Restaurant News Bites: McDonald’s, Buzzy’s BBQ, Smashburger

Restaurant News Bites: McDonald's, Buzzy's BBQ, Smashburger McDonald’s is showing strong momentum as they continue to grow. The company reported a 6% increase in comparable sales growth across the world, with 4% growth in America and both Europe and Asia up 6.5%. Optimizing each country’s menu and incorporating higher quality ingredients has helped the giant corporation continue to see growth in slow economic times.

Buzzy’s BBQ, an iconic Texas barbecue restaurant, has signed a franchise agreement to develop a new restaurant in Houston. Charter Franchise Group will be responsible for the new expansion. This is the first Buzzy’s brand franchise agreement. The original restaurant was opened 18 years ago in Kerrville.

Smashburger is running a number of promotions at their restaurants to celebrate National Hamburger Month. Every Tuesday in May is Double Fry Day and guests can get two orders of fries for the price of one. A special Nutter Butter shake has also been release for a limited time to celebrate at all national Smashburger locations.

Applebee’s has developed a new Facebook application to help women make time for a “Girls Night Out” with friends despite busy schedules. The app lets anyone send a customized invitation to their Facebook friends inviting them to a night out at Applebee’s. Women can also submit their photos from their “Girls Night Out” to enter to win a $50 gift card.

T.G.I. Friday’s new summer menu features the tastes of craft beer with beer flavored and inspired dishes. The chain already carries Magic Hat and Fat Tire brews and will add more craft beers to their drink menu throughout the summer. The Black Angus Brewhouse Steak is marinated in beer and the Ale House Shrimp & Chips is served with a beer flavored remoulade.

Hot, cheesy and affordable pizza remains a consumer favorite in these hard economic times. Many first time and experienced restaurant owners are opening pizza locations to take advantage of the trend. This is especially true in the Triangle Area of North Carolina. New pizza restaurants are popping up in Durham, Raleigh and Charlotte every day.

Gijon Robinson may already be the tight end for the Indianapolis Colts, but he’s also expanding as an entrepreneur by opening his own Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in St. Robert, Montana. Dickey’s is America’s largest barbecue chain and is growing rapidly this year with plans for 60 new locations. Robinson plans to oversee the restaurant and manage it during the off-season.

Damon and Shantell Owens are also becoming franchisees with the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit brand and are opening their first location in Brentwood. They already have plenty of business experience from running a realty business, but this will be their first foray into the restaurant world. They chose Dickey’s because of its quality food and a great franchise agreement.

Red Robin has secured a new $250 million dollar credit agreement with Wells Fargo and Bank of America. The new agreement has a maturity date of June 2016 and the company will be able to request up to an additional $100 million if lenders agree to participate. The chain plans to use the funding for stock repurchasing and long term growth.