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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.

Fast-casual pizza phenom Pie Five Pizza Co., part of Rave Restaurant Group, is now making its presence felt in the Chicago area.

On March 18, 2015, Starbucks Corporation kicked off its annual shareholder meeting with company leaders outlining key strategies the coffee giant is deploying to reach a targeted market cap of $100 billion.

Restaurant companies expanding their enterprises include Red Robin's Burger Works, The Melting Pot and McAlisters. And mergers and acquisitions heat up with Ovation Brands exploring a possible sale, American Restaurant Holdings buying two fast-casual California concepts and Del Taco and Levy Acquisition Corp. taking the next steps in their deal.