Despite the havoc of the pandemic, restaurant dealmakers remain positive about the future. To be sure, many of 2020’s transactions — including last month’s $11.3 billion Dunkin’ Brands acquisition by Inspire Brands—were in the works ahead of the March shutdown, easing their completion.  Read more >>

The pandemic has offered restaurants a much-needed reset button. For years progressive restaurateurs, especially those in fine dining, have been looking for a way to make the industry into a “real” profession, while also finding a way to even out the inequities in pay between the servers in … Read more >>

Wintrust Bank CEO Ed Wehmer recalled his dad asking him in high school, “What’re you going to do for your career? Why don’t you be a CPA and then you can go around and ask any questions you want about all sorts of businesses?”  Read more >>

On August 4 the names Sandy Beall, Kevin Reddy and Doug Jacob appeared in a prospectus for a blank-check company called FAST Acquisition Corp (FAC). Known formally as a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, FAC is among 64 other such entities filing so far this year to go public for … Read more >>

Shake Shack, Ruth's Chris and Potbelly set off a media firestorm last week when the three public restaurant companies announced they had received Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP) under the CAREs Act stimulus program for small businesses. Read more >>

Chick-fil-A reported record sales and earnings in 2019. The Atlanta-based quick serve operator, ranked last year by Franchise Times Magazine as the 12th largest franchise company in the U.S., was poised to for another strong year in 2020. However, dining room closures and restrictions to ope… Read more >>

Options for beleaguered restaurants owners are quickly mobilizing and here is what you need to know. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, allows the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guaran… Read more >>

Along with you, we are closely watching the impact COVID-19 is having on our communities and businesses. We understand the tremendous impact that the restaurant and franchise industries have on the economy. Read more >>

    2019 might be considered an off year for public restaurant chains as only seven companies outperformed the outsized 28.9% return of the S&P 500 benchmark. However, the industry's stock market benchmark, the Restaurant Finance Monitor Stock index, weighted 70% in quick-serve restaurants a… Read more >>

    CoreLife Eatery, based in Binghamton, New York, is building a lifestyle brand from the inside out. CoreLife embodies an intersection between “we are what we eat” and “find what works for you.” The company further describes its objective: “Food determines how you feel, how you look, and most … Read more >>

    There have been many articles written, sporadically timed, about the impending recession. The timing of such a projection has been challenging. During our Toroso investment committee meetings we too often discuss this risk as well as many others that can affect portfolio outcomes. Read more >>

    Kura Sushi USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Osaka-based Kura Sushi Japan, filed an S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week and intends to raise approximately $58 million in an initial public offering. BMO Capital Markets and Stephens Inc. are underwriting the offering. Read more >>

    MOD Pizza, based in Bellevue, Washington was founded in 2008 by Scott and Ally Svenson,. The Svensons had built two successful food service companies while living in England.Visit www.rogerlipton.com to view free restaurant company descriptions and other articles. Read more >>

      Sizzler USA is undergoing a significant management shift. CEO Kerry Kramp is among five executives who exited the iconic West Coast brand early last week. It's unclear whether they quit or were forced out. Read more >>

      The highlight of Noble Roman's first quarter report was the first franchised Noble Roman's Pizza & Pub in Lafayette, Indiana, that opened on May 2. Visit www.rogerlipton.com to view free restaurant company descriptions and other articles. Read more >>

      Texas Roadhouse is one of the premier restaurant operators. Management is outstanding, their long-term record is superb, and we don't doubt that they will continue to be very profitable. Visit www.rogerlipton.com to view free restaurant company descriptions and other articles. Read more >>

      Restaurants in major markets across the country are struggling to adjust to labor shortages, pay increased health care costs, absorb rising food costs and steep rents, and deal with the expectations of today's consumers. Some are downsizing, and Others are turning to delivery apps to grow re… Read more >>

      In today's competitive restaurant world, a restaurant organization's entire approach to customer needs must take into account many factors. Often, when restaurant owners are faced with closing a business, the story they tell is about their inability to resolve competitive issues and create a… Read more >>

      Inspire Brands, affiliated with private equity firm Roark Capital, announced the intended purchase of Sonic Corp. (SONC), at a premium of about 18% to the market price prior to the offer. Visit www.rogerlipton.com to view free restaurant company descriptions and other articles. Read more >>

      I don't normally disclose our “bottom line” in terms of our position (long or short) in companies that I write about. However, Papa John's is sufficiently liquid in terms of trading volume and adequately controversial in terms of the investment community's dialogue. Visit www.rogerlipton.com… Read more >>

      Papa John Schnatter's loose lips now put him in the same camp as former race luminaries Jimmy The Greek and Donald Sterling. The only thing I'll say here about Schnatter's faux pas: It's not good for selling pizzas. Read more >>

      Starbucks (SBUX), the house that Schultz built, is a success story that has inspired many. It is also a Top 10 holding in the Restaurant Finance Monitor and deserves comment. Starbucks has led both technologically and culturally through its 175,000 “green aprons.” However, on June 26, its fo… Read more >>

        Sandra McCraren will be the first to admit that when she started her career in restaurant financing nearly 30 years ago, she definitely had luck on her side. She went to work for a bank that was in the very early stages of helping form what is now the national lending program for McDonald's … Read more >>

        Up until ten years ago, almost all the chief financial officers in the restaurant industry were male. At the recent Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, 36 of the 243 CFOs attending, or 15%, were female. One of them, Lina O'Connor, CFO of Tender Greens, in Culver City, Calif., re… Read more >>

        The fast-casual segment appears to be evolving, causing private equity investors to pursue brands featuring menus ahead of their time. Case in point: Modern Market. Founders of the 30-unit chain sold controlling interest in late February to Butterfly Equity, a Los Angeles private equity firm… Read more >>

          With tax reform legislation now law, it's important than restaurant accounting, finance and tax professionals understand the important changes brought about by this legislation in order to take full advantage of the changes. We covered this topic in a webinar which you can now watch here. Read more >>

          The traditional role of the CFO was to make sure the accounting was proper and the bills were paid. A CFO's responsibilities now stretch from pricing and labor retention to customer behavior, cultural alignment and even storytelling. Read more >>

          Starbucks is getting a whole lot of goodwill for its announcement that it will raise wages and give sick time and other benefits to employees, as it should. But the skeptic in me can't help but see this as a desperate employee-marketing program in a period of intense labor pains. Read more >>

          Even with ZOES down more than 65% from its historical high, investors still have an unusually long wait before the fundamentals catch up with the current stock price. Visit www.liptonfinancialservices.com to view more stories from Roger and company descriptions. Read more >>

            University of Michigan-Flint economics professor Mark Perry explains the impact of the minimum wage increases (18 of them) that took place on January 1 in one simple lesson on the American Enterprise Institute's Carpe Diem blog. Read more >>

            There's a lot of talk about turnarounds these days. Some say casual dining is just dead while others think they've cracked the code one quarter only to find a new scapegoat the next. But Denny's made it work. Read more >>

            “What is your spirit vegetable?” This isn't a question that kicks off many financial meetings. But at Miss Kim's, the newest addition to the Zingerman's family of restaurants in Ann Arbor, examining the P&L is no dull or secret affair. Read more >>