Franchising update: Deals, detours and new franchisors

Brick House

The Brick House “man-cave” chain has signed its first franchise deal, an agreement for four units in south Texas, the CEO of parent company Ignite Restaurant Group revealed to investors. Ray Blanchette did not reveal the franchisee, but commented, “We're in talks now with a handful of other qualified groups and we're targeting to complete another deal or two before our next quarterly call.”

Carl’s Jr.

Carl’s Jr. franchisee Frontier Star CJ LLC has opened a store that stretches into territory usually associated with casual dining. The Glendale, Ariz., unit incorporates a number of standard sports-bar features, including 11 flat-screen TVs and a sports mural. It also offers free wireless internet service, an amenity that Carl’s has tested but shelved in the past.

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme has signed a multi-concept operator in Anchorage as a franchisee for four stores in and around the Alaskan city. The local company, North to Alaska, currently operates five restaurants, including two Firetap Ale Houses, McGinley’s Irish Pub, Sourdough Mining Co., and Peanut Farm Sport Grill.

Just Fresh

Chanticleer, the North Carolina-based franchisee of six Hooters restaurants outside the United States, has acquired 51 percent of the health-oriented Just Fresh café chain.  The deal includes right to franchise the concept, which features fresh-squeezed juices, baked goods and coffee. Currently five stores are open, all in Just Fresh’s home state of North Carolina. Chanticleer, which is headquartered in Charlotte, already owns the five-unit American Roadside Burger chain.

A week later, Chanticleer announced that it had raised $800,000 in a private placement. The name of the investors was not disclosed.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts inched forward on its re-entry of California with the opening of a franchised store at a highway rest stop in Barstow. The non-traditional location is the second of what Dunkin’ predicts will be 1,000 units in the state. Commitments have been signed for 70 freestanding restaurants, as well as a deal to open outlets in Embassy Suite hotels.


Among the brands vying with Dunkin’ for locations on the West Coast is Togo’s, the sandwich chain that Dunkin’ formerly owned. Almost simultaneously with Dunkin’s announcement of the Barstow opening, Togo’s disclosed that it was adding franchises in Los Angeles, Sacramento and several other California cities. It currently has 230 stores in California.

Einstein Bros.

Einstein Bros. Bagels says its push for non-traditional locations has landed 30 new sites in the last nine months. Twenty-two of the stores are on college campuses, three are in airports, three operate in healthcare facilities, one is part of a train station, and the last is in a casino.

Quaker Steak

Quaker Steak & Lube has awarded rights to develop seven stores in the South-Central corridor to I-10 Hospitality, a multi-concept restaurant and hotel franchisee based in Louisiana. The first is scheduled to open early next year, and the four others are expected to fire up their ovens by 2018.


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