Greene Turtle to Expand Shell and Pie Five Goes International

This edition of  MRM’s Daily Bite features restaurant expansions, a pasta brand’s brick and mortar and news on different kinds of “Toast.” 

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The Greene Turtle Inks Development Deal

The Greene Turtle Franchising Corp. signed a franchise development agreement with a new group of strategic partners that will yield 10 new restaurants in Northern New Jersey and Northeast Pennsylvania. The investor group, Jai Somnath, LLC, plans to develop and operate nearly a dozen of the family-friendly sports-themed casual dining restaurants in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic Counties in New Jersey as well as Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties in Pennsylvania. The company has launched an active search for available properties and expects to open its first location within 18 months.

Greene Turtle

“We are delighted to be joining The Greene Turtle’s franchise family and to have the opportunity to bring the popular brand to northern New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” the Jai Somnath company said. “We have been aware of the company for some time but became especially interested as we saw new locations open up to great acclaim outside of Philadelphia and in Central New Jersey. We think this is a perfect time to leverage The Greene Turtle’s popularity and momentum and we look forward to opening our first locations as soon as possible.”

So far in 2017, The Greene Turtle has already opened four new restaurants, all franchises, including its first sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, its first location situated within a casino, and a new location in Middletown, Del. Several additional restaurants are scheduled to open in 2017 and early 2018, and more than 50 additional locations in Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania already are planned.

“We’re targeting markets throughout the eastern United States that will benefit from our brand’s popularity and increasing visibility and that are within a few hours commute of our headquarters,” says Vice President of Franchise Development Tom Finn. “Our goal is to maximize accessibility to each location for our corporate team and to our corporate headquarters for franchisees, providing the greatest potential to work together toward the common goal of success.”

First opened in Ocean City, Md., in 1976, The Greene Turtle today includes 44 locations in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

Barilla Pasta Restaurants to Open in California
Having already established three restaurants in New York City, Barilla, top photo, is embarking upon an expansion into the Southland that will begin early fall with two new fast casual restaurants. One on the campus of the University of Southern California at USC Village and another at the upscale South Coast Plaza in Orange County. 
Barilla Restaurant
The 2,600-square foot Orange County facility and its 1,800-square foot counterpart at USC will feature open kitchens and the same Mediterranean ingredients that Italians use and eat every day: pasta, grains, fruit, and vegetables.
“This is the lifestyle we were raised on,” says Barilla’s Executive Chef Alfonso Sanna, who has cooked professionally for more than thirty years in both Italy and the United States. “The Italian way of eating is one of the healthiest in the world.”
Barilla Restaurant
 “The world loves Italian food and the tradition behind it, says Barilla Restaurants President Luca Uva. “Barilla provides a relaxing environment where you can share a plate of pasta with your friends and family.”
 Toast Teams with Olo

Toast announced an integration with Olo that will enable Toast users to benefit from a seamless online and mobile ordering experience for customers and operators. Just last week, it was announced HotSchedules® is integrating its scheduling and labor management solution with Toast to provide restaurant managers and above-store leaders with a clear picture of how to optimize schedules based on historical sales data and traffic trends.  

Olo’s Software-as-a-Service digital ordering engine enables restaurant operators to drive revenue per square foot through a secure, efficient and reliable commerce platform. 

“With Olo and Toast, users can simplify restaurant operations and open new digital revenue streams with orders inputted seamlessly into the point of salesystem,” said Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast. “Olo is a key player in Toast’s best-in-class partner ecosystem, the Toast API Partner Program, which enables users to cater to their unique restaurant needs.”

With the Toast and Olo integration, users will be able to:

  • Delight customers everywhere with native app and web ordering experiences. Features like “Upsell” and “Group Ordering” are designed to maximize ecommerce results
  • Receive dedicated support from veteran POS experts and usability pros
  • Manage menus and day-to-day business by harnessing purchase and behavioral data. From individual stores to the entire restaurant operation, Olo and Toast together provide the visibility users need at every level
  • Modernize phone ordering or to-go and catering programs with personalized service for phone customers without disrupting in-store staff
  • Create a fully custom mobile experience; layer in additional services, loyalty schemes, and brand-specific functionality for a truly custom build

“This partnership with Toast is an extension of our shared mission to help restaurants improve operational efficiency and grow revenues while providing the best possible guest experience,” said Noah Glass, founder & CEO of Olo. “We’re proud to integrate with Toast’s fast-growing, industry leading technology, and to further strengthen our clients’ runway to success.”

Toast of a Different Kind

Sizzler USA is celebrating its Cheese Toast #CheeseToastMonth the entire month of September in honor of National Cheese Toast Day on September 15. Fans of the crunchy treat are invited to submit pictures and videos in The Ultimate Cheese Toast Selfie Contest #CheeseToastSelfie. Every week an entry deemed the best expression of cheesy goodness will be awarded a Sizzler gift card and a mystery prize.

To enter the contest, start with a selfie or video incorporating Sizzler’s famous Cheese Toast – or a reasonable facsimile. Share a Cheese Toast tribute on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the “Sizzler Contest” caption and #CheeseToastSelfie. Entries will be judged on creativity and originality, quality and emotional appeal.  Complete rules and entry requirements are at

Pie Five Expands Internationally
Pie Five Pizza Co. will soon be expanding its piece of the pie. In a new master development partnership with Ali Shahid Butt and his partners at AR Pizza, LLC, Pie Five will open its first international location in Pakistan in 2018, with up to 40 more locations over the next seven years. AR Pizza also owns 47 Popeye’s Chicken locations and eight Arby’s restaurants. The group is developing Pie Five locations on the East Coast of the United States as well.
Pie Five
“Pie Five offers a unique concept featuring high-quality ingredients and a superior customer service model that will be well-received in the Pakistani market,” said Ali Shahid Butt. “We are extremely proud to add Pie Five to our international portfolio. Its addition will advance our mission of providing distinctive dining experiences and new career opportunities in the communities we serve.”
“Ali and his team have already built a very successful international and domestic restaurant organization,” said Scott Crane, CEO of Rave Restaurant Group, Inc. “We look forward to partnering with them to bring dozens of Pie Five locations to Pakistan. We are also actively pursuing other international deals.”