Baking Up a Degree and Bar Louie Heads to South Texas

MRM’s Daily Bite for Thursday features Church’s Chicken, The French Pastry School,  Bar Louie, PizzaRev and Emerson and Cooper-Atkins.

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 Church’s Chicken Sells 76 Restaurants 

Church’s Chicken® sold 70 company-owned restaurants to a new franchise operator – Ampler Chicken LLC, and six Atlanta-area restaurants to an existing franchise operator – Sal Kabiruddin of KSH Chicken Restaurants LLC. The sales achieve numerous goals, including accelerating the reimaging of existing locations, creating an expanded localized presence in two of the brand’s most important areas, and expanding the Church’s Chicken experience, executives said.

“Texas is the birthplace of Church’s Chicken, and our headquarters are in Atlanta. These are both critical territories,” said Joe Christina, Chief Executive Officer for Church’s. “These two areas offer future strategic growth opportunities for the brand in the year ahead. Ampler Chicken is led by industry veterans with a successful track record overseeing the operations of thousands of restaurants. We’re excited and confident that these franchisees will bring energy and enthusiasm to all teams involved.”

In 2017, Church’s made several changes to its executive leadership, agency structure, international growth strategy, and franchisee relationships.

“While the ownership of these restaurants is changing, our company values and dedication to exceptional taste, quality, and service continues and is more important than ever,” Christina added. “Our goal is to create great Church’s experiences guests love, and to more effectively produce fundamental decisions and actions that shape and guide our organization. We are confident that this transition will give these restaurants new, meaningful opportunities to connect with guests and continue our 65-year tradition of excellence.”

Ampler Chicken will be the third-largest multi-unit Church’s franchisee in the country, and the fourth-largest in the world. Ampler Chicken is sponsored by an investment firm with a permanent capital source and a long operating history in Texas. The group’s leadership includes Steve Wiborg – a veteran of the industry with more than 30 years at the franchisee and executive level for global brands such as Burger King. He is respected for his hands-on management approach, forthright attitude, and goal-oriented decision making. Joining Wiborg on the leadership team is Mike Collins, a former Burger King franchisee of the year with considerable operational expertise.

“All of us at Ampler Chicken are honored and excited about our partnership with one of the most respected restaurant brands in the world,” said Wiborg. “We are committed to making these restaurants an extraordinary experience for guests and team members alike. Every Church’s restaurant will provide a rewarding work environment for team members and a place for communities to enjoy excellent hospitality and delicious fried chicken.”

Peak Franchise Capital acted as the advisor to Church’s on the refranchising to Ampler Chicken.

The Atlanta-area Church’s restaurants, will be purchased by Sal Kabiruddin of KSH Chicken Restaurants, the owner of numerous Church’s Restaurants in Orlando, FL. Under the leadership of Kabiruddin, the Orlando-area Church’s experienced significant improvements in sales and satisfaction, which made him the right owner for the Atlanta restaurants.

“Quality food, excellent value, and superior speed-of-service is the secret to running a successful restaurant brand,” said Kabiruddin. “Together with Church’s we’re proud that we have proven more than reliable in satisfying these requirements. We look forward to serving our guests in Atlanta with the same sense of community spirit and connection that we’ve delivered in Orlando.”

Church’s® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) currently has more than 1,650 locations in 27 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion.

A Sweet Graduation

The French Pastry School graduated new chefs from its Pastry and Baking (L’Art de la Pâtisserie) and Cake (L’Art du Gâteau) programs on Friday, Dec. 22, with graduates showcasing their expertise and learnings through an impressive and visually-stunning Grand Buffet presentation., top photo.

The presentation included whimsical celebration cakes with elements of contemporary cake design such as painted, stained glass motifs and delicate, life-like flower arrangements; signature plated desserts created with an extensive array of bold, colorful, and innovative techniques that highlight sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami flavors; towering, world-class chocolate sculptures; and stunning pulled and blown sugar masterpieces with fantasy-inspired pulled sugar flowers and ribbons. 

“We congratulate our students on their dedication to excellence as they embark on or continue their career by opening their own small business or joining great institutions,” said Chef Sébastien Canonne, co-founder of the school.

Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer

The French Pastry School’s mission is to offer an innovative, intensive education in which students are equipped to achieve excellence in the pastry, baking, and confectionery arts.  Students from all over the world learn hundreds of recipes and techniques taught by world-renowned and award-winning chefs, all in state-of-the-art kitchens.  They are taught a broad range of pastry and baking including: Breads & Breakfast Pastries, Sugar and Chocolate Confectionery, Ice Cream and Sorbet, Plated Desserts, Chocolate and Sugar Decoration and Sculpture, Petits Fours, and Celebration Cake Making and Decorating.

“We teach students how to create perfect pastries but are also heavily invested in their careers,” said Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, Co-founder of the school. 

