Sweetgreen, a health-oriented fast-casual chain, serving creative salads and bowls built around proteins, grains and vegetables, has raised $200M in its latest raise, following a $35M raise just three years ago. This new round was led by Fidelity Investments. Sweetgreen plans to use the investment to further advance its digital platform, it announced… allow the 90-unit chain to advance its supply chain platform through the use of blockchain.
Qdoba has introduced a Pulled Pork and Queso Burrito. The 750-unit fast-casual says its pulled pork is the leanest protein on the menu. Inside the burrito, guests will find the pulled pork, slow braised with a seasoning blend infusing it with tomatoes, onion, garlic and mild chile flavors, nestled in a warm flour tortilla with a cilantro-lime white rice and seasoned with black beans, cilantro, and topped with pico de gallo, shredded cheese and Qdoba’s 3-Cheese Queso.
Muscle Maker Grill launched a limited-time burger menu offering October 22, marketed as promoting a healthier lifestyle for its guests. The new Muscle Maker Grill Burger Bar Menu lineup is available a five-style, build-your-own custom menu. Veggie options include the grass-fed beef, turkey, all-natural chicken breast or veggie burger. Guests can pick their style, including Mushroom Supreme, California Club, Classic Jalapeno and the Recovery Burger, served up on a whole wheat bun and a side of potato fries.
Shake Shack has partnered with food and retail firm Grupo Toks to launch in Mexico with a store opening in Mexico City in 2019. The new development deal will pair the classic burger, hot dog and custard chain with the 40-year expertise of Mexico City-based Grupo Toks to build 30 stores... Shake Shack will work with local suppliers to build a flagship Shack that reflects the Mexico City community and heritage
Latin street-food chain Pincho Factory announced a partnership with Uber Eats, Postmates, DoorDash, and online ordering platform Olo to bring delivery service to all of its locations this fall. The 10-unit fast-casual chain is known for... the Pincho Burger, Steak Latin Ricebowl and its namesake line of pinchos. Delivery is part of its strategic growth, and the service will also serve franchisees well.
Fat Brands has announced the development of a co-branded restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona. The first co-branded restaurant of Fatburger and Buffalo’s Express in Arizona is the result of a new deal with franchise partner Gregg Wright. Fatburger has a strong reputation with guests and a national presence since it started in Southern California 70 years ago.
Naf Naf Grill, a Middle Eastern-style chain with 38 locations in more than eight major markets, has launched a new delivery service in partnership with DoorDash. Naf Naf favorites, including traditional shawarma, fresh falafel and handmade pita, can be served up at customers’ homes and offices using the Naf Perks app or online. To promote the service, Naf Naf will offer free delivery for a limited time.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has expanded its partnership with DoorDash to enable national delivery in 70 markets and at over 1,800 Chipotle locations. Chipotle’s customers will be able to order delivery using the website or the Chipotle mobile app. For a limited time, between August 27 and September 12, 2018, guests will get free delivery on orders of $10 or more (not including tip or tax).
Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent of Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical, announced that Jackie Swift-Kurkjian has joined the company as senior director of Off-Premise Consumption. In this role, she will lead the efforts to build the catering, online and delivery sales channels at Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. Her role will help the brands leverage new information systems, resources and people as part of Fiesta’s Strategic Renewal Plan.
hake Shack reported its financial results for Q2 2018 in a company release and held an investor conference call August 2. Its total revenues, including licensing fees, increased to $116.3M, representing a 27.3 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Total operating store sales, including the impact of new stores, increased to $112.9M, a 28.3-percent increase from last year. Comparable store sales (“same-shack sales”) in Q2 increased 1.1 percent, compared to 1.8 percent decrease reported in the same period last year.
Fast casuals are the only segment in the restaurant industry that are growing traffic, says a report from NPD. The Chicago-based research firm has seen traffic grow 6 percent annually over the most recent five years. According to the NPD Fall 2017 ReCount restaurant census. The growth leaders among fast-casual chains included Chipotle, Panera, Panda Express, and Raising Cane's. Fast casuals have appealed to households with incomes of $100K or more.
Restaurant Business Online identified several up-and-coming chains in its Future 50. The data is based on 2017 information and estimates gathered by Technomic, Inc. The top five chains in the Future 50 comprise CoreLife Eatery, The Halal Guys, Wahlburgers, Maple Street Biscuit Co., and Honeygrow. Rounding out the top 10 are Bibibop Asian Grill, Babalu Tapas, Cava, Ahipoki Bowl, and Duck Donuts.