Subway Club Collection LTO debuts

Subway debuts Club Collection LTO, breaking from tradition

The Southwest Chicken Chipotle Club is one of three LTO sandwiches

Subway Restaurants debuted a new lineup of club sandwiches, breaking from tradition, the sandwich chain announced. The Subway Club Collection LTO (limited-time offering) brings ingredients, like jalapeños, delicious steak and creamy guacamole, front and center. Subway’s new LTO sandwiches include The Southwest Chipotle Chicken Club, The American Club and The Steak Club.

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Potbelly AvoToast debuts

Potbelly AvoToast LTO debuts

Cold Brew Coffee Shake, AvoToast added to spring menu as LTOs

A Potbelly AvoToast and Cold Brew Coffee Shake are two new products coming from Ryan LaRoche, Potbelly Sandwich Shop head of culinary, and his team. In the Potbelly Avo Toast LTO (limited-time offering), LaRoche is taking a cue from restaurants that offer brunch. The addition is an open-face, toasted creation with sliced avocados, and topped with cucumbers, red pepper and onions, along with creamy, melted feta.

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Sterling Heights BJ's Restaurant unveiled in Michigan

Sterling Heights BJ’s Restaurant unveiled outside Detroit

Greater Detroit restaurant is second unit outside rejuvenated city

BJ’s Restaurants opened a new restaurant in Sterling Heights, Mich. April 15. The new BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse sits on an exterior standalone plot of the Lakeside Mall, visible from Hall Road. The 230-seat restaurant is only the second BJ’s restaurant in the Detroit suburbs, and spans 7,500 square feet. BJ’s has an extensive beer collection and deep-dish pizza offering that is popular with guests, and it will offer a full menu there.

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El Pollo Loco appoints Brian Wallunas Digital Marketing VP

El Pollo Loco appoints Brian Wallunas as head of Digital Marketing

New Digital Marketing VP tasked with growing customer loyalty

At El Pollo Loco, Brian Wallunas has been appointed to the newly-created role of vice president of Digital Marketing effective April 22. The new Digital Marketing VP has a robust technology background within foodservice businesses. The 480-unit El Pollo Loco chain is in the midst of a transformation plan, having hired Miguel Lozano as chief operating officer in March. Wallunas will head up digital strategy, and loyalty. Additionally, he is charged with growing the brand on all digital channels.

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Qdoba rolls out Impossible meatless option nationwide

Qdoba expands Impossible meatless options nationwide

Brooklyn, Denver, Los Angeles select stores to get Qdoba Impossible menu first

In the growing use of plant-protein alternatives among quick-service restaurants,(QSRs), a popular Mexican chain expands its Qdoba Impossible menu options nationwide. Qdoba Eats concluded its Impossible test in Michigan and is rolling out Impossible nationwide in May. Select stores in Brooklyn, Denver and Los Angeles will be serving the Impossible meatless option starting April 23. This adds to a growing number of QSRs using or expanding plant-based meat alternatives across the country.

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ProStart readies 2019 Invitational in Washington, DC

NRAEF readies 2019 ProStart Invitational in D.C.

ProStart connects classroom with industry-led education, skills

ProStart, one of the leading educational programs for high school students in restaurant management and the culinary arts, is preparing for one of its signature events in Washington, D.C. May 8-10. The annual National ProStart Invitational (NPSI), managed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), spotlights the best of the best across more than 1,900 schools, across all 50 states, the Territory of Guam and Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe, the Pacific and the District of Columbia.

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MTY to acquire Papa Murphy's

Baja Fresh owner to acquire Papa Murphy’s for $190M

MTY Group is bullish on take n’ bake pizza segment

MTY Group of Montreal will acquire Papa Murphy’s stock and debt for a combined $190M transaction value. MTY is the parent of Kahala Brands and a multi-brand franchisor of food brands across North America. It’s also a hefty player in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) space with 5,941 stores. Papa Murphy’s, operating in the take n’ bake segment, franchises 1,331 restaurants and runs another 105 company-owned stores. MTY put up approximately $113M in cash for the deal and assumed $77M in debt.

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Red Robin CEO retires, announced the burger chain

Red Robin CEO retires after disappointing year

Denny Marie Post retires as Board Chair Patty Moore takes over

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers announced the retirement of Denny Marie Post as its president and chief executive effective April 3, 2019. Red Robin saw its drive to profitability hamper sales growth during 2018. Comparable restaurant sales were down 2.6 percent, including the impact of comparing a 52-week fiscal year to a 53-week fiscal year. Adjusted diluted earnings share dropped to $1.73 in 2018, from $2.49 in 2017.

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Applebee's Stawberry Dollarita as April Drink of the Month

Applebee’s Strawberry Dollarita served up as April Drink of Month

Twizzlers headline Applebee’s Strawberry Dollarita

Applebee’s announced its April Drink of the Month. During April, patrons can purchase the Applebee’s Strawberry Dollarita for just one dollar. Applebee’s has used the Drink of the Month as a draw to attract bar business as part of initiatives that have led to a sales comeback over the past year. The Strawberry Dollarita is prepared with tequila, strawberries and margarita mix, then served on the rocks with a strawberry-flavored Twizzlers straw.

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Bartaco is no 2 on the Fishbowl Emerging Brands 2019 Report

Cava, Bartaco, True Food Kitchen rank as top emerging brands: Fishbowl report

Fishbowl releases Emerging Brands 2019 rankings

Cava Grill, Bartaco, and True Food Kitchen were top chains in the Fishbowl Emerging Brands 2019 report. Fishbowl’s annual rankings examine and measure sentiment for restaurant industry chains that had five to 75 units at the time it developed its analysis. Cava rose from the #10 spot last year to be the top chain this year. And True Food Kitchen slipped to #3 from the top spot in 2018. These chains show strong potential for innovation and differentiation, says Fishbowl, adding that it used rich data to develop its results.

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