Restaurant News Bites: Red Lobster, Smashburger, Famous Dave’s

Restaurant News Bites: Red Lobster, Smashburger, Famous Dave'sAll Tampa Bay, Florida locations of the popular seafood chain Red Lobster will soon be undergoing a total redesign. The company has developed a New England coast inspired store design that will be tested in the Tampa Bay area. Newly constructed restaurants in Florida also used the Bay Harbor design. Adirondack chairs, ship lanterns and new window decals add to the New England style charm.

Saladworks customers who want to connect with store franchisees and feel appreciated will like the new website. Designed to give customers a chance to have their feedback immediately responded to, the chain displays the photo and contact info for the franchisee of the location you’re leaving comments on. Guest relations representatives will also send responses every day including weekends.

Smashburger is a growing fast casual chain that focuses on better burgers, and they opened their 100th store location today. The company is only 3 years old, but the new Illinois location is a testament to the popularity of the Smashburger brand. Only top quality Angus beef is used in their burgers, and the unique smashing method for flattening the burger produces great flavor and texture.

The founder of Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que restaurant chain, Dave Anderson, will compete on Food Network’s upcoming Best in Smoke competition. The first episode of the new four part show will air on May 8th. Dave Anderson was chosen to compete because he’s developed his own unique flavor of barbeque that customers sample everyday at all Famous Dave’s locations.

Taco Cabana enjoys mixing up traditional Mexican fare with other flavors, and their new hickory smoked brisket is no exception. Guests can enjoy tasty brisket tacos in the form of breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and brisket, a full meal with rice and beans or in a smaller lunch combo. The brisket was first introduced last year and was so popular that the chain decided to bring it back.

GE Capital has agreed to provide a $7.5 million line of credit to MSK Enterprises, a company currently developing multiple Little Caesar’s and Church’s Chicken franchise locations. The loan will help the company acquire 14 new Church’s Chicken locations and open 3 new Little Caesar’s restaurants. The company already operates nearly 30 locations between the two brands., an organization dedicated to supporting sustainable and small farming operations, has found a new partner in Mexican chain Chipotle. Chipotle Mexican Grill will begin a new fund-raising event for the organization after receiving support for its Food With Integrity concept. The group will be promoted as part of the “Wrap What You Love” contest.

On May 4th Philadelphia will be able to enjoy the fresh, hot donuts of Krispy Kreme at a new Center City location. Organic oatmeal, coffee drinks and other treats will also be available at this location. Grand opening celebrations will include free donut giveaways for the first 12 customers, including a year of free donuts for the first customer.

The Barbed Rose Steakhouse and Seafood Co. has hired two new chefs for the recently created butcher and pastry chef positions. Chef Jay Peek will prepare the best cuts of humanely raised organic meats, and Chef John Paul Fleming will be responsible for producing the best baked goods for both the restaurant and the company owned Crustco Artisan Bakery and Uncommon Goods.