Among the companies making news this week are a pair of chains entering new international markets and a pizza giant beginning a trip down the fast-casual trail.
DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN), the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants, has completed a refranchising program initiated in 2008. As a result, DineEquity is now a 99 percent franchised restaurant system, according to a company release. The last transaction in this effort was to refranchise 39 Applebee's company-operated restaurants in Virginia to Potomac Family Dining Group, LLC. DineEquity sold a total of 479 restaurants since its acquisition of Applebee's International in November 2007.
Dairy Queen opened a DQ Grill & Chill in Salisbury, Md. The new location measures 2,000 square feet.
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation signed an agreement with Star360 Group for the development of 15 Krispy Kreme franchise locations in Singapore over the next five years.
The Krystal Company announced plans to relocate its corporate office, called the Restaurant Support Center (RSC), from its current location in Chattanooga to a new location in North Atlanta in early 2013. The move will allow the company to deliver support to its 350 restaurants more efficiently and effectively from Atlanta's central location, particularly with its high concentration of restaurants in and around the Atlanta area.
Pizza chain Sbarro is taking a fresh approach to enter the fast-casual segment and hopefully turn around its financial fortunes, as outlined in this NY Times article.
Steak 'n Shake inked its first international development agreement, which will bring the burger chain to the Middle East. Saleh Bin Lahej Group has agreed to open 40 restaurants throughout the United Arab Emirates. The Saleh Bin Lahej Group is no stranger to franchising U.S.-based restaurant concepts, serving as international franchise operators of such brands as Chili's, Macaroni Grill, Black Canyon Asian Cuisine, El Chico Mexican Restaurant, The Pizza Company and Cantina Laredo.
Wok Box, a 10-year old Canadian restaurant chain, opened a location in Hillsboro, Ore., its first unit in the United States. The 1,200-square-foot restaurant represents Wok Box's 56th location worldwide.
Franchisees Tim and Jeanette Farris opened a Zaxby's restaurant in Fayetteville, Ark., the chain's first location in that city.