MOD Pizza taps former Panera, Starbucks exec as COO

MOD Pizza has hired Paul Twohig to be its first COO and oversee MOD's 235-plus locations in the U.S. and the U.K., according to a press release. Twohig joined MOD's advisory board in 2008 and has over four decades of restaurant experience as senior VP at Starbucks, president of Dunkin' Donuts, and executive VP and COO of Panera Bread.

Locali chooses Fransmart to accelerate franchising

Locali is partnering Fransmart to take its franchised natural food concept, with an organic-based deli menu, nationwide, according to a press release. "We want change the way people think about healthy eating," Locali Co-Founder Melissa Rosen said in the release....

Former NFL tight end opens OK City Pie Five unit

Billy Bajema, a former Oklahoma State and NFL tight end, is getting ready to open Pie Five's fifth Oklahoma location and its fourth in the Oklahoma City area, according to a press release. The unit is located in Edmond and...

Meatballs Etc begins franchising

Meatballs Etc. has launched a franchise program under Squisito Franchise Enterprises, beginning its expansion on the Eastern seaboard, according to a press release. "The Meatballs,Etc.

Blaze moves beyond US with biggest deal ever, announces minority owner

After officially becoming the fastest-growing brand in U.S. history earlier this week, Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza today said it's moving beyond North American borders for the first time, building 100 restaurants in 11 Middle Eastern and northern Africa countries, starting next year.

Going UP in a 'Blaze'of glory: Chain now fastest starting in history

Blaze Pizza is fastest-starting chain ever, according to Technomic. That's what stories in both Forbes and Quartz are reporting this week, after the chain — which also won this year's Fast Casual Top 100 Movers & Shakers — opened its...

Everything's bigger in ... China?

China's restaurant industry is    one of the nation's main economic growth drivers, according to a report released by Meituan-Dianping, a foodservice-focused e-commerce platform. The industry expanded 11.3 percent last year to reach 3.5 trillion yuan (more than $514.6 billion USD), a news release said.

Japanese mega-retailer proves 'grocery-ification' of eating out goes beyond US

Call it the grocery-ification of the restaurant business, and it is happening and not just in the U.S. According to Reuters, in fact, the largest Japanese retailer by sales, supermarket operator, Aeon Retail, last week reported a "better-than-expected quarterly profit,"...

Utah gets Mod

Mod Pizza is debuting in Utah, then coming on strong with a total of five openings there by year's end, a news release said.  Location No. 1 in the state opens early this month on South Wildcat Way in Woods Cross.

Pizza in Chile? Little Caesars says, 'Yes!'

Little Caesars is putting their pizza in Chile, where consumers are increasingly demanding "takeaway" brands that offer value per serving. The Detroit-based brand opened its first South American restaurant on June 15, in Santiago, which a news release said is...

Blaze fires up Los Angeles County location

Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza opened a Los Angeles County location Thursday in North Hollywood. The store will give away free pizzas today from 11 a.m.

Vapiano's Big Apple relaunch sets stage for major US expansion

The leaders at Vapiano made some Big Apple-size noise this week about their newly refurbished New York City restaurant, with "red carpet" appearances from Hollywood's finest and lots and lots of food. A news release said that Vapiano CEO Jochen...

Me-n-Ed's goes out for a beer ... or 26

Me-n-Ed's Pizzeria opened a new brew-centric brand this June called Me-n-Ed's On Tap in Bakersfield, California, complete with a self-pour tap system, featuring 26 taps of local craft beer and wine. Me-n-Ed's Pizzeria has successfully operated one Fresno location with...

&pizza comes 'home' to the Big Apple

Washington, D.C.-based &pizza is opening in the Big Apple next Tuesday, June 20, a news release said — which, as it turns out — is a homecoming of sorts for the brand. The chain's current 21 locations in the nation's capital, as well as Baltimore and Philadelphia, all reflect the cities and neighborhoods they "live" in.

Cicis reaps rewards of four-year revitalization

Pizza buffet chain Cicis said its 2013 revitalization plan is working, as proven by 16 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth through Q1 of 2017, a news release said. The plan endeavored to refine the brand's market positioning and improve...

Oath pledges growth and good farm practices

Oath Craft Pizza said it's raised $7 million in a series B funding round led by Boston-based venture capital firm Breakaway Venture, bringing the total raised by the brand since its 2015 start to about $16 million, a news release...

Firenza doubles national footprint by year's end

Firenza Pizza is set to nearly double its size in the next six months, thanks to its April merger with Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria, a news release said. Eleven new locations will open over that time to join the current...

Malawi's opens 5th location in Virginia

Malawi's Pizza is opening its first eastern seaboard location today in Fredericksburg, Virginia, a news release said. The chain has five locations but only sells franchises as development agreements.

Marco's adds Best Pizza Franchise designation to awards

Marco's Pizza is having its day. A Harris poll announced Tuesday that the brand made its Top 5 list for brand equity, and now the chain has been designated "Best of the Best" pizza franchise in Entrepreneur magazine's rankings, a news release said.

Blaze promotes Mizes to top spot

Blaze Pizza has promoted Jim Mizes to the brand's president and CEO, from his former position there as president and COO. He now assumes global responsibility for the brand and its growth, according to a company press release. "He combines...

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