Top Fast Casual News

Moe’s On a “Food Mission”

Moe’s Southwest Grill introduced its "Food Mission," which includes redesigned menu boards that will feature a new food mission wheel “steering” guests to select healthier food choices. These healthy menu options include gluten-free ingredients, vegan-friendly options, and low-calorie meals. Moe's uses more than 20 fresh ingredients, including hormone-free grilled chicken, beef and even organic tofu. […]

Uncle Maddio’s: The Chipotle of Pizza?

The fast-casual segment has been one of the brightest spots for the restaurant industry the last few years, with majors players like Chipotle drawing cash-strapped customers away from casual and fine dining with strong quality but a lower price point. Now one industry veteran wants to ride the success of the fast-casual industry by introducing […]

U.S. Restaurant Count Down

The number of U.S. restaurants declined by -1 percent, or a loss of 5,551 restaurants, from a year ago, according to a fall 2010 restaurant census conducted by the NPD Group. NPD's Fall 2010 ReCount, which is a census of commercial restaurant locations in the U.S. compiled in the spring and fall each year, showed […]

New Miami Subs Grill Recognized for Vet Franchises

The New Miami Subs Grill, a Ft. Lauderdale-based fast-casual restaurant chain, was selected as one of the 50 Top Franchises for Veterans by World Franchising Network. The franchise was recognized for its commitment to the recruitment and advancement of veterans within the company and its policy to provide veterans with incentives to acquire a franchise. This is […]

Winner Chosen in Pei Wei’s Blogger Search

Pei Wei Asian Diner, the fast-casual restaurant concept by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, announced the winner of its international blogger competition. After a 10-week national search and more than 500 applicants, Alice Shin, 27, was chosen to travel with executive chef Eric Justice and acclaimed chef Mark Miller on an 18-day culinary tour across Thailand, […]

Einstein Bros. to Open South Bend Store with Giveaway

Entrepreneurs Michael and Melissa Newton will celebrate the grand opening of South Bend, Indiana’s new Einstein Bros. Bagels location at 2019 South Bend Ave., north of Campus Shoppes, with a food giveaway on January 22. Einstein Bros. Bagels will present the first 100 people in line with coupons valid for one free Breakfast Sandwich a […]

BBI Inks First Franchise Deal for Salad Concept

Beautiful Brands International announced it has signed an agreement with Larry Koehler and Casie Caldwell of Greenz Salads for the first Greenz Salads franchise. The new restaurant will be converted from their corporate store located in Uptown Dallas. “We are honored to facilitate this franchise agreement with Greenz,” says David Rutkauskas, Beautiful Brands founder, president, […]

BBI Pizza Concept Signs Big Development Deal

Top That! Pizza announced the signing of its first development agreement, paving the way for the expansion of the Tulsa, Oklahoma–based concept throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and North Texas. Beautiful Brands International, Top That! Pizza’s franchising representative, facilitated the deal, which is one of the largest in that company’s more than 20-year franchising history. The […]

Zoës Kitchen Promotes Operations VP to COO

Fast-casual restaurant chain Zoës Kitchen announced that Kevin Miles was promoted to chief operating officer, a new position for Zoës. "Kevin has consistently demonstrated his strong leadership skills and ability to get at the heart of what makes operations successful,” says chairman and CEO Greg Dollarhyde. “His commitment and ability to guide and inspire others […]

Spicy Pickle Announces New Development Chief

Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc. announced the appointment of Peter Wright as its new chief development officer. Wright is now responsible for franchise sales, real estate, architecture, construction, and equipment. Prior to joining Spicy Pickle, Wright had more than 13 years' experience in franchising and licensing in both traditional and nontraditional development channels in the U.S., […]

Resolution Makers Flock to Chop’t in 2011’s First Week

Chop’t, a fast-casual salad concept, experienced a 20 percent spike in lunch sales the first week of January. The company sees a similar sales boost after other holidays, including Thanksgiving and on Mondays, when weekend indulgence turns to waistline repentance. Chop’t is the perfect New Year’s Resolution Diet destination, say Tony Shure and Colin McCabe, […]

Crumbs Announces Agreement to Be Acquired By Firm

Crumbs Holdings LLC (“Crumbs”), the creator of the gourmet cupcake and the largest U.S.-based retailer of cupcakes, which operates under the name Crumbs Bake Shop, and 57th Street General Acquisition Corp. (“57th Street”), a special purpose acquisition company, announced that they have entered into an agreement through which 57th Street will acquire Crumbs. The proposed transaction […]

