Chain Operations includes chain profiles, news on chain restaurants, trend pieces and new concepts.
Extreme Pizza's take-and-bake business was launched in 1994 and didn't take off as anticipated — and after six months company founder Todd Parent was not above tweaking the concept.
A Midwest staple, Culver's has spread its wings in recent years to cover 19 states. Its basic formula — friendly, fast-casual service; burgers grilled to order, home-style dinners and frozen custard — has put this small-town company in the ring with much larger competitors.
Despite a tough year in terms of both real estate and franchisee financing, Moe's ended 2010 with revenues up 8 percent, 30 new units opened and comp-store sales ahead by 5.4 percent. Significantly bigger gains in both sales and units are expected this year, says president Paul Damico, thanks to a combination of menu innovation, ongoing promotions and a major new positioning campaign.
Fast-casual bakery café operator Au Bon Pain has announced plans to remodel all 318 of its locations. Au Bon Pain also announced the veteran executive chef Stefano Cordova has joined the company to lead its culinary efforts.