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Will Noodles Go Public This Year?

Plenty of good restaurant chains went public last year, but few of them were the high-growth concepts investors are drooling over and none were in the fast-casual sector that is leading restaurant industry growth. That will almost certainly change in 2013, and the most likely IPO will come from Noodles & Co.

What Do Restaurant Chains Think Of Obamacare?

Companies presenting at this year's ICR XChange investors conference in Miami were often asked, usually more than once, about the impact on health insurance mandates set to take effect in 2014. We couldn't help but notice that their views were somewhat muted.

Could Activists Propel Famous Dave's Stock?

Famous Dave's stock languished last year and hasn't done much since the mid-2000s, but this could be the Minneapolis-based chain's year, though not necessarily for anything it's doing yet. The reason? The company has some activist investors.

Biglari Gets A Deal For The Use Of His Name

How much is Sardar Biglari's name worth? $18.5 million, at least right now. That's how much Biglari Holdings would have to pay its chairman for the use of his name should the San Antonio-based company decide to give him the boot according to a recent SEC filing.

Starbucks Wants The Tully's Auction Restarted

Patrick Dempsey’s bid for the Tully’s coffee chain will come under heavy scrutiny when a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge holds a hearing this afternoon to approve the sale. Both shareholders and other bidders are objecting to Global Baristas’ $9.15 million purchase offer, including Starbucks, which wants a do-over.

Ruby Tuesday Abandons Some Side Projects

JJ Buettgen isn’t wasting time. The CEO of Maryville, Tennessee-based Ruby Tuesday—who is seven weeks into the job—is already making some big changes. This afternoon, he announced that the company plans to immediately exit some of the chain’s side businesses, notably its seafood concept Marlin & Ray’s.

Restaurants Could Face A Brutal 2013

We’re asking analysts to give us their 2013 stock picks for a story to run in the Monitor. Mark Smith, analyst at Feltl & Company, dithered for a while. “The problem is,” he confessed, “I just don’t like anybody right now.” He doesn’t see a lot of positive for the restaurant industry this year, and his pessimism isn’t unique.

Dempsey's Tully's Bid Gets An Assist From Green Mountain

If Patrick Dempsey ultimately gets the Tully’s Coffee chain for $9.15 million, he should probably send some autographed photos to Green Mountain headquarters. That’s because his victory in the auction last week came about only after the Vermont-based coffee maker—and owner of Tully’s brand name—objected to partial bids, according to sources.

Morehead Makes An Investment In Chop't

Morehead Capital is taking a bite of some salad. The North Carolina-based fund late last month completed a recapitalization and equity investment in the 20-unit New York-based salad chain Chop’t. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but, according to CEO Nick Marsh, “It was a pretty significant transaction.”

Dempsey Gets The Tully's Chain

Barring some sort of unforeseen roadblock, the Tully’s Coffee chain will remain in tact, all thanks to an actor. Global Baristas, the company formed by an investment group led by Patrick Dempsey, won yesterday’s auction—according to Dempsey himself, who declared via Twitter that rival bidder Starbucks “blinked.”

Sonic Hopes More Ads Will Do The Trick

Few restaurant stocks performed as well last year as did Oklahoma City-based drive-in chain Sonic, which seemed to recover from a lengthy slump that had taken it down from a lofty perch as a darling of the franchise restaurant world. Now the company hopes that an even bigger emphasis on national ads can help it maintain that success.

Restaurants Match Stock Market Performance

Despite a presidential election, problems in Europe and fiscal cliff concerns, investors generally had a good 2012. For all of that volatility, the S&P 500 finished with its best increase in three years, up more than 13 percent for the year. The restaurant industry mostly matched this growth.