Outback Steakhouse co-founder Bob Basham is launching a quick-service chicken sandwich and salad chain called PDQ — which stands for “Pretty Darn Quick” — with plans to open eight to 10 restaurants in Tampa Bay, Fla., and Raleigh and Charlotte, N. C.
Basham is partnering with Nick Reader, chief executive of Tampa-based MVP Holdings, to open the first restaurant in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 31. Basham co-founded the Outback Steakhouse chain with Chris Sullivan.
PDQ will serve chicken sandwiches from $3.85 to $3.95, chicken tenders, chicken sandwich and salad combo deals for $6.95, and shakes, Steve Erickson, PDQ president and a former Outback Steakhouse senior vice president of operations, told Nation’s Restaurant News Thursday.
PDQ combines quick-service and fast-casual qualities. Customers order at a counter and either receive food at their table or are called to pick it up, similar to Panera Bread, Erickson said.
“We’re blending the QSR and fast-casual to make it an 'In N
Mediterranean cuisine is more prevalent on menus across numerous foodservice segments, as customers become interested in ethnic dishes, more healthful cuisine and vegetarian foods, a report from market research firm Technomic Inc. finds.
“The increase in menu incidence we have tracked shows that these items are not just being added to Mediterranean concepts, but to the menus of national chains within virtually all segments and categories,” said Mary Chapman, director of Chicago-based Technomic.
“We expect this to continue as awareness of the cuisine increases and as the trends feeding the growth continue to develop,” she said.
The report found that:
• Six in 10 consumers surveyed said they would likely order a menu offering that featured Mediterranean ingredients and flavors.
• Mediterranean chain sales at restaurants that feature Greek, Spanish and Middle Eastern foods increased 1.7 percent to $362 million in 2010 from 2009. Twenty leading Mediterranean chains considered in the report finished 2010 with 430 total units, up from 423 in 2009.
• Restaurants are using more Mediterranean food items, such as falafel, hummus, chickpeas and Greek yogurt. Pita sandwiches and Greek entr
Yum! Brands Inc. has signed definitive agreements to sell Long John Silver’s Inc. and A&W Restaurants Inc. to two separate groups of franchisees, the company said Thursday.
Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
The Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands, which also franchises KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, said Long John Silver’s would be sold to LJS Partners, a consortium of franchisees and other investors. A&W Restaurants will be sold to A Great American Brand, which Yum described as a “franchisee leader with substantial interest in A&W restaurants.”
Both sales are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, Yum said.
“As we continue to sharpen our long-term growth focus on international expansion and improving our U.S. brand positions in KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W no longer fit our long-term growth strategy,” Yum Brands chairman and chief executive David Novak said in a statement.
Yum noted that the two sales would not have a material impact on corporate earnings or cash flow.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as Yum’s exclusive financial advisor on the sales.
Yum! Brands, then called Tricon Global Restaurants, bought Long John Silver’s and A&W from Yorkshire Global restaurants for $320 million in cash in March of 2002.
In January of this year it announced plans to sell those brands to focus on its larger concepts. It said at the time that the two brands together accounted for 1,630 units.
In announcing its second quarter results in July, which included a 28 percent decline in domestic operating profit, Yum! stressed the importance of international expansion as its growth vehicle, particularly with Pizza Hut and KFC, as it continues to work on turning around Taco Bell.
Bruegger’s has added a turkey sandwich to its ciabatta panini line for the fall and is bringing back its value menu.
The Harvest Turkey Ciabatta Panini is made with roasted turkey, Cheddar cheese, sliced green apples, pickled red onions and cranberry mayonnaise. It is paired with butternut squash soup for $6.99 until January 2012.
Burlington, Vt.-based Bruegger’s also is bringing back its “4 under $4” menu, which includes Western Egg; Egg and Cheddar; Egg, Cheddar and Bacon; and Egg White and Sundried Tomato sandwiches, each for less than $4. The sandwiches, whose prices may vary among locations, are available all day.
In addition, Bruegger’s is promoting its latest “Baker’s Choice” pairing. Selected by the chain’s executive chef, Philip Smith, the special is a baked apple bagel with honey walnut cream cheese and pumpkin spice coffee, available through Nov. 22. It replaces the honey grain bagel with plain yogurt cream cheese spread and Perfect Peach iced coffee that was offered during the summer.
Bruegger’s began testing its ciabatta panini line this summer as a limited-time offer. It also recently gave them away during a social media-based test in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
Bruegger’s has 298 units.
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California Gov. Jerry Brown this week gave bars and restaurants in his state something to toast when he signed a law making it legal to infuse wine and spirits with fruits, herbs and spices.
Brown said Wednesday he had signed Senate Bill 32, introduced by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association and California Restaurant Association, among numerous business trade groups and small businesses, supported the bill, Leno’s office said.
“I am pleased that the Governor has recognized the need to update an unnecessary regulation that has prevented businesses across California from making infused beverages available to their customers,” Leno said Wednesday in a statement. “This Prohibition-era statute did nothing more than punish California restaurants and small businesses that are using culinary innovations to survive in this difficult economy.”
Both chambers of the California Legislature unanimously approved the bill, which revised the state’s Business and Professions Code, originally intended to protect consumers from dangerous concoctions, such as moonshine.
The bill contained an urgency clause and became law immediately after Brown signed it.
“We are certainly cheering the repeal here at Bottle Cap,” said Pete Gowdy, bar manager of the 10-week-old, 103-seat restaurant and lounge in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. “We are barrel-aging a Vieux Carr