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concepts

Emerging Brands

Tony Roma’s gets ready for its fast casual debut

The 50-year-old casual-dining chain, which has shrunk to just seven U.S. units, sees a future in its smaller Bones & Burgers offshoot.

Emerging Brands

Friendly's plans a fast-casual entry

A scaled-down riff called Friendly's Cafe will fire up its kitchen next month.

Money was slow to start flowing at the outset of 2021, but interest in emerging concepts picked up in the back half of the year.

A few years after pressing pause, closing some units, and weathering the onset of the pandemic, the buzzed-about fast-casual says 2021 was its most profitable year so far.

Founders Table Restaurant Group, the parent of Chopt and Dos Toros, said the money will help the three-unit chain grow in New York City and elsewhere.

The mini golf eatertainment brand, which opened its second U.S. store early this month, is slated to open five more locations next year after securing a $60 million investment last spring.

One Tortazo unit opened just before the pandemic began, but a second location of the Mexican sandwich concept recently opened in New York City. The brand said it remains bullish on urban centers despite the challenges.

Multi-acre facilities sporting multiple food and beverage outlets are springing up to provide fans of the game with a place to play, eat and drink.

Denver-based Mici Handcrafted Italian has some big-name advisors, well-oiled operations, a thriving rewards program, and it’s starting a major growth push after 17 years building its foundation.

The Toasted Yolk Cafe is going head-to-head with others in its growing full-service breakfast-lunch category.

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