Florida-Based NY Deli Concept to Franchise and Pronto by Giada

A franchise looking to go public, another looking toward nationwide expansion and a fast casual from Giada De Laurentiis are in MRM’s Daily Bite. Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com. MRM Daily Bite Logo

Muscle Maker Grill Announces IPO Intention 

Muscle Maker, Inc (MMB) intends to launch a Regulation A+ initial public offering that allows any qualified investor the opportunity to invest in its health-focused concept and is actively seeking capital to support its aggressive domestic and international expansion plan. TriPoint Global Equities, LLC, working with its online division BANQ®  will act as the lead managing selling agent and sole bookrunner for the offering.

Muscle Maker, Inc seeks to raise up to $19,999,998 in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) under Regulation A+ of the JOBS Act. In succession and subject to New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) requirements, the Company plans to list its securities on the NYSE American under the ticker “MMB.” Muscle Maker, Inc intends to use the proceeds from the offering to fund domestic and international expansion, working capital and other general corporate purposes. Individuals interested in learning more about Muscle Maker, Inc’s Regulation A+ investment opportunity and placing an indication of interest can visit www.MuscleMakerGrill.com/Invest or www.banq.co/listings/mm.  

“The significant growth that Muscle Maker Grill has experienced over the past two years is proof that consumers are seeking healthier versions of mainstream dishes that taste great, making it convenient, affordable and enjoyable to eat healthy,” said Robert E. Morgan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Muscle Maker, Inc. “We attribute our success to the contributions from our passionate employees and franchise partners, as well as the loyalty of our customers. We are excited to be in a position to offer this investment opportunity that gives our customers a chance to also be our shareholders.”

Muscle Maker Grill offers a  freshly prepared  lean, protein-based menu featuring chicken, steak, seafood, pasta, wraps, and entrée salads as well as a selection of fruit smoothies with a variety of assorted flavors, protein shakes and supplements. With offices in Colonia, NJ and Houston, TX, Muscle Maker Grill has more than 50 franchised and corporate restaurants in 12 states. 

Hank and Harry’s Begins Nationwide Franchising

Hank and Harry’s, a South Florida-based New York style deli will now be offering franchise opportunities nationwide spearheaded by Martin O’Dowd, new Vice President of Business Development.  O’Dowd’s resume boasts over 35 years in the restaurant industry serving as president of five public and private brands such as Rainforest Café, Famous Dave’s BBQ and Hurricane Grill & Wings. 

“We are lucky to be adding someone of Martin’s stature at such a pivotal inflection point,” said Co-Founder Richard Booth. 

The Miami Beach flagship location opened in March 2017 as well as a second location to open in South Miami in November and a third location in the Aventura Mall food court expansion in December.  

As the brand continues to expand across South Florida, Hank and Harry’s Deli is currently seeking single and multi-unit operators to join its team to bring their signature New York favorites to multiple markets.  Hank and Harry’s offers an upscale fast casual deli concept serving breakfast, lunch and dinner where guests have the option to dine-in, takeout, or delivery and large scale off-site catering is also available.  Hank and Harry’s features traditional deli favorites setting themselves apart by not only appealing to clientele of all ages with incredible, high-quality homemade food but also with contemporary and edgy branding.

Hank and Harry’s is the brainchild of Miami restaurateurs, Buzzy Sklar and Richard Booth who are beyond excited about expanding the new upscale fast-casual eatery concept.

“Since our flagship opening in March this year, we are receiving many inquiries regarding franchise opportunities for Hank and Harry’s.  We believe the concept will be successful and profitable in any city, and we look forward to working with our future franchisees helping to expand our national footprint,” said Sklar. 

Each location will be decked out in Hank and Harry’s signature décor adorned with gold ceilings, black and white tiled flooring, walls lined with subway tile and interactive digital menu boards. Hank and Harry’s also just launched an interactive order & pay mobile app available on iTunes and Google Play.  By downloading the app customers will have the ability to order directly from their smart phones for take-out, eat-in and delivery receiving $5 off their first order.  The app features include an exclusive customer loyalty rewards points program, a welcome gift for each user, user-friendly menu, store locator, geo-targeted news and special offers section and tailored user profiles creating a dynamic brand experience.

