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Le Botaniste, a botanical-based, apothecary-inspired restaurant, opens today in New York City. Created by Le Pain Quotidien’s founder and COO Alain Coumont, Le Botaniste is nestled in one of LPQ’s first locations on Lexington Avenue on the Upper East Side. It is the counterpart to the Belgium-based restaurant of the same name and intends to further organic, plant-based eating in New York City.Chains: Le Pain QuotidienLe Botaniste
Arby’s achieved industry-leading system U.S. same-store sales (SSS) growth of 8.1 percent in 2015—more than three times the growth rate of a sample of the larger quick-service restaurant chains.
In 2015, Arby’s produced record system-wide sales of more than $3.5 billion, and posted the highest one-year (8.1 percent), two-year (13.8 percent), and three-year (16.6 percent) SSS comps for the Arby's system in more than 20 years. Arby’s has achieved 21 consecutive quarters of SSS growth.Chains: Arby's
Rubio's Restaurants, the brand known for its uniquely delicious coastal cuisine and popularizing the fish taco, is adding to its selection of sustainable grilled seafood with the introduction of the Smoky Oaxacan Shrimp Two Taco Plate and Burrito. Created and developed by cofounder Ralph Rubio and the Rubio’s culinary team, the dishes feature bold new flavors inspired by cuisine of the Oaxacan coastal region of Mexico. The Smoky Oaxacan Shrimp Two Taco Plate and Burrito will be available for a limited time.Chains: Rubio's
Smashburger, the rapidly expanding better burger restaurant known for its fresh, smashed-to-order burgers, announced that Michael J. Nolan, who was previously overseeing franchising and development at Corner Bakery, has been appointed to the position of executive vice president–chief development officer. Nolan will oversee the company's development (real estate, construction, design, facilities), franchise sales, and IT departments effective immediately.Chains: Smashburger
Step aside, couples: Singles are redefining the most romantic day of the year. According to a national survey, 50 percent of singles classify themselves as “Proud Singles” on Valentine’s Day and are ready to break the “Sad Single”cliché, yet only 24 percent of all singles treat themselves to a gift on the holiday.Chains: Dairy Queen
Doc Popcorn, a growing international franchise specializing in fresh-popped, kettle-cooked flavored popcorn, completed 2015 with robust retail and franchise sales and a number of agreements to open new locations domestically and abroad in 2016. Its growth pushed the brand past the 100-unit mark in 2015. In addition to malls, stadiums, convention centers, and farmer’s markets, Doc Popcorn signed an innovative deal to open cobranded units with Dippin’ Dots in a leading car wash service and convenience chain throughout the Southwest.Chains: Doc PopcornDippin' Dots
BIP Capital, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm, launched a franchise development division, the BIP Franchise Accelerator, to help emerging brands accelerate their growth. Currently, the BIP Franchise Accelerator's portfolio includes fast-casual concepts Tropical Smoothie Café and Tin Drum Asian Kitchen, and the company is seeking to invest in brands with high growth potential across all franchise segments.Chains: Tropical Smoothie CafeTin Drum Asiacafé
Chipotle’s recent series of food safety outbreaks rattled its investors and enough of its customers to see visits decline, but the chain’s strong base of teens and young adult customers continued to support the fast casual chain, finds The NPD Group, a leading global information company. In the quarter ending December, during which several of the outbreaks occurred, total visits to Chipotle were down 5 percent compared to a 19 percent traffic gain the same quarter year ago.Chains: Chipotle
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the election of officers to its board of directors and board of trustees, respectively. The officers, who serve one-year terms, led their first board meeting this week in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition, the NRA and NRAEF have named several industry leaders to join their boards.