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Danny Klein

Why Huddle House is Only Getting Better with Age

In February, Huddle House changed hands for the second time in six years. Private-equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners dealt the 55-year-old chain to Elysium Management for an undisclosed sum. In that span, the family-dining icon retracted its total unit count by 44 units to 349 locations generating more than $240 million in annual systemwide sales.

Buffalo Wild Wings Names Lyle Tick President

New-look Buffalo Wild Wings has a new president, and he’s not from the restaurant industry. Inspire Brands, the umbrella company of the 1,200-unit brand, Rusty Taco, and Arby’s, announced September 17 that Lyle Tick, managing director for Walgreens Boots Alliance beauty brands business in the Americas, was appointed to the position.

Dave & Buster's to Test Fast-Casual Tacos Concept

While Dave & Buster’s pinpoints 10 percent or more annual unit growth as its top long-term value driver, the “eatertainment” landscape is shifting as quickly as any in the restaurant industry.

Friendly’s Taps Ex-Boston Market Leader as Interim CEO

FIC Restaurants, the operator of Friendly’s, named industry veteran George Michel its interim chief executive officer, the company announced Thursday. Michel replaces former Panera Bread executive John Maguire, who is leaving the chain after six years to accept another job in the restaurant industry.

Chili's President Kelli Valade to Leave Company

After 22 years with Brinker International, Kelli Valade is leaving the company to join insight powerhouse TDn2K LLC, the parent group of well-known industry platforms People Report, Black Box Intelligence, and White Box Social.

Stacked Sets Sights on National Growth after Sale

Two private-equity firms acquired five-unit Stacked, a tech-forward burger chain that specializes in customization, the companies announced September 10. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Huntington Beach, California-based Stacked was founded in 2010 by Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, the creators of 200-unit casual chain BJ’s Restaurants and Brewhouse.

Is IHOP Still Riding the IHOb Wave?

It’s a pretty ironclad fact that IHOP’s IHOb stunt was an effective short-term promotion. It quadrupled burger sales and drove the chain’s dinner daypart sales mix by 200 basis points during the first three weeks of the Ultimate Steakburger launch.

Applebee's Offering Free Delivery for Monday Night Football

The off-premises target for Applebee’s is an ambitious one. By 2022, the brand hopes to double the growing segment’s share of current total sales, up from about 9 percent. And recent signs suggest Applebee’s is making significant progress.

Ruby’s Diner Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Ruby’s Diner, a 1950s-themed concept based in Newport Beach, California, filed for federal bankruptcy protection on September 5 in Santa Ana. Ruby’s Diner, Inc., the operator and franchisor of the 32-unit chain, of which four are company run, said it has also entered into a plan support agreement with Steven L.

Restaurant Sales Report Impressive Growth in August

TDn2K’s latest industry snapshot returned a promising figure—same-store sales growth of 1.8 percent in August, which marked the highest growth rate since September 2015. However, this is one report worth keeping in perspective.

Top Chef Alum Mike Isabella Declares Bankruptcy

“Top Chef” alum and celebrity personality Mike Isabella filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection September 6 in federal court. The chef’s restaurant group, Mike Isabella Concepts, was once a $30 million empire comprised of more than a dozen restaurants, multiple stands at Nationals Park in Washington, D.

Cooper’s Hawk Taps Potbelly Exec as CFO

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants is bringing on Michael Coyne as chief financial officer, effective October 1. Coyne arrives with more than three decades of leadership experience, including a six-month stint as interim CEO at Potbelly Corp.

Red Robin Replaces COO in Effort to Regain 'Operational Edge'

On the heels of a challenging quarter, where same-store sales dropped 2.6 percent and guest counts fell 0.7 percent, Red Robin announced Tuesday afternoon that it’s making a C-suite change. The 572-unit burger chain said it is replacing chief operating officer Carin Stutz with Guy Constant.

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse Takes Center Stage

Ajay Singh has witnessed teachers, physicists, and chemical engineers moonlight as servers at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse. Given the nature of the 12-unit brand’s training program, the notion doesn’t surprise him.

Buffalo Wild Wings Fires Up New Value Menu, Fantasy Game for Football Season

With a new marketing chief at the controls, Buffalo Wild Wings unveiled an extensive new partnership and ad campaign Wednesday it hopes will turn its Sundays into serious traffic and profit drivers.Kicking off Sunday, September 9—week one of the NFL calendar—Buffalo Wild Wings will showcase an exclusive game, menu, marketing push, and other activations, especially in regards to its Blazin' Rewards program, intended to capitalize on football season.