Top Fast Casual News

Newk’s Express Café Plans Major Expansion

Newk’s Express Café is on pace to exceed its expansion plans for 2011. The company has already signed 35 agreements for new locations in 2011. It has opened six restaurants so far this year and will open at least 14 more by the end of 2011, bringing the total number of Newk’s restaurants to 50 […]

American Blue Ribbon Creates CMO Position

American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) President and CEO Hazem Ouf announced the appointment of industry veteran Jennifer Sanning as chief marketing officer for the company’s restaurant brands: Village Inn, Bakers Square, and Max & Erma’s. In addition to leading the marketing functions for the brands, Sanning has responsibility for menu development and culinary direction.  “Jen brings […]

OYE Cuban Grill Twists American, Latin Flavors

OYE Cuban Grill offers casual Cuban American Fusion food, in a fresh approach to the traditional Latin dining experience. OYE Cuban Grill opened in March 2011. OYE presents made-to-order fare in a setting that blends fast casual with a fine-dining environment. Conceptualized by father and son partners Hector and Ian Gutierrez, OYE is a brand […]

Moe’s Gets Cheesy with Free Queso Day

On Wednesday, July 20, Moe’s Southwest Grill, the laid-back fast-casual burrito restaurant, is offering a free six ounce cup of Queso to each guest from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.at participating locations, no strings attached. Fans know that Moe’s hot, flavorful, melted white cheese dip is the restaurant’s not-so-secret ingredient to making every meal amazingly […]

BUBBAs Could Be Coming Your Way

BUBBA burger, the No. 1 selling retail, frozen branded burger in America, has opened the first Original BUBBA burger Grill restaurant at 13500 Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida. Located on the southwest corner of Beach and Hodges Boulevards, this is the first restaurant opening for the Original BUBBA burger Grill. Three additional BUBBA burger Grill […]

Former McAlister’s CEO Friedman Buys Salsarita’s

Industry veteran Phil Friedman acquired the Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain. Salsarita’s will be owned by Salsarita’s Holdings LLC, a company formed and controlled by Friedman, who serves as CEO. Larry Reinstein will join Salsarita’s Holdings as president and chief operating officer. Operating in the dynamic and growing fast-casual Mexican category, Salsarita’s has […]

Former Red Mango Exec Jumps Ship to Fazoli’s

With a new menu, new prototype, and a new service style driving a sales turnaround, Fazoli’s CEO and President Carl Howard announced the addition of James Franks as vice president of franchising. Franks is a 22-year veteran of franchising with a strong reputation for launching and relaunching brands and their franchise development programs. Most recently, […]

10 Fatburgers Sold in California

Criterion Capital Partners (CCP), a Los Angeles-based merchant bank best known for turning distressed companies into profitable entities, announced it has acquired 10 Fatburger franchise restaurants from Fatburger Restaurants of California, Inc., a subsidiary of holding company Fatburger Corporation. CCP obtained the fast-casual restaurants by outbidding a number of interested parties when the franchises were put […]

Pizza Inn Unveils Fast-Casual Concept

Pizza Inn, Inc. is redefining the pizza dining experience with the launch of Pie Five Pizza Co., a new fast-casual concept that will offer more than five million combinations of custom-made, fresh-to-order individual pizzas baked in less than five minutes. The first restaurant opens June 3, in Fort Worth, Texas, at 2600 W. 7th Street […]

11 Restaurant Trends for ’11

ZenMango, a restaurant marketing firm, released 11 trends in 2011 that are influencing the way customers perceive and use the restaurant landscape. The trends include: 1. Consumers are still eating out less: Fourty-four percent of restaurant consumers stated that they are eating out less often. Women, those over 40, and those earning under $35K per year […]

Ring In Summer With a Free Milkshake

Jake’s Wayback Burgers, with 27 locations throughout the mid-Atlantic and 17 under construction, announced that on Tuesday, June 21, the fast-casual restaurant chain will celebrate the first day of summer by giving away free 12 oz. Strawberry Lemonade hand-dipped milkshakes. The free milkshakes will take place at every Jake’s Wayback Burgers locations, all day, while […]

STACKED Opens Its Doors in SoCal

Since news of the pioneering restaurant concept broke last February, enthusiastic foodies around Southern California have been eagerly anticipating the opening of STACKED: food well built, an entirely new dining experience opening on May 31, 2011, in Torrance, California. The 160-seat, 6,300 square-foot restaurant is located across from the AMC theaters at the Del Amo […]

A Lot to a ‘Little’: Former Casual Exec Buys Fast-Casual Brand

The former president of casual-dining chain Beef O’Brady’s is hoping to replicate his success with that company at an upstart Greek fast-casual chain. Nick Vojnovic purchased the Tampa, Florida–based Little Greek concept and plans to turn it into a national franchised brand. “There were some good deals out there, but you’re going to go head […]

Fast-Casual Growth Outpaces Rest of Industry

Restaurant operators continue to face challenges caused by the recession and slow pace of the ensuing recovery, with cost pressures and declines in consumer dining making growth difficult to sustain. Fast-casual chains seem perfectly positioned for the prevailing economic and social climate. The category continued to outpace the restaurant industry as a whole in 2010, […]

Roomy Bojangles’ Moves in to Thomson, Georgia

Bojland Restaurant Group, LLC is satisfying Thomson, Georgia, residents' craving for Bojangles' "Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits" with the opening at 1826 Washington Road. Just off exit 172 on Interstate 20, the restaurant is situated in one of McDuffie County's most heavily trafficked areas. The new Bojangles' features drive-thru and in-store dining beginning with breakfast and […]

Exclusive First Peek! Fast-Casual Top 100

Last week QSR's in-house fast-casual expert, George Green, snagged the interview of the season with Darren Tristano, executive vice president at leading research firm Technomic. Not only did he get Tristano's coveted insight on the fast-casual industry, he gained exclusive access to the highly anticipated Fast Casual Top 100 Report. Below is Green's first-hand account […]

Surf’s Up for Daphne’s New Brand Ambassador

Daphne’s California Greek announced 10-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater as partner and brand ambassador for the company’s commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. He will be the founding member of Team Daphne’s, which will include a roster of professional and amateur athletes, local artists, independent musicians, and people who are making a difference in […]

Tzatziki, Lemonade Highlight New Garbanzo Items

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a Denver-based fast-casual restaurant concept featuring Mediterranean cuisine, announced the roll out of three new menu items: tzatziki sauce, pomegranate lemonade, and mint lemonade. The tzatziki sauce, made from scratch with yogurt, sour cream, cucumbers, lemon, garlic, and other spices, is now a part of Garbanzo’s regular sauce lineup and can top […]