With small classes, an 18-1 student-faculty ratio, and seven job opportunities per graduate, The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago is the only major culinary school in North America dedicated to all things sweet and baked.  Co-founders, Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F., and Jacquy Pfeiffer, James Beard Award-winning author, are both recipients of the French Legion of Honour Award.

Bar Louie Expands into South Texas

Bar Louie plans to expand into South Texas with its newest franchise partners, Perspective Hospitality Management Services, LLC. Customers can expect locations to open in South Padre Island, McAllen and Round Rock, Texas.

With more than 130 locations across 27 states, this will be Bar Louie’s first time venturing into South Texas, and the new locations will be opened under the leadership of Barry Patel, Raj Patel and Hershal Patel, in total, the new locations will create more than 250 new jobs. 

“Just like every different city in South Texas from McAllen down to South Padre Island, each Bar Louie location will have its own set of diverse characteristics and provide a unique atmosphere to its guests,” said Jill Szymanski, Director of Franchise and Real Estate for Bar Louie. “We can’t wait to see what new experiences potential Bar Louis franchisees will bring to their communities. South Texans will soon come to love the five dollar burgers on Tuesdays and Brews and Blues nights and of course the National Martini Day.”

Bar Louie is seeking to expand both through corporate locations and qualified franchise partners. Perspective Hospitality brings a wealth of experience in food and beverage as well as intimate knowledge of the South Texas market. With current ownership interests in more than eight hotels they have developed and owned over the years more than 22 hotels. 

“Their knowledge of the local markets and the uniqueness of their hotel properties offers the brand and them an opportunity to create a unique experience for their guests as well as others in the market” added Szymanski.

PizzaRev Opens in Shreveport 

PizzaRev is challenging diners to expect more from their pizza with a new location in Shreveport t 6301 Line Ave. To mark the grand opening, the growing build-your-own artisanal pizza shop is hosting a “Pizzas for a Purpose” fundraising event with 100 percent of the pizza sales benefitting the Humane Society of Northwest Louisiana, a no-kill shelter located in Shreveport.

Local restaurateurs Mark Florsheim and Cassidy Kin are the owners of the new location, spearheading the brand’s growth in the state. It is the first PizzaRev location in Louisiana.

“As we grow into new markets, our top priority is finding the right franchisees to introduce PizzaRev to the community,” said Ed Yancey, director of franchising for Cleveland Avenue, parent company of PizzaRev. “Mark and Cassidy are the perfect people to make PizzaRev the new favorite pizza concept in Shreveport, and they represent the ideal franchisee we work to find in every new market – experienced multi-unit operators who will be strong ambassadors for the brand.”

PizzaRev offers a fully customized dining experience that empowers guests to craft a personal pizza, including any of the 30+ toppings, for one price. The restaurant also serves custom entrée salads, while the Taproom boasts 41 draft beers, signature cocktails and a variety of wines. Most unique to PizzaRev, and what enables the restaurant’s unprecedented speed of service, is the custom-built, 900-degree stone-bed oven. 

PizzaRev is also committed to creating rewarding and supportive relationships with franchisees like Florsheim and Kin through  corporate assistance, including training, marketing and operational support. PizzaRev is currently franchising, operating more than 45 locations with an additional 200+ additional franchises under development across Mexico and 17 states: CA, CO, FL, GA, NV, NY, OH, SD, TN, TX and UT. 

Emerson To Acquire Cooper-Atkins

Emerson will acquire Cooper-Atkins, a manufacturer of temperature management and environmental measurement devices and wireless monitoring solutions for foodservice, healthcare and industrial markets.

“Temperature management in food retail and restaurants is a dynamic market due to increasing regulatory requirements, rising labor costs and the proliferation of locations where fresh foods are prepared and served,” said Robert T. Sharp, Executive President, Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions. “This acquisition further strengthens our ability to meet the evolving needs of our cold chain customers – from grower to retailer – to help provide consistent and safe control of food and other temperature-sensitive goods.”

Cooper-Atkins is a strong complement to Emerson’s global cold chain business, which includes the ProAct™ Services portfolio for supermarkets and the Cargo Solutions business, which provides real-time perishable cargo tracking and monitoring services, he added.

“We see food safety as a critical need that will shape demand in our end markets,” said Emerson Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David N. Farr. “Cooper-Atkins’ strong brand reputation and leading portfolio of automated temperature and monitoring solutions broadens our access to the foodservice industry.”

Cooper-Atkins’ food quality portfolio strategically expands Emerson’s broad cold chain portfolio of products and services for producer, retail, industrial and transportation customers. The added expertise from Cooper-Atkins significantly extends Emerson’s global capabilities in monitoring food, its preparation, and other high-value shipments throughout the entire supply chain to preserve freshness and quality.

Headquartered in Middlefield, Conn., Cooper-Atkins is a privately-owned company with approximately 150 employees, and has offices and operations in Ohio, Florida and Singapore.

The acquisition is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to various regulatory approvals.