Restaurant News Bites: Long John Silver’s, A&W, McDonald’s

Restaurant News Bites: Long John Silver's, A&W, McDonald's Yum! Brands is off-loading Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants, its two lowest performing brands, to two separate buyers. Both agreements have been signed but are still waiting to close. The buyers are both seasoned franchise owners that have the resources to devote to improving and growing the brands.

Mediterranean-inspired dishes are popping up on menu across the country as consumers become more interested in ethnic cuisine. Technomic’s Mediterranean Market Intelligence Report shows that the vegetarian and healthy dishes offered by the regional cuisine appeals to a wide variety of diners. 60% of surveyed consumers said that they would try a Mediterranean dish if they noticed one on a menu.

McDonald’s recently announced a 0.70 per share dividend on common stock that will come payable on December 15th. This will bring the fourth quarterly payout to $700 million, a 15% rise over the last quarter’s cash dividend. The increase is a result of the company’s determination to pay off investors first, rather that using profits for other purposes.

Wildfish Seafood Grille, a restaurant focusing on freshly caught seafood and prime steaks, has hired a new executive chef. Keith Stich comes from a number of executive chef appointments at steakhouses like Mastro’s Ocean Club, where he earned the restaurant a “Best Steakhouse” award.

The President and CEO of Pizza Inn, Charlie Morrison, was recently featured on KERA’s CEO episode. In the interview he reveals how he took over the chain in the 2007 and restored it to its former glory after it declared bankruptcy in the late 80s. He also talks about his new concept for the brand, Pie Five.

Bella Petrella’s Holdings, Inc. has purchased the Philly Westshore Franchising Enterprises company. The Philly Westshore holdings include 37 sports bars serving pizza and hamburgers in the states of Ohio and Florida. The company also comes with agreements to open another 21 restaurants in the next two years.

Pizza Inn has proven so popular in Abilene, Texas that the chain has opened a second location in the town. The new location was opened by the same franchisee team that operates the other Pizza Inn in town. The brand’s buffet-style model was chosen for the location and the restaurant created nearly 60 local jobs.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill is expanding in Colorado Springs with its third location. The restaurant chain has 14 locations in Colorado and is based in Denver. The state has proved very receptive to the healthy, Mediterranean-inspired menu of the chain. Guests at the newest grand opening will have a chance to win coupons for free food and other prizes.

New York is learning to love barbeque, and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is expanding rapidly in the Northern state. The chain opened 3 different locations earlier this year and a fourth in the last few weeks. The latest location brought Texas style barbeque to Rochester. This brings the chain’s total number of restaurants to 174.