The private Equity Firm Partnered with Management on the Deal for the Fast-Growing Chain

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Private equity firm Levine Leichtman on said it has partnered with management to acquire Atlanta-based Tropical Smoothie Café. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the acquisition gives the Los Angeles-based Levine one of the industry’s fastest-growing concepts. Tropical Smoothie has averaged 23% system sales growth over the past five years, including 22% in… read more

Twin Peaks Introduces New Tailgating Kits for Football Season

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Whether you’re tailgating or watching the game on your couch with friends and family, Twin Peaks has these new kits available for delivery, online ordering, or curbside pickup at participating locations that will enhance your sports viewing experience: Twin Peaks Wing Packs – Boneless, bone-in naked, bone-in breaded or smoked and grilled wings, served in… read more

Top 10: Burger King’s Restaurant of Tomorrow, Jelly Belly Branches out into Chocolate

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Grilling recipes and techniques were top-of-mind among readers of The Friday Feed as they headed into Labor Day weekend. Burger shaping best practices from The Kitchen, barbecue sauce wisdom from Food & Wine, and a roster of diverse cookout recipes from Bon Apetit and Taste of Home all fed readers’ cravings for one last taste… read more

How a Banker Turned Podcaster Is Telling the Stories of Africa’s Cuisines

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When co-workers would ask Yorm Ackuaku, “What is African food?” the question irked her, and she didn’t know how to answer. “At that point, I hadn’t traveled outside of West Africa, so I couldn’t speak for the rest of the continent,” she says. “There’s a wide variety of food in Ghana alone. I could only… read more

Saved by Suburbs: Food Trucks hit by Virus Find new Foodies

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On a warm summer night, two food trucks pulled onto a tree-lined street in a hilltop neighborhood outside Seattle. The smell of grilled meat filled the air, and neighbors slurped on boba tea drinks. Toddlers, teens, their parents, and dogs sat in the grass, chatting behind masks, laughing, and mimicking imaginary hugs to stay socially… read more

Taco Bell to debut ‘Go Mobile’ Prototype Store with Double Drive-thru lanes, Curbside Pickup

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In the works for a few years, the smaller footprint stores are designed for contactless carry out; but are Cantinas and fast social designs out? A Taco Bell executive gives us the lowdown. In early March, Taco Bell announced a bold plan to open ‘fast social’ restaurants with stadium-style seating for gamers. But those dine-in-focused… read more

Krispy Kreme Sets Date for Times Square Debut

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“We’re filled with joy to share the sweet news that Krispy Kreme is opening in Times Square,” said Michael Tattersfield, chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. “We said earlier this year that when New York City and Times Square are ready, we’ll be ready. We can’t wait to bring a new bright Hot… read more

Whiskey Cake Names Ray Risley President and Chief Operating Officer

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Risley, a seasoned hospitality executive, brings a long track record of attracting and developing high-level talent to Whiskey Cake. With an impressive history of progressing leaders in the industry, Risley creates a culture amongst employees that promotes the continued ability to adapt, evolve and thrive. “Ray’s strength in growing brands through investment in team is… read more

Famous Dave’s Inches Closer to Normal Sales

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Faced with a treacherous casual-dining environment, Famous Dave’s is approaching historical sales levels this quarter. The brand declined 7.4 percent in July after seeing a 22.9 percent decrease at company-operated stores in Q2 and a 31.5 percent slide at franchises. Fueling the consistent improvement in sales has been growth in off-premises. Early into the pandemic,… read more

Chuy’s is Staffed and Prepared to Weather COVID

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Back in March, the COVID pandemic hit Chuy’s as hard as any other full-service brand. The chain was forced to furlough 80 percent of its hourly staff and operate off-premises with limited menus at 92 of its 101 locations. Same-store sales reached a low of 67 percent in the week ending March 22. But as dining rooms… read more