When Lori Newcomb found out she had stage III ovarian cancer last year, she made it her mission to learn more about the disease and help other women fighting the same battle. She sat down with her husband, Chris Newcomb, cofounder and CEO of Southern quick-service chain Newk’s Eatery, and together they decided Newk’s would make a great platform for raising money and awareness for ovarian cancer research.
Newk’s Eatery’s is rolling out its new online ordering platform. For more than a decade, the fast-causal restaurant brand has served up food experiences for both its in-house and takeout diners, engaging guests around its tables in an inviting atmosphere, while also offering busy customers a separate Grab N’ Go entrance with a custom refrigerated selection of popular menu items made daily. After the mid-November debut of Newk’s online ordering program—to be implemented nation-wide by year’s end—guests will have two ways to take Newk’s dishes on the road or home for dinner.
The grills at Birmingham’s Newk’s Eatery restaurants will be sizzling early in the morning Monday, November 17, for “Q for a Cause,” a week-long celebration of the new Inverness location’s grand opening. The four restaurants will be serving up a record number of Newk’s Q sandwiches—the most popular item on the Newk’s menu—to raise support for Alabama’s Make-A-Wish children. One dollar from every Newk’s Q purchased at Birmingham area restaurants from November 17 through 23 will be used to fulfill Alabama wishes.
Newk’s Eatery, a rapidly growing fast-casual restauran, is expanding its geographic footprint from the Southeast into the Lower Midwest with four new restaurants planned for Northwest Arkansas over the next couple of years. Longtime Arkansas business partners Jim Lynch and Jim White will open their first Newk’s Eatery restaurant in Fayetteville in December 2014, with openings in Bentonville, Rodger, and Fort Smith to follow.
Newk’s Eatery, a fast-casual restaurant brand, is expanding its Louisiana presence by four restaurants in the first quarter of 2015. Newk’s has three Louisiana restaurants, including locations in Monroe, Bossier City, and Shreveport, and expects to open two company-owned Baton Rouge restaurants, along with two franchise locations in West Monroe and Ruston early next year. The expansion in the capital city and other Louisiana markets is part of Newk’s plan to grow the franchise brand to 200 restaurants by the end of 2018.
Newk’s Eatery is launching a Newk’s Cares campaign to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, a disease that hits close to home in the Newk’s family. Lori Newcomb, the wife of Newk’s cofounder and CEO Chris Newcomb, was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in early 2013. From mid-August through September, Newk’s is teaming up with Lori and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) to educate women and their loved ones about early warning signs of the disease, as well as promote research for a cure.
The 10-year-old fast casual Newk’s Eatery brand hired franchise development veteran Chris Cheek to oversee the company’s aggressive growth both through new, seasoned multiunit franchise operators and through expanded area development agreements with existing Newk’s franchisees. As chief development officer, Cheek will help meet the company’s goal of growing the group of nearly 70 Southeastern restaurants to 200 by 2019, and continue building a pipeline for long-term expansion.
Todd Jackson, owner of several Alabama Newk’s Eatery locations, plans to open 10 new restaurants across Alabama and Texas over the next five years.
Jackson plans to expand his Birmingham-area business by two additional restaurants this year while simultaneously growing the brand in Austin and Houston, Texas.
Pork was promoted for years as “the other white meat” to boost its exposure and dispel consumer perception that it’s too fatty. These days, pork is anything but “other” at many limited-service restaurants, though it’s often under the guise of specific ingredients: Menus mention items like sausage at breakfast, pepperoni for pizzas, and ham on sandwiches. And of course there’s bacon, a foodservice staple made from pork bellies.
Pork is increasingly finding a home on quick-serve menus due to consumers’ evolving tastes and the product’s flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
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Newk’s Eatery will celebrate its 10th anniversary by opening a new store in Midtown Little Rock, Arkansas. The Park Avenue location opens Monday, April 14, and will be the 10th company-owned store in the 68-restaurant chain.
“Over the last 10 years, Newk’s has solidified its position in the Southeast,” says Chris Newcomb, president and CEO of the franchise restaurant concept. “Now, as we begin contiguous expansion into other regions, Little Rock plays a vital role as our anchor and gateway into the Lower Midwest.”