Cupcakery Becomes 12th Concept in BBI Portfolio

Beautiful Brands International (BBI) announced the addition of Kansas City–based cupcakery Smallcakes to its portfolio of restaurants to market and franchise worldwide.  The agreement also calls for the development and openings of cobranded Smallcakes and FreshBerry stores. BBI is also considering cobranding Smallcakes with BBI's flagship brand, Camille's Sidewalk Cafe. “Smallcakes is the perfect addition […]

Freebirds Plans 24 More Units in 2011

Freebirds World Burrito, known for offering custom-built burritos, salads, nachos, tacos, and more, announced it will open sixteen restaurants in California in 2011. The first new California opening will be located across from the University of Southern California campus at 3335 S Figueroa Street, Los Angeles and is slated for Thursday, January 13, 2011. The […]

Noodles & Co. Sold to Investors

Noodles & Co., the Broomfield, Colorado-based noodle fast-casual, has been acquired by an investment group that's led by Catterton Partners. The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, however, Catterton Partners has invested in foodservice brands including P.F. Changs, Baja Fresh, and Odwalla. It is not known how the change will affect franchisees of […]

Saladworks Customers Become Pennsylvania Franchisees

Saladworks, the nation’s first and largest fresh-tossed salad franchise concept, has reached agreements with two new franchisees to further develop the Pennsylvania market.  A husband and wife duo and a father, son, and brother-in-law team are planning to open stores in Bucks County and Lehigh Valley, respectively.  Adding to over 40 locations already thriving in […]

Chop’t Teams with NYC School to Fight Childhood Obesity

In an effort to participate in Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign against the rising childhood obesity epidemic, New York City–based fast casual Chop’t Creative Salad Company announced that it is partnering with a nonprofit that brings healthier food alternatives to New York City public schools. Colin McCabe, cofounder of Chop’t, says that through the partnership […]

Corner Bakery Cafe Set to Be Bigger in Texas

Texas may have just a single lone star, but it will soon boast more than 70 Corner Bakery Cafe locations. Celebrating a strong year of sales, the Dallas-based restaurant chain announced substantial new growth plans in its home state, with new and existing franchise partners slated to bring more locations to Houston, fuel expansion into […]

Garbanzo Branches Out to Boulder

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a Denver-based fast-casual restaurant concept featuring an authentic Mediterranean menu, announced its expansion into a third Colorado market: Boulder. The 13th Garbanzo location opens December 22 and is located on the 29th Street Mall at 1905 29th Street. Restaurant hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The latest Garbanzo restaurant […]

MOOYAH Signs Up for Arkansas, Louisiana Expansion

MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, and Shakes announced its expansion into Arkansas and northern Louisiana. The brand, which has 15 open locations, just inked deals with six eager new franchisees in the states. Scott Strzelecki, a Little Rock franchise development agent, is overseeing the new spots and guiding the new franchise owners through the process. “We have […]

Second Colorado Springs Garbanzo Set to Open

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, a Denver-based fast-casual restaurant concept featuring an authentic Mediterranean menu, announced its second location to open in Colorado Springs on December 3 in the First and Main Town Center. The 12th Garbanzo restaurant is located at 3779 Bloomington Street and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. The newest Garbanzo […]

Seat Yourself: Denny’s Goes Fast Casual

It may have Denny's name hanging on its sign, but the menuboards on the wall and the lack of hosts and servers insinuate a slightly different adventure. Denny’s ventured into the fast-casual market on Nov. 12 with the opening of the first Denny’s Café in Orange, California. The café is the brainchild of Steve Dunn, […]

Saladworks Comes to Connecticut as Brand Expands

Saladworks, the nation's No. 1 fresh-tossed salad franchise, announced the grand opening of its first location in Connecticutat the Westfield Trumbull Mall's dining terrace on Friday. The opening of Saladworks in Connecticutis the first of the franchise's long list of store openings in new markets. Fans can anticipate new stores in California, Texas, and North […]

Heading Into Q4, Einstein Bros. Carries Momentum

Einstein Bros. Bagels announced that it is entering the fourth quarter of 2010 with a momentum cultivated from three quarters of transaction and franchising success. James O’Reilly, chief concept officer for Einstein Bros., says the company wants to be the “fastest-growing fast-casual restaurant chain in America,” and that both organic transaction growth and franchising efforts […]