Global Foodservice News – July 1, 2022 Edition

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In addition to double-digit sales growth, the eatermtainment chain set new marks for revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and net income . . . Dave & Buster’s Comeback Reaches Record Level In the summer of 2020, it seemed as if the eatertainment industry was headed for disaster. With dining rooms closed and no one heading out to… read more

Specialty Food Industry Still Growing with many Start-ups

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The specialty food industry is still growing and winning new startups, many of whom enthusiastically told their stories earlier this month at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. The show was back in person for the first time since 2019, showing off the latest in new and innovative foods and beverages.  The specialty food category… read more

Wingstop is making a push in Canada.

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The Dallas-based chicken wing chain is planning to open its first location in Toronto this month, with a planned grand opening set for June 29 that will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony and beatboxing. It will be the first of 100 locations planned for the country, making it a key element in Wingstop’s international push. “Our… read more

Wichita-based Thrive Restaurant Group looks to HomeGrown as its next growth vehicle

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Thrive Restaurant Group, a decades-old family-run business operating dozens of restaurants in multiple states, mostly in the Midwest, has long-run traditional casual-dining concepts, but now they see potential in their breakfast, lunch, and brunch concept, HomeGrown. Founded about five years ago as HomeGrown Wichita, there are now three such restaurants in their hometown, plus a… read more

El Pollo Loco Nails Authenticity to Bring Birria to the Menu

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Birria tacos have been trending on Instagram and TikTok for over a year, and El Pollo Loco, the Mexican-born, Los Angeles-based chain, has been watching. “We’ve been following birria for some time, and the timing was right for us to put it on the menu,” said Heather Gardea, El Pollo Loco’s VP of culinary development…. read more

The Noortwyck will serve seasonal fare with global influences in the West Village

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After working inside the fine-dining mecca once crowned the World’s Best Restaurant, a pair of Eleven Madison Park alums have decided to serve up more casual fare. This Tuesday, Andy Quinn and Cedric Nicaise will debut the Noortwyck, a New American restaurant tucked into New York’s West Village. Quinn, who previously served as a chef at EMP, has turned his… read more

Cracker Barrel Has Strategies for All its Guests, Young and Old

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Cracker Barrel is feeling sales pressure from multiple angles as it heads toward the back half of 2022. Topline figures in the brand’s fiscal third quarter were encouraging as February progressed, but higher-than-expected inflation and rises in COVID cases slowed recovery in March and April. Restaurant costs of goods sold were 27.8 percent versus 24.3… read more

Arby’s Does not Have Grills at its 3,500 Locations. Nor Does it Want Them

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But the sandwich chain has long wanted to add a burger to the menu without adding extra equipment or capital expense. “At Arby’s, we like to innovate around products that exist in the category but people are settling for billions instead of the best,” said CMO Patrick Schwing. “We saw an opportunity to create a… read more

Focus Brands’ largest franchisee is on the cusp of becoming a lot bigger.

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The Miami-based Fresh Dining Concepts, which owns approximately 160 Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, and Jamba locations in 17 states and Washington, D.C., received a $44 million capital injection from Franchise Equity Partners, a relatively new private investment firm looking to provide finances to growing franchise businesses. True to the company’s philosophy, the multi-million-dollar investment is a minority stake and permanent in… read more

Most new QSR prototypes aren’t indoor seating. Here’s why this is such a huge trend.

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This isn’t a good week for customers who enjoy eating inside fast-food restaurants. Earlier this week, Taco Bell debuted its newest prototype, which it calls “Defy.” It is a two-story purple palace devoted almost entirely to the automobile. There is a kitchen on the second floor that delivers food to waiting cars below through a… read more