Restaurant News Bites: Firehouse Subs, Wendy’s, Caribou Coffee

Restaurant News Bites: Firehouse Subs, Wendy's, Caribou CoffeeFirehouse Subs has signed nine new agreements in a wide range of states including Ohio, Massachusetts and Louisiana. These agreements include the opening of 429 new restaurants over the coming years. The company started modestly in 2000 with an initial development of 30 stores, but is pushing for over 2,000 locations by 2020.

Wendy’s fast food chain recently redesigned their french fries after poor customer response and have now own in a national fry taste test, beating out McDonald’s for the top spot. The new fries are cut from whole potatoes and features crispy potato skin. All natural sea salt and trans fat free frying oils improve the healthiness of the simple french fry as well.

America’s second largest coffee house chain, Caribou Coffee, has cut back on the calories in many of their beverages to appeal to health conscious consumers. The new line is called the Northern Lite menu and features favorites like the mocha or coffee lattes with 40% less calories. Real no-fat milk, fat free whipped cream and natural chocolate will continue to be used in the drinks.

T.G.I. Friday’s has had their new “Best Burger” Award stolen by a burger burglar, and they are offering rewards if the award is returned. The giant hamburger award was bestowed to an Idaho Friday’s restaurant and was stolen two days after it was received. The restaurant is not planning to press criminal charges against the thief, but will give a free burger and fries meal to anyone who returns it.

Pizza chains and small pizzerias are going out of business and filing for bankruptcy at a high rate, led by big names like Sbarro and Round Table Pizza. The competition in the pizza & Italian pasta category of the restaurant industry is tough. Customers are choosing lower cost chains in many locations, leaving restaurants that feature higher cost but better quality pizza out in the cold.

Dunkin’ Donuts has expanded its “Caught Cold” promotion in the Boston area through the rest of the summer. Anyone found carrying a iced coffee from the chain on certain days will receive a free pair of tickets to a Celtics or Bruins game. To kick off the summer long event Dunkin’ Donuts plans to give away more than $25,000 worth of tickets during their one day “Boston’s Biggest Ticket Giveaway” event.

TCBY, one of America’s oldest frozen yogurt chain, is returning to its origins by opening their first new store in Little Rock, Arkansas. The first location was founded there in 1981. For their 30th anniversary the company also gave away an entire TCBY store and franchise to Jared and Sarah Greer. Jared worked at the original TCBY location as a teenager and has extensive business experience.

LongHorn Steakhouse added a third location in Rochester, N.Y. recently, bringing their total in the United States to 350 locations. The locations of LongHorn Steakhouse focus on quality steaks and a Western themed décor. LongHorn will celebrate the 30 anniversary of its first Atlanta location next year.

California Pizza Kitchen will now be offering healthy California styled pizza, wraps and salads in their first Mexico airport location. The Cancun International Airport has agreed for a lease in Terminal 2. 3 million yearly visitors pass through the airport. The restaurant will be open from 5 am to 10 pm, offering a breakfast menu and lunch/dinner menu.

UFood Restaurant Group focuses on quality, healthy meals at a fast pace. The company has signed an agreement for two new UFood Grill’s inside the Salt Lake International Airport in Utah. The airport is currently working on offering new and more interesting concession options in their terminals. UFood Group signed with Hojeij Branded Foods for this new expansion project.