P.F. Chang's to acquire equity in True Food Kitchen | P.F. Chang's courts lunch customers: | Red Robin to add units, expand fast-casual concept
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February 17, 2012
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P.F. Chang's to acquire equity in True Food Kitchen
P.F. Chang's China Bistro will acquire a 51% interest in Scottsdale, Ariz.-based True Food Kitchen, a four-unit healthy-dining concept launched by Fox Restaurant Concepts and health guru Andrew Weil. P.F Chang's made a loan to launch the concept in 2009, with the option to convert the debt to equity. American City Business Journals/Phoenix (2/16)
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P.F. Chang's courts lunch customers:
P.F. Chang's China Bistro will take its new lunch menu national in April, after tests in Arizona and Dallas drove a 20% increase in traffic and a 10% jump in same-store sales. The company has been revamping menus and redesigning restaurants as part of a major post-recession turnaround effort. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Dow Jones Newswires (2/16)
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Restaurant News
Red Robin to add units, expand fast-casual concept
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers plans to open 13 new restaurants in 2012, including four Red Robin?s Burger Works locations. The chain launched its first fast-casual Burger Works unit in Denver last year. American City Business Journals/Denver (2/16), BurgerBusiness.com (2/16)
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Shareholders sue to stop O'Charley's buyout
Two stockholders have filed lawsuits seeking to block Fidelity National Financial's $221 million acquisition of Nashville-based casual chain O'Charley's, saying the deal undervalues the company and shortchanges shareholders. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (2/16)
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Happy Hour
Leading Voices
Tactics to win customers in a tougher economy
Casual chains will work the hardest to keep customers coming back this year, according to research from AlixPartners that shows midpriced restaurant visits and spending are likely to decline slightly. Analysts share six strategies for staying competitive, including finding new ways to prove relevant to guests. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Restaurants (2/17)
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Loyalty programs pay off for restaurants
Restaurants are reaping rewards from revved-up loyalty programs that turn members into brand ambassadors and create more occasions for upselling. Eateries across the country are finding ways to tailor loyalty programs to their concepts, including the 31-unit Maryland-based Greene Turtle, where the Mug Club entitles members to 2 ounces more of beer each time they order a pint. Restaurant Management online (2/17)
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Other News
Culinary Spotlight
Restaurants serve modern versions of presidential favorites
TravelsinTaste assembled a virtual road map of Las Vegas restaurants that boast modern versions of dishes that were favorites of U.S. presidents through the ages, from house-made cherry sodas at Jean Georges that would have tempted George Washington to Kobe beef tacos and guacamole at Border Grill at Mandalay Bay and Diego at MGM Grand likely to appeal to Barack Obama. Forbes (2/15)
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Movers & Shakers
Ronald McDonald House names 2 to board
Ronald McDonald House has elected McDonald's owner-operator Alex C. Rodriguez and retired executive Michael D. Richard to its board of directors. QSRWeb.com (2/16)
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Food for Thought
A finished person is a boring person.
Anna Quindlen,
American journalist and author
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