Restaurant News Bites: Whataburger, Saladworks, Friday’s

Restaurant News Bites: Whataburger, Saladworks, Friday'sWebsites offering a one-day-only deep discount on local dining are actually helping restaurants attract new customers. Research by Technomic shows that a majority of diners who used discount sites returned later and paid full price. They also were likely to recommend the restaurant to family members or write a review on a social media website.

Whataburger has put together a beautiful and informative book detailing the history of the company just in time for Father’s Day. The Whataburger Story is a hardback photo book perfect for keeping on the coffee table. It features exclusive interviews, photographs and stories from the people who were most involved in the founding of the iconic hamburger chain.

The new Fastest Growing Restaurant Operators Report from Chain Store Guide has been released for 2011. This report focuses on the fastest growing larger chains that currently have at least 50 locations. Growth was measured over a three year span to prevent fast but unstable growth from skewing the results. Affordable luxury dining topped the list.

Domino’s, a pizza chain that managed to resurrect itself after a slow decline, hopes that by the fall of this year international store sales will be higher than U.S. based sales. The chain has almost the same amount of locations both inside and outside the country. However, some countries like China are still presenting difficulties for the brand.

Saladworks, America’s fastest growing fresh salad chain, announced the signing of a new agreement to develop three new locations in the Boston area. The new restaurants will open over the next three years. Tien Tien Lai will be the franchisee for all three. The Saladworks chain currently operates 100 locations with plans for many more to open over the next year.

Burger King and Pizza Hut may not directly compete in the same part of the restaurant industry, but they’ve committed to a new competition. The basketball finals have found Miami and Dallas facing off. BK is based in Miami, and Pizza Hut in Dallas. The CEO of the losing company will spend a day working at a restaurant from the opposing chain.

T.G.I.Friday’s wants you to visit and enjoy their new craft beer menu this summer. To encourage beer lovers the restaurant chain has created the Buy Your Friend a Beer application for Facebook. Users over 21 can buying up to 5 beers for any friend at $5 a piece, regardless of location. The coupons are delivered through Facebook to the recipient.

Baskin-Robbins may be well known for delicious ice cream in the United States, but they just opened their first Singapore location. This marks the 4,000th location outside the country for the chain. Singapore is the 48th country to host a Baskin-Robbins store. Executives from the country celebrated the milestone at the grand opening of the store.

A new pizza restaurant is coming to Rogers, Arkansas. Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers will be opening their newest location on June 13th. The restaurant will be open 7 days a week and offers a beer list with 70 different options, including 30 beers on draft. Mellow Mushroom’s menu features a broad variety of pizzas, salads and sandwiches.

Benihana Inc. has released the fiscal reports for the last quarter of the 2011 fiscal year. The chain saw great improvement in comparable restaurant sales with a rise of 5.6%. Total revenue rose to $81.8 million for the entire fiscal year. Net income was slightly lower than last year, with $0.5 million during 2011 compared to $1.7 million last year.