Restaurant Development & Design

NOV-DEC 2018

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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1 6 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8 BUZZ who's doing what SAJJ Mediterranean Expands in California SAJJ Mediterranean, the family of Bay Area-based res- taurants and food trucks known for customizable Middle Eastern cuisine, announced it will pursue an aggressive expansion strategy, with plans to open 15 locations by the end of next year. The €rst of the new locations in California opened in Irvine in November of this year, followed by a store in San Jose in December. A store in San Ramon will open in early 2019. While the chain remains focused on growth in California, plans are being €nalized to expand into markets outside of the state over the next two years. SAJJ Mediterranean cur- rently operates seven units throughout the Golden State. Arby's purchased Sonic Corp. for $2.3 billion. Arby's parent com- pany Inspire's portfolio includes such restaurant chains as Buffalo Wild Wings and Rusty Taco. Following the comple- tion of the transaction, Sonic will become a privately held subsidiary of Inspire and will con- tinue to operate as an independent brand. "We have tremen- dous respect for Sonic's exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry's most distinctive restaurant brands," Paul Brown, chief executive of€cer of Inspire Brands, said in a statement. "We're excited to build on Sonic's momentum as we leverage our combined expertise and capabili- ties to better serve guests, further support team members and franchisees, and drive long-term growth." In a statement, Sonic execs said its franchisees will remain engaged in plan- ning regarding technology, new products and marketing programs with the support from the team at Inspire, which recognizes the central role franchisees have played in the chain's development and growth. Ninety-€ve percent of SONIC's 3,600-plus drive-ins are owned by local businesspeople. LYFE Kitchen Sold to L3 Hospitality Group Memphis, Tenn.-based Carlisle Corp., also a Wendy's franchisee, sold its health-focused LYFE Kitchen fast-casual concept to L3 Hospitality Group, a Chicago-based multi-concept operator and a previous LYFE Kitchen franchisee. Carlisle had purchased a minority stake in LYFE Kitchen in 2014 before buying the brand two years later and had ambi- tious plans to grow the brand, but the chain closed four units late last year and additional units this year. LYFE currently has 14 locations in operation. Taylor Gourmet to Close All D.C.-Area Stores Taylor Gourmet will close all 17 of its D.C.-area stores in September as well as 2 stores in Chicago. The closures come as Connecticut-based private equity €rm KarpReilly, which infused Taylor Gourmet with a reported $5.6 million investment in 2015, pulled out of the company. CHAIN CLOSURES Arby's Acquires Sonic

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