Restaurant News Bites: Mother’s Day, Popeyes, Luby’s

Restaurant News Bites: Mother's Day, Popeyes, Luby'sOver 75 million diners will enjoy a brunch or dinner on Mother’s Day at a favorite restaurant according to estimates released by the National Restaurant Association. Over 50% of mothers surveyed indicated that they would like to dine out to take a break from cooking and cleaning on May 8th. Restaurant gift cards are also a top gift for this Mother’s Day due to the flexibility and choice offered.

India has become the focus for many restaurants and fast food chains as they search for international growth opportunities. A growing middle class and a developing taste for American fare like burgers, ice cream and coffee are giving many chains unrivaled opportunities in metro areas like New Delhi. Chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut are already enjoying great popularity in India.

Popeyes is famous for their Louisiana style fried chicken, and they want everyone to get a taste. From now until the end of May all customers who purchase a Bonafide three piece chicken dinner will receive a free two piece meal. Both meals feature a side and a biscuit, making this a perfect deal for big eaters or couples who are looking for a inexpensive but tasty meal.

The COO of Luby’s, Harris J. Pappas, has retired at 66 and will be replaced by Peter Tropoli. Pappas will remain a important member of the Board of Directors for the restaurant chain. Benjamin Coutee will take over Tropoli’s current role of Senior Vice President. Chris Pappas will remain the CEO of the company until at least August 2012.

As restaurants look for new ways to reduce waste and promote environmentally friendly methods, some are turning to composting their food waste. Restaurants generate thousands of pounds of food each month that can’t be sold or eaten, and composting takes this waste and converts it into eco-friendly fertilizer. A number of companies are starting up around the country to help food establishments compost their waste.

Desert Island Restaurants, the parent company of Asian fusion fast casual chain Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar and Grill, has announced plans for aggressive expansion with their top brand. The company recently opened its 5th location in Idaho and wants to develop new restaurants from coast to coast by the deadline of 2013. The West Coast will soon be secured by a Anchorage, Alaska location opening next week.

YUM! Brands is a international restaurant company that owns brands like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC. The company is making a offer to the Chinese based Little Sheep Group Limited to buy the Little Sheep restaurant brand as well. Little Sheep is a chain of hot pot restaurants operating mainly in China and Mongolia, and the acquisition would cement YUM Brands’ position in Asia.

The newest KFC restaurant has been designed with energy conservation and environmentally friendly practices in mind. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, the restaurant was built with recycled and sustainable building materials and water conservation equipment. It also uses 25 percent less electricity than traditional KFC locations due to efficient cooking equipment and LED lighting.

A new restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona has combined indulgent meals with healthy ingredients to make a delicious menu. Tryst Cafe uses organic, gluten free and hormone free ingredients to create great sandwiches, breakfast items like pancakes and waffles and entrees like Seared Ahi Tuna. Even the wine and beer to accompany your meal is organic.