaurant visits and spending.

 Paul Mangiamele, chairman and CEO of LRB

Dallas-based Legendary Restaurant Brands (LRB) continues to ramp up the
reintroduction of its casual-dining brands Bennigan's and Steak and Ale. In early April the company announced an exclusive master development agreement with Narender Taneja, franchise owner of a recently remodeled Bennigan's in Santa Clara, Calif., to bring up to 100 new restaurants to the state.

Great Wraps Grill

Atlanta-based Great Wraps has unwrapped a new brand image and design prototype aimed at taking the 75-unit chain back to its roots. Renamed Great Wraps Grill, the new prototype squarely focuses on recreating the cooked-to-order, hot-off-the-grill appeal on which the concept was founded more than 25 years ago — and from which it had drifted, according to Mark Kaplan, CEO and chairman for the restaurant chain.

BurgerFi exterior

Fast-growing "better burger" chain BurgerFi signed its first international development agreement, with Mexico-based EFIT SA DE CV. The deal calls for the opening of 40 BurgerFi restaurants in Mexico City and surrounding areas over the next 5 to 7 years.

Fogo de Chão

Almost 10 years after entering the Los Angeles market with a unit in Beverly Hills, Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chão opened a second unit in January, this one in the city's downtown Financial District.

Celebrity chef Paula Deen, who with her sons Jamie and Bobbie, owns and operates The Lady & Son's restaurant in Savannah, Ga., is set to open her newest venture on the Island in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains national park and home to Dollywood theme park.

This update comes with somewhat of an international flare, with concepts such as CKE Restaurants, Dairy Queen, Hooters and Smashburger growing abroad. Other restaurant concepts making development news include emerging chains such as Andy's Frozen Custard, Just Salad and Pieology Pizzeria as well as old stalwarts such as Dunkin' Donuts and Fazoli's.

Recent menu-diversification efforts to drive more traffic across multiple dayparts, coupled with a new design prototype that better accommodates those broader offerings, is sweetening sales and expansion plans at Gigi's Cupcakes.