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casual dining

Leadership

Mike Archer named CEO of Lou Malnati’s

His appointment follows the sale of Archer's previous charge, Houlihan's.

Operations

Talk of the industry this week: On-premise dining

Or at least that was a major theme at the ICR Conference, where three dozen chains aired their strategies and financial results.

The steakhouse chief took a different approach to highlighting her charge’s strategy. Gather around to hear the account.

The chain’s chief operating officer was terminated without cause. Michael Buchmeier was named his interim replacement.

At least 12 were shuttered, including a potential new growth vehicle: Make Room for Truman.

The store is less than half the size of a traditional unit, with an emphasis on the bar and off-premise business.

Or was consumers’ abandonment of shopping malls the culprit? Add in heightened competition and you have the perfect storm that tripped up the brand, the chain’s leadership says.

The casual steak chain outperformed all of its sister operations, largely because of how it handled personnel, its parent company said. Olive Garden's comps rose 1.5%.

The company, which also runs Cadillac Ranch, has already closed seven units and says it has a “stalking horse” bidder willing to pay $7.5 million for the 29-restaurant operation.

A new feature of Restaurant Business looks at the week’s most effective TV ads.

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