Chain News & Profiles

Chain News & Profiles includes news on chain restaurants, operations, profiles, trend pieces and new concepts.

Call it a Comeback

For years, Bennigan’s served as the model for casual-dining restaurants. But since 2008, when the chain entered and then exited bankruptcy, 
it hasn’t made much noise. Now, new leadership has built a new 
prototype, new menu and new franchise system that could make 
Bennigan’s great once again.

Johnson to Become Starbucks COO

Former Microsoft executive will replace Alstead on March 1.

Goodman Joins Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt

Former CiCi's Pizza executive turns a new leaf.

Sage Restaurant Group Welcomes Werner to a Newly Created Post

Cornell alumni becomes a director with the restaurant company.

Janjua to Join Krystal in an Executive Role

Former Sonic executive to become the Argonne Capital-owned burger chain's new president and CEO.

Starbucks COO Alstead Takes Unpaid Leave

2015 Chain Innovators: Bel Campo

Farm to table? How about ranch to table — but instead of simply sourcing directly from the ranch, you actually own and operate the ranch, which raises grass-fed beef as well as goats, sheep, pigs and ducks? You also own the animal-welfare-sensitive slaughterhouse right down the road, the butcher shops where all of your meats are hand cut, and every other step in the process of getting premium-quality meats from ranch to restaurant — to the point of even providing the leather for the banquettes in your dining room.

2015 Chain Innovators

Today’s foodservice consumer has innumerable quality food options from which to choose. What they want, however, are foodservice providers that can deliver something that relates to their lifestyles and self-images.

2015 Chain Innovators: Cava Grill

The Cava brand was launched in 2006 as Cava Mezze, a full-service, Greek-inspired restaurant in Washington, D.C. There are now three in operation in the D.C. area, as well as a Cava Foods division, which sells packaged dips and spreads from the restaurant’s menu in Whole Foods stores in D.C. and New York City. But the brand’s newest spinoff, and the one with which it is gaining traction in the chain restaurant arena, is Cava Grill. It’s a fast-casual operation offering healthful, scratch-made Greek and Mediterranean specialties in a modern, design-forward setting.

2015 Chain Innovators: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery

Seeing an opportunity to infuse the breakfast daypart with a shot of youthful innovation, brothers Jon and Adam Schlegel whipped up the concept for Snooze in 2006 and opened their first unit in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood. Decidedly distinct from traditional breakfast chains or diners, Snooze was built on creative, farm-to-table culinary; comfortable, friendly service; an eclectic and energetic atmosphere; and a strong culture of sustainability.

Reengineering the Kitchen to Serve the New Consumer

With full-service and casual dining growth at one percent last year, competition for the diner’s dollar continues to escalate. Operators continue to seek new ways to entice customers to frequent their restaurants as opposed to eating in alternative locations down the street. To do this, foodservice operators keep looking for ways to satisfy the evolving demands of socially-networked, technology-savvy, issue-conscious consumers.