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Priceline buying Open Table for $2.6 Billion! Print
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:40

(CNNMoney) -- Priceline is buying restaurant reservation service OpenTable for $2.6 billion, the companies announced Friday.

Priceline, the online discount travel service, paid $103 per share in a cash transaction, a 46% premium on Thursday's closing price for the shares.

Shares of OpenTable were higher in premarket trading on the news. Shares of Priceline were little changed.

But shares of three other companies in the online local business sector -- review site Yelp, menu and delivery site GrubHub , coupon service Groupon and services evaluator site Angie's List were all sharply higher on the news of the OpenTable deal.

"OpenTable is a great match for The Priceline Group. They provide us with a natural extension into restaurant marketing services and a wonderful and highly-valued booking experience for our global customers," said Priceline CEO Darren Huston. Continue

 
Twin Peaks begins South Florida Expansion Print
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:37

Digitaljournal.com -  The month of June has been very exciting for the South Florida group developing Twin Peaks the nation's hottest sports themed restaurant chain that prides itself on being the "ultimate man cave"! The Florida Restaurant Franchise Group (FRFG) a subsidiary Jafrejo Holdings, LLC which is developing ten (10) locations across South Florida announced today that they have acquired a new location in Davie, FL and have begun to prepare the site for construction. This Davie site will be FRFG's first South Florida location and is expected to introduce South Florida to the "East, Drink and Scenic Views" of Twin Peaks in January 2015.

"We are very happy with the progress we have been making and we are excited to finally begin the construction process on our first South Florida location. Davie is the perfect location to introduce our brand to South Florida", said Jack Flechner of the Florida Restaurant Franchise Group (FRFG) and operator of Twin Peaks in South Florida as well as other franchise restaurants in Florida. "Acquiring this property and beginning the construction process on our first of ten locations are exciting milestones for us, we couldn't be more excited about working with the Town of Davie in developing our first location at the Tower Shoppes", added Flechner. Continue

 

 
Waffle House employee allegedly fatally shoots customer. Print
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:32

UPI.com - -After a dispute at a Georgia Waffle House early on Friday morning, a restaurant employee allegedly pulled out a gun and fatally shot a customer.

According to authorities, the man who died has been identified as 33-year-old Adrian Mosley.

"The preliminary investigation has determined that a verbal altercation occurred between an employee and a customer," Fulton police Cpl. Kay Lester said. "At some point, the male employee retrieved a weapon and fired upon the customer."

A witness said the dispute started when a cook refused to serve two customers, one of whom was presumably Mosley, because they were being "unruly." Continue

 

 
Former Restaurant owner arrested for not paying sales taxes! Print
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:30

Tallahassee.com - The former owner of the popular Po' Boys restaurant chain was arrested Sunday, about six months after he closed the doors on his final two locations.

A Florida Department of Revenue investigation contends 50-year-old Jon Sweede failed to pay more than $46,000 in sales tax collected at his three Tallahassee restaurants on East College Avenue, West Pensacola Street and Village Square Boulevard in Killearn.

Sweede posted bail Sunday evening and faces one charge of failure to remit sales tax more than $20,000 and two charges of refusal to pay or file a sales-tax return.

Since he opened his first store 22 years ago, Sweede's business expanded with the economy, but later fell victim to the recession over the past few years.

In an interview with the Democrat in December, Sweede said stress and increased work load caused him to close his two remaining restaurants on College Avenue and on Village Square Boulevard in Killearn. Continue

 
Chipolte patrons upset with cost increase! Print
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:18

Restaurant-hospitality.com - Because Chipotle Mexican Grill is a public company whose stock is red hot and whose customer base is vast, its recent move to raise prices got a lot of attention. Wall Streeters loved the idea of what turned out to be roughly a six percent boost. Many customers didn’t, and they went on social media to register their displeasure. If you’re thinking about raising prices to keep your restaurant’s food costs in line, get ready for strong reactions from your texting, tweeting and online-review-writing customers.

Of course, patrons have never liked paying more for any restaurant meal. But now they have a platform on which to publicly vent their spleen about higher prices and to publicly commiserate with other customers who don’t like them, either. Restaurant operators now have to carefully calibrate any price hikes. Otherwise, perception of the restaurant’s value proposition can turn negative in a hurry. Continue

 
Top 100 Movers & Shakers from Fast Casual! Print
Thursday, 12 June 2014 09:39

Fast Casual - The editorial team of FastCasual.com has announced its annual list of the vibrant restaurant segment's most significant brands, people and trends. 

