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Chain Operating Report for June 25, 2013

This week we have the scoop on the international expansion plans of Baskin Robbins and Bennigan's, while Boston Market and Darden report operating results. To add a touch of royalty, we check in with Burger King and Smoothie King. 

Baskin-Robbins is looking to expand internationally by partnering with multi-unit franchisees who want to develop locations in major metropolitan areas across South Africa and Germany. In South Africa, the initial focus will be on provinces in the south, north and east regions. The German introduction for Baskin-Robbins will begin in Berlin and Munich followed by Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

Bennigan's opened a location in Larnaca, Cyprus. The newest restaurant for the nearly 100-unit chain, Bennigan's in Larnaca is the fourth Cyprus location for franchise partners Chris and Andrew Axentiou.

Since adding St. Louis Style ribs to its menu in April, Boston Market has seen sales at its restaurants increase by more than 16 percent, with ribs accounting for more than 18 percent of all customer orders. Additionally, total customer transactions are up 8 percent versus this time last year. These increases come at a time when many in the fast-casual industry have cited a slowdown in their business. As a result of the demand, Boston Market is adding ribs to its menu permanently in all locations.

Burger King expanded its BK Delivers program to the Boston market, where five of its restaurants now offer delivery service. BK Delivers is already available in such markets as New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas, Sacramento, greater Washington, D.C., Phoenix and Denver.

For its second fiscal quarter, Captain D's reported same-store sales increased 5.3 percent, including 3.9 percent for franchise restaurants and 6.6 percent for company locations. Two year system-wide same store sales growth for the second quarter was 13.3 percent.

For its 2013 fiscal year ending May 26, 2013, Darden reported total sales from continuing operations were $8.55 billion, a 6.9 percent increase from the $8 billion generated last year. The increase reflects same-restaurant sales growth of 2.1 percent for the company's Specialty Restaurant Group and 7.9 percent of growth in sales for the year due to new restaurants, including the acquisition of 40 Yard House restaurants. Combined, the company's Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse concepts experienced a 1.3 percent decline in same-store sales.

Del Taco opened a location in San Marcos, Texas, the chain's 18th restaurant in the Lone Star State. This location will be open 24 hours and will feature Del Taco's new salsa bar and drive-thru.

The Egg & I Restaurants opened a location in Colorado Springs, Colo. This marks the chain's 82nd restaurant system wide and 25th location in Colorado.

Papa John's added legendary professional football player Jerome Bettis to its roster of franchisees. Bettis, in partnership with Bajco Group, now owns three restaurants in Pittsburgh. Bajco group operates 12 Papa John's restaurants in the Pittsburgh area.

Smoothie King Franchises, Inc., opened a corporate store in Addison, Texas. The Addison location is the first of 15 corporate and 20 franchise stores scheduled to open over the next three years in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Smoothie King opened its first store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1995 and currently has 27 stores in operation.