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Danny Klein

2018 Was a Promising Year for Chain Restaurants

Here’s a jolt of good news to start 2019: After a strong December, the restaurant industry posted its best sales year since 2015, according to the latest Restaurant Industry Snapshot from TDn2K.December’s same-store sales grew 2 percent across the chain segment, which marked the best monthly performance since August 2015.

Debt-Burdened P.F. Chang’s Reportedly Sold

P.F. Chang’s is officially on the move again. The Chinese chain entered into an agreement to be sold to TriArtisan Capital Partners LLC and Paulson & Co. Inc, according to a private notice sent to investors and reported on by Bloomberg News.

Blue C Sushi Chain Abruptly Shutters All Restaurants

Seven-unit Blue C Sushi abruptly shuttered all of its restaurants this week, according to an email sent to employees Sunday by a representative of parent company madison Holdings, Inc. A copy of the memo, reviewed by Eater, cited “unexpected financial and other circumstances.

O'Charley's Military Commitment Endures Through the Decades

Craig Barber, a former Denny’s franchisee who once chaired the brand’s franchisee association, joined American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC in October of 2017. By January he was also president of O’Charley’s and its 203 locations nationwide.

Red Robin Lands CFO from Fiesta Restaurant Group

Lynn Schweinfurth, the chief financial officer of Fiesta Restaurant Group, is leaving her post to join Red Robin, the companies announced in separate statements Wednesday afternoon. Schweinfurth, who was also SVP and treasurer, is set to depart Fiesta, the parent company of Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical, January 25.

2018's Breakout Brand: The Incomparable Lost Cajun

Let’s turn the calendar back a few years. Raymond Griffin was lamenting the oft-told, always appreciated story of surviving those daunting early years of owning a restaurant. He had $35,000 and a dream to found a Cajun restaurant in Frisco, Colorado, a town 9,000 feet above sea level that averages 175 inches of snow a year.

Del Frisco's Restaurant Group is Considering a Sale

Amid activist pressure, Del Frisco's Restaurant Group said it has “commenced a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives.” This review will consider a full range of options, the company said, including a possible sale of DFRG or any of its dining concepts.

Guest Satisfaction Scores Rise at Cheddar's

Darden chief executive Gene Lee admitted he’s “disappointed by the lack of progress in the top line” at Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. After reporting same-store sales declines of 4 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, Darden’s most recent acquisition has tracked negative in six straight periods.

Olive Garden is Changing—But Only Because it Can

Darden flagship Olive Garden hasn’t lacked for consistency. With same-store sales growth of 3.5 percent in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, revealed December 18, the classic 858-unit chain has reeled off 17 consecutive periods of positive gains.

Evolving Famous Dave's Plots a Virtual Future

The behavior of a third-party delivery user typically plays out as follows: Sort by proximity, or sort by cuisine. Where does that leave a restaurant that doesn’t box its food into a single category? This was a question Famous Dave’s chief operating officer Geovannie Concepcion found himself asking.

Buffalo Wild Wings Unveils Restaurant of the Future

Since being scooped up by Roark Capital-backed Arby’s Restaurant Group for $2.9 billion last February and taken private as part of Inspire Brands, Buffalo Wild Wings has installed several visible changes.

Rapidly Growing Metro Diner Adds New Executives

One of the fastest-growing concepts in full service is shoring up its executive team ahead of 2019. Metro Diner announced December 13 that it hired Stanley Goodman as chief operating officer and John Kunkel as chief financial officer in preparation of continued national expansion.

What's Next for Dave & Buster's Food Program?

To some degree, Dave & Buster’s expected separation in its food and amusement performance this past quarter. Q3 marked the first full period the eatertainment chain’s proprietary virtual reality platform was live across the system.

Off-Premises Sales Change the Game for Restaurants

In recent months, it's been debatable whether or not the restaurant industry’s upward climb was a short-term burst or something with true staying power. TDn2K’s latest industry snapshot suggests the latter might be true, although there remain significant roadblocks.