The downloadable "The 2013 Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers" was released Monday morning morning after an awards gala the night before in Chicago, timed to coincide with the National Restaurant Association tradeshow. Both "The Top 100" and the event were sponsored by restaurant equipment manufacturer Henny Penny.

Fazoli's CEO Carl T. Howard and his wife pose with the 2013 Brand of the Year award. 

Judges determined the top 50 brands based on industry nominations and subsequent debate on the significance of the nominees to the segment. Criteria included innovation, growth, social responsibility and overall contribution. In addition, the judges acknowledged the 20 industry executives who have most contributed to the evolution and health of fast casual, the most influential menu innovations, and the most significant food and technology trends. Continue

 
Outlook for Restaurant Job Growth at a 2-Year High Print
Thursday, 12 June 2014 09:29

PR Newswire -  "The restaurant industry continued to register robust job growth in May, while the overall economy finally surpassed its pre-recession employment peak.  Looking forward, restaurant operators' outlook for staffing growth rose to its highest level in two years.

"The economy continued to move in a positive direction in May, according to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The overall economy added a net 217,000 jobs in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which marked the fourth consecutive month with gains above the 200,000 level. 

"In addition, the overall economy has now surpassed its pre-recession employment peak, with growth exceeding the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession.  The private sector surpassed its pre-recession peak in March, with the downward trend in public sector jobs representing the difference. 

"Restaurant employment gains remained robust in May, with the industry adding a net 31,700 jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  This marked the 51st consecutive monthly gain for a total of more than 1.3 million jobs. Continue

 
Domino's crowns world's fastest pizza maker! Print
Thursday, 12 June 2014 09:18

PRNewswire / — More than 5,000 Domino’s Pizza spectators cheered as Pali Grewal triumphed as the 2014 World’s Fastest Pizza Maker. Grewal, a Domino’s Pizza franchise owner from the United Kingdom made three large pizzas in an impressive 32.28 seconds. That’s making three pizzas in less than 11 seconds each! Grewal won $3,000 in prize money, a trophy and the coveted title of World’s Fastest Pizza Maker presented by Domino’s President and CEO, Patrick Doyle.

“I am elated that I have won the World’s Fastest Pizza Maker Competition,” said Grewal. “The competition gets stronger and stronger every year that we compete and I train hard to come out on top. I had no intention of letting the title go.” Continue

 

 
David Beckham to open restaurant chain???? Print
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 17:09

Sportsdntv.com - Miami:  Former England football captain David Beckham could soon be launching his own restaurant chain.

The 39-year old is likely to call it - Beckham's Bistro.

“It's got a good ring to it. It will be about dining. I'm a foodie and dining is a big part of this,” dailystar.co.uk quoted Beckham as saying. 

The US restaurant venture comes on the back of his tie-up with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, in which he has agreed to promote their property in Asia.

The deal could pitch him in the kitchen against his pal chef Gordon Ramsay.

Father of four - the former Manchester United hero and his wife Victoria, 40, were recently valued in the Sunday Times Rich List as being worth 210 million pounds.

Beckham, who quit football last year after a medal-laden 21-year career having played for United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, is also in the process of setting up his own Major League Soccer club in Miami, Florida.

 
Minimum wage increased to $15... restaurants sue! Print
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 10:45

Fastcasual.com - Seattle’s City Council unanimously approved a minimum wage increase Monday, to $15 an hour. Mayor Ed Murray is expected to sign its passage today, which would give Seattle the highest minimum wage in the U.S. The pay scale will be implemented throughout several years, with specific timeframes to be determined based on business size. According to CNN, the first increase will come April 1, 2015, bringing the wage to $10 for some and $11 for others. Washington already has the highest minimum wage in the U.S., at $9.32. The federal wage is $7.25. President Obama has called for a minimum wage of $10.10. As expected, restaurant industry workers called Monday’s news a “major victory” in their nearly-two-year quest to get the federal limit up to $15 through growing strikes and protests. "Fast-food workers have been paving the way for a better future for workers across Seattle — and are sending a strong message to cities across the country," Seattle Domino’s employee Crystal Thompson said in a news release. "When I see $15, I'll be able to afford my own place in a safe neighborhood where my kids can ride their bikes, and I'll finally be able to go back to school." Labor union group SEIU also applauded Seattle’s move, calling it “historic” and predicting its positive effect on more than 100,000 workers. David Rolf, president of SEIU 775, vice president of SEIU, and co-chair of Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee, issued a statement that read in part: Continue

 
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