Fat Brands to pay about $25M to buy Johnny Rockets | Qdoba's chef creates Signature Eats menu | Burger King in Belgium serves up customized face masks
August 13, 2020
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On the Front Burner
Fat Brands to pay about $25M to buy Johnny Rockets
(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Fat Brands, the parent of Fatburger, will acquire 1950s-themed casual dining chain Johnny Rockets in a deal valued at about $25 million. The deal, expected to close next month, will expand Fat Brands' portfolio to approximately 700 locations under nine banners.
Full Story: Reuters (8/13),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/13) 
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Restaurant News
Fast-casual Qdoba Mexican Eats has launched the Signature Eats menu with dishes designed by chef Katy Velazquez. The new menu items, including Street-Style Chicken Tacos, Steak Fajita Quesadillas and Impossible Fajita Bowls, will be made according to the chef's recipes, in contrast to the chain's signature customizable dishes.
Full Story: Restaurant Business online (8/12) 
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Buzzman created a campaign for Burger King in Belgium that enables customers to order face masks customized with their orders so that they don't have to speak at the drive-thru or counter. The specially printed masks, showcased in a short spot, can be ordered via the brand's Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Full Story: Ad Age (tiered subscription model) (8/11),  MediaPost Communications (8/11) 
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Leading Voices
Michelin-starred chef Noah Sandoval recently turned his talents to pizza in partnership with restaurateur Bruce Finkelman. The pandemic spurred the pair to create walk-up concept Pizza Friendly Pizza, one of a growing number of new concepts in Chicago aimed at feeding demand for off-premises dining.
Full Story: Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model) (8/11) 
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The restaurant industry continues to evolve as businesses invest in technology, adjust store layouts and make other changes. Here's a look at brands to watch in the coming months, including Noodles and Co., Freddy's, Smoothie King and Jamba.
Full Story: QSR magazine (08/2020) 
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SmartBrief Originals
Culinary Spotlight
Chef Sang Yoon took inspiration from his Korean heritage to make a fried chicken sandwich that includes kimchi and charred scallion mayo at his Los Angeles eatery, Father's Office. In this video, he shows how to make the sandwich, which he suggests pairing with his favorite cocktail -- a Japanese whisky highball.
Full Story: Robb Report (8/12) 
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Jackfruit's texture makes it a convincing meat substitute
(Pixabay)
Jackfruit is gaining popularity as a plant-based alternative to meat because of its unique texture, which allows the tropical fruit to be shredded when cooked. The whole fruits can weigh as much as 80 pounds and have a sticky pith that can be difficult to work with, but canned varieties packed in brine offer a convenient alternative.
Full Story: The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (tiered subscription model) (8/12),  Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (8/9) 
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Movers & Shakers
Maybe words, like potions, were also capable of magic.
Pete Hamill,
journalist, writer, editor
1935-2020
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