Staying true to their roots, each authentic New York style menu will feature deli classics including “Mile-High” Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwiches, bagels, bialys and ‘schmears’, knishes, matzoh ball soup and Black & White cookies. Putting a new twist on the made-to-order salads already available, they will now be offered in a wrap option-think-The Chef Salad Wrap. In addition, a new Hank & Harry’s Original, Stuffed Knishes where the add-ons are endless including brisket, pastrami, corned beef, turkey pastrami, etc. Traditional Italian favorites will also still decorate the menu including Brooklyn style deli heroes such as “The Hot Italian” and “The Godfather.”

Charlie Palmer Steak DC Makeover

Following a two-month remodel, chef Charlie Palmer rejuvenated his modern American steakhouse, Charlie Palmer Steak DC, which originally opened its doors in 2003. Inspired by the sleek exterior of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters building, hospitality designer Barbara Gisel of BGD Interior Design developed the new decor to reflect a contemporary dining space, complete with custom furniture and lighting. In conjunction with the restaurant’s new look and under the direction and guidance of chef Palmer, executive chef Mike Ellis and lead bartender Lamar Lusk have revamped the restaurant’s food and beverage menus to introduce new programming and offerings.

“Our goal was to create a modern, sophisticated dining environment that feels new and fresh, but also familiar to our loyal guests who have dined with us for the past fourteen years,” said Chef Palmer about his eponymous restaurant’s makeover. “As a modern American steakhouse, it was important to the team that our culinary identity was reflected in all aspects of the redesign and I believe this new look accomplishes our goal.”

The redesigned restaurant’s new and modern décor features eye-catching design elements, such as a floor-to-ceiling muraled foyer, custom furniture and state-of-the-art lighting. Texture plays a key role in the restaurant’s inviting transformation, with over 10 unique graphic patterns integrated throughout the bar and dining room’s custom furniture palettes and accessories. Together the tufted chairs, plush banquettes and individually crafted amber lighting creates a warm and intimate atmosphere in the bar area and a creative combination of graphic patterns contribute to the modern vibe of the dining room.

The restaurant’s famed wine cube, floating over a moving pool of water adjacent the corridor to the dining room, remains the focal point of the restaurant. To complement the cube, a large handcrafted urn has been added to the pool, displaying a striking, seasonal floral arrangement.  A new art collection is displayed throughout the dining space, featuring the works of renowned photographer, Matthew Everett Ellis.  

One year into his tenure as executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak DC, chef Michael Ellis has created a menu that is not only reflective of the big, bold flavors associated with chef Palmer’s boutique steakhouse collection but is also representative of regional flavors and ingredients.  Charlie Palmer Steak DC classics remain on the menu, complemented by new lunch and dinner items, which include:

  • Earth and Eats Beetswith pumpkin seed-espelette brittle, pipe dreams goat cheese, arugula and citrus
  • Black Trumpet Mushroom and Truffle Cappallettiwith black garlic brood, saint George cheese, scallions
  • Truffle Roasted Joyce Farms Poulet Rougewith cauliflower variation, crispy polenta and thyme jus

Ellis also rolls out a new after-dinner cheese cart, a passion project for the chef, featuring small-batch cheese artisans from both coasts. The cheese list will also include a thoughtfully selected bi-coastal wine and spirits pairing, curated by sommelier Nadine Brown. The dinner menu will also now feature a rotating selection of Japanese Wagyu Beef cuts, each served on a block of Himalayan salt. The first selection will be the Japanese A5 Wagyu NY Strip from Iwate Prefecture.  

Executive pastry chef Justin Roche will also be adding a new trio of Americana-inspired sweets to the dessert menu: Cinnamon Cheesecakewith grilled pineapple compote, citrus tuille and matcha syrup, Spiced Wine Poached Pink Lady Applewith apple cake, ginger ice cream and apple chips and “Baked Alaska”with caramel and milk chocolate ice creams, valrhona chocolate pearls, raspberry spheres and flaming meringue.

