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News Briefs


Petland Lawsuit Dismissed

The Arizona District Court has dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought against Petland Inc. by six individuals. The lawsuit, supported by the Animal Humane Society, was used as part of the organization’s campaign to end the sale of animals through pet stores. The Court ruled, however, that the complaint in the lawsuit failed to set forth any legally viable claims.

CiCi’s Moore Retires

CiCi’s Pizza President Craig Moore announced his retirement from the company after 17 years. Moore, who originally joined the chain in 1992 as a restaurant operator, had been serving as its president since 2003.

Moore will remain with CiCi’s as an owner until his transition out of the company is completed. However, his day-to-day duties will now fall on the shoulders of Michael R. Shumsky, who was recently announced as the company’s new chief executive.

Shumsky joins CiCi’s from La Madeleine Restaurant Inc., a Dallas, Texas-based French café chain where he also served as the chief executive. Shumsky’s experience also includes executive roles with such companies as Johnny Rockets Group Inc. and Sonic Restaurants, as well as 15 years serving Taco Bell for Yum! Brands.

Papa Bello’s Sells Majority Ownership

Aero Financial is now the majority shareholder of Nevada-based Papa Bello Enterprises, the owners of Italian restaurant chain Papa Bello. According to the deal, Aero Financial purchased 20,000,000 shares of stock from Papa Bello chief executive Chase Canfield, who will be resigning from his position in order to pursue other business interests. Jim Price, Aero Financial’s chief executive, will assume the role of interim CEO for Papa Bello during Canfield’s transition out of the company.

Papa Bello and Aero Financial have been working together to build the brand for nearly two years.

Posting Calorie Counts Gaining Momentum in East

Albany County in New York is the latest to adopt a law that requires all chain restaurants with more than 15 units nationwide to post calorie counts for all menu items on the printed menus, menu board and drive-thru windows.  Congress is considering a federal menu-labeling bill, which would cover various state laws with a uniform national labeling standard. The federal law is under criticism from many chain operators and restaurant franchises.

Applebee’s franchisee continues to open restaurants in tough times

Apple-Metro Inc. opened its 30th Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar at the end of August at the Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market. All proceeds from the VIP opening party were donated to the Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.

The opening marks Apple-Metro’s second of three locations set to open this year. This is the franchisee company’s fourth Bronx location to date. A Harlem Applebee’s is set to open in November.

The Greene Turtle’s not slow about raising funds for charities

In just four years, the Greene Turtle's ongoing program, Funds for Friends, has raised more than $400,000 for local organizations. Through the program, The Greene Turtle locations partner with local organizations which in turn encourage their members to patronize the restaurant on a specific day. Ten percent of that day's receipts are donated to the organization.

Not only do organizations receive additional revenues, but it’s a way for Greene Turtle restaurants to build a strong, lasting relationship with their local communities, according to the chain. In 2008, the program was honored as a Maryland State Winner of the Restaurant Neighbor Award from the National Restaurant Association.

LaVida Massage development agents open first salon

Development partners Bill Holden and Larry Shifflett opened the doors of the first LaVida Massage location in Clemmons, North Carolina, in August.

As previous franchise owners, the partners identified an opportunity in the growing health and wellness industry and the largely untapped market for professional massage services in the North Carolina area.

“It’s an opportunity that works with consumer demand instead of against it,” said Holden.

Holden and Shifflett were appointed master developers of the LaVida franchise in the Carolinas. In addition to operating their individual Clemmons location, they have assumed responsibility for distributing licenses to other prospective franchisees in the geographic region.

Founded in 2007, LaVida Massage is a health-and-wellness massage center, providing massage and facial services that revitalize and reinvigorate clients’ emotional and physical health. With locations nationwide, LaVida is headquartered in Howell, Michican.

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