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Chain Operating Report for May 30

Taco Cabana rolls out an updated prototype, Fogo de Chão will get a new owner and Hardees plans to expand in the southeast are among the top news items in this week's chain operating report.

DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE:DIN), the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP Restaurants, has entered into an asset purchase agreement with American Franchise Capital, LLC for the sale of 33 Applebee's company-operated restaurants located primarily in Missouri and Indiana.

CKE Restaurants, Inc. plans to expand its footprint in the Charlotte, N.C., market by roughly 35 new Hardee's restaurants during the next few years. Right now, CKE operates 51 Hardees locations in the Charlotte-metro area.

Dunkin' Donuts, signed a multi-store development agreement with Star Restaurant Group, a new franchising group, for nine new restaurants in Birmingham, Ala. The first restaurant is planned to open in 2013, and the remainder by 2017.

Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. has reached an agreement to acquire Fogo de Chão Churrascaria (Holdings), LLC, a group of fine dining, full-service restaurants headquartered in Dallas, from GP Investments, Ltd. Fogo de Chão, which opened three new restaurants in the past 12 months, has 18 locations in the United States and seven in Brazil. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Pollo Tropical opened its third company-owned restaurant in Jacksonville, Fla. The chain also opened its third franchised location in Caracas, Venezuela.

Taco Cabana announced plans to begin remodeling all of its San Antonio and Houston locations with the hopes of wrapping up these efforts in roughly one year. Taco Cabana's revised restaurant interiors will feature vivid colors, fresh new salsa bars, contemporary wood furniture, flat screen televisions and free Wi-Fi. The chain also plans to update its patios with new seating, updated covers and new sun screens featuring 'papel picado' flags fashioned from laser-cut metal. For these newly remodeled locations, Taco Cabana plans to implement a fast-casual style of service, which calls for servers to bring orders to the customers' tables and provide guests with complimentary chips and salsa.

Wingstop opened a new location in Hialeah-Miami Lakes, Fla. The hot wing chain now operates 13 restaurants in South Florida.