Chef Palmer tapped lead bartender Lamar Lusk to reinvent the restaurant’s cocktail list. The new, comprehensive bar program spotlights local American spirits, utilized both in the cocktail list and through monthly ‘showcase’ selections.  House made juices, shrubs, and syrups also play a key role in the bar program’s transformation. Inspired by classic cocktail flavors and elements, the team’s skilled craftsmanship is conveyed throughout the rotating cocktail list and new highball offerings, which feature lighter, inventive variations of familiar favorites. 

Winner of the 2017 Rammy Award for Wine Program of the Year, the wine list at Charlie Palmer Steak DC is overseen by wine director Nadine Brown and features 3,500 bottles of exclusively American wine including many hard to find and lesser known boutique winemakers, only a sampling of the 10,000 bottles on premise. By pure coincidence, the final two states to find representation on the wine list were also the final two to join the Union: Alaska and Hawaii.

Pronto by Giada Debuting in 2018

Giada De Laurentiis plans to open her second restaurant, Pronto by Giada, at Caesars Palace in early 2018. Taking a page from her first restaurant, GIADA, at The Cromwell also in Las Vegas, Pronto, will offer guests De Laurentiis’ signature Italian fare with California influences but in a fast, casual format.

Giada De Laurentiis Announces Plans to Open Second Las Vegas Restaurant—Pronto by Giada—at Caesars Palace in Early 2018. Credit: Patrick Gray/Erik Kabik Group (PRNewsfoto/Caesars Entertainment)

“With Pronto by Giada being my second restaurant, I wanted to do something a little different, with a more casual approach than my first restaurant, GIADA at The Cromwell,” said De Laurentiis. “This will be a great introduction to my food and brand, as it’s the lighter side of Italian with a fresh, Californiainfluence. It will be perfect for a fast bite, and then guests can go across the street for a finer-dining experience.”

“Caesars Palace prides itself on having the most impressive collection of celebrity chef restaurants—the addition of Giada De Laurentiis and Pronto by Giada brings our culinary empire to an even higher level of excellence,” said Caesars Palace Regional President, Gary Selesner. “Pronto will offer something for every guest—from those looking to grab a quick bite or an artisanal coffee, to those wanting to enjoy the chic space while leisurely enjoying charcuterie and a glass of wine, all conveniently positioned steps away from our convention center and Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis.”

Pronto will be located adjacent to the Bacchanal Buffet and MR CHOW, and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner options and a variety of seating options from counter and bar seating to casual lounging. Not only will the food offerings be fast and refreshing, but the beverage offerings will be as well, from the coffee program to wine-on-tap to a full service bar with signature cocktails.

Pronto will be an open, light space. As she did with her first restaurant, De Laurentiis took inspiration for the look and feel from her own home with natural elements such as wood and marble quartz, coupled with pops of color in the Italian-inspired tile.  She is working with starrdesign to bring her vision to life.

SICOM Donates to Burger King Relief Funds
 In support of the BURGER KING® brand’s continued hurricane relief efforts in the United States and Puerto Rico, SICOM donated $25,000 to BURGER KING’s Puerto Rico relief fund and the BURGER KING McLAMORE℠ Foundation.
The donation, divided in half between the two relief funds, is for helping BURGER KING employees recovering from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the U.S. and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. BURGER KING’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico are through Caribbean Restaurants Charities, Inc., which provides designated disaster relief funds to employees of Caribbean Restaurants, LLC, the exclusive BURGER KING franchise in Puerto Rico.
The BK℠ Family Fund, part of the BURGER KING McLAMORE Foundation, provides grants to BURGER KING employees facing unexpected hardship, such as natural disasters and medical emergencies. Since 2004, this fund has provided more than 1,000 families with $1.5 million in grants.
“We’re proud to contribute to BURGER KING’s work to help those affected by these hurricanes, which extends beyond BURGER KING employees to include their families and members of their local communities,” said Jim Flynn, CEO of SICOM. “We value our strong relationship with the BURGER KING brand and its dedication, like SICOM, to care for its employees.”