Applebee’s Parent Foresees a Future Encompassing Virtual Brands

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With a new CEO at the helm, the parent of Applebee’s and IHOP is adjusting its plan for the post-pandemic era to reflect recent lessons from the pandemic, including what the company learned from the discontinued test of a virtual wings concept.  Executives of Dine Brands Global said a second virtual venture, Cosmic Wings, will… read more

Stimulus Checks could Give Restaurants a Boost for up to 7 Weeks, Research Shows

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The $1,400 stimulus checks that will be distributed to Americans under a certain income threshold (likely $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for households) as part of President Joe Biden’s American Recovery Plan could lift restaurant sales by low-mid single digits for up to seven weeks, an analysis from Bloomberg Intelligence released Wednesday predicts.  In comparison,… read more

Famous Dave’s Plans Quick ‘Que Service Format

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BBQ Holdings Inc. is working with a Famous Dave’s franchisee to open its first line-service Quick ‘Que model in September, the company says. The Minnetonka, Minn.-based Famous Dave’s, which has 117 restaurants, will open the new streamlined format in Coon Rapids, Minn., with DTSG, a legacy franchise group. Famous Dave’s has traditionally offered a table-service… read more

Freddy’s Frozen Custard Sold to Thompson Street Capital Partners

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Thompson Street Capital Partners has acquired Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, the 360-unit fast-casual concept, the St. Louis, Mo.-based private equity firm said. Terms of the deal with the Wichita, Kan.-based Freddy’s were not disclosed. Freddy’s was founded in 2002 in Wichita and features a menu of steakburgers, shoestring fries, and frozen custard. The company… read more

Starbucks Promotes Regional vice President Dennis Brockman to Global Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer

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Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced the promotion of Midwest regional vice president, Dennis Brockman to senior vice president and global chief inclusion and diversity officer. He replaces Nzinga Shaw, who left the company in December to work for Marsh & McLennan. Additionally, Michael Hines has been promoted from director of inclusion and diversity compliance and analytics… read more

The CDC Warns Against a Fourth Coronavirus Wave as Texas, San Francisco, Chicago, and More Loosen COVID-19 Restrictions

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The wave of cities and states loosening COVID-19 restrictions on businesses this week — including Texas, Chicago, San Francisco, and Massachusetts — prompted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky to warn Americans Monday that there is still strong potential for a fourth wave of the virus, despite the fact that numbers… read more

US Affirms no Transmission of COVID-19 through Food or Packaging

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A joint statement issued Feb. 18 by the Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscored “there is no credible evidence of food or food packaging associated with or as a likely source of viral transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the… read more

Ruby Tuesday Hawking Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs to Earn Extra Revenue as a Host, not Ghost, Kitchen

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Ruby Tuesday, which has permanently closed several restaurants in recent months, has found a new way to generate revenue during the pandemic: sell hot dogs from Nathan’s Famous. Dozens of Ruby Tuesday restaurants are acting like host, not ghost, kitchens for the iconic hot dog chain, as well as other brands looking to expand their… read more

Ruby Tuesday Emerges from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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After declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, Maryville, Tenn.-based Classic American Restaurant Group, Ruby Tuesday, has emerged from bankruptcy, the company announced Wednesday. A Delaware bankruptcy judge approved of the company’s restructuring plan last week, allowing the company to shed liabilities (including 185 stores shuttered due to the pandemic), move forward with its current portfolio… read more