Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes and Take Home a Slice of Yale

The Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features sbe, Yale and,  Melt Shop, IHOP and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

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sbe Introduces Fi’lia

Continuing to expand its international footprint, sbe announced the newest addition to its Disruptive Restaurant Group portfolio in The Bahamas with the opening of Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz, the Italian restaurant concept by the James Beard Award-winning chef, top photo. The restaurant, featuring 202 seats of indoor and outdoor seating, marks sbe’s fifth culinary and entertainment venue to open at Baha Mar, the $4.2 billion integrated resort destination, joining Cleo, Katsuya, Monkey Bar, Bungalow Pool Bar & Grill, as well as sbe’s first international SLS hotel.

“sbe is continuing to drive unprecedented growth. In the last three months of 2017, we have opened three incredible hotels and 17 innovative culinary and entertainment venues around the world,” said sbe Founder and CEO, Sam Nazarian. He adds: “Our brand portfolio is constantly growing and we’re thrilled to open our second Fi’lia location in partnership with Michael Schwartzand his team. Fi’lia perfectly complements sbe’s existing culinary portfolio at Baha Mar, adding an unparalleled Italian option to our well-rounded collection of Japanese, Mediterranean and American restaurants and lounges.”

Beef Carpaccio

Located on the main Baha Mar Casino floor just steps from SLS Baha Mar, the new 299-room hotel sbe opened last month, this is Fi’lia’s first international outpost and second location overall after opening at SLS Brickell in Miami last year. Fi’lia is inspired by the simplicity of Italian cuisine, featuring a menu of straightforward dishes that highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients, housemade pasta and memorable signatures like the Tableside Caesar Salad.

“I’m excited to expand my partnership with sbe by opening our first international venue together and second Fi’lia location,” said Schwartz. “I’ve enjoyed working with the team on-island and learning about the local ingredients available to incorporate into the menu, spearheaded by Fi’lia executive chef Thomas Tennant, a long-time fixture in our kitchen at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink who also brings Caribbean experience to the restaurant.  We look forward to welcoming guests to the restaurant with the same incredible hospitality we’ve experienced in The Bahamas.” 

Fi’lia’s dinner menu features Small, Large and Extra Large plates alongside Snacks, Sides, Pasta and Pizza. To start, Beef Carpaccio is Chef Schwartz’s twist on the classic featuring sunchoke, green onion pecorino and mustard vinaigrette, while the Extra Large Grilled Whole Snapper features tomato, Calabrian chile, mint and grilled bread. Rustic pizzas are served with creative topping combinations like Pistachio Pesto with ricotta, charred onion and pecorino.  

Grilled Whole Snapper

Designed by sbe subsidiary Dakota Development and Avenues Interior Design, Fi’lia offers indoor and outdoor seating with a rustic Italian vibe. This lively eatery’s approachable atmosphere comes together through on-trend design elements such as white-washed brick walls, Brasserie-inspired brass lighting, a mix of traditional and modern leather chairs, and an artwork collection featuring sketches, abstract paintings and brightly colored photography. Tying it all together, marble and grey oak tabletops are perfectly paired together providing the high-quality finishing touches for which sbe and Fi’lia are known.

History Up for Bid

After receiving a $150 million donation from Blackstone co-founder and Yale alumnus, Stephen A. Schwarzman, Yale University has plans to create a world-class campus center by renovating the historic Commons and Memorial Hall. Once complete in 2020, the Schwarzman Center will provide a central location for students to meet, eat, and view performing arts.

But before that happens, Yale is tasked with removing and finding a new home for the furniture, fixtures, appliances, professional-grade kitchen equipment, and over 1,000 chairs from the first two floors of the building. To do this, they have launched two online auctions at to give the community a chance to bring home a piece of Yale history.

Two auctions will be launched in total: one for the first floor of Commons and one for the basement floor, ending January 11 and 18 respectively.

Contents of the Yale Commons building are being auctioned off at

Two auctions will be launched in total: one for the first floor of Commons and one for the basement floor, ending January 11 and 18 respectively.

Bidding for all items starts at $1.00, no matter what the item is, even the kitchen’s giant conveyor-driven dishwasher with a sticker price exceeding $50,000. The auction is about finding a good home for the items from Commons, according to the university. The hope is that many of these pieces will be bid on by Yale students, faculty and alumni who have a connection to Yale and the history of Commons.

The decision to remove items from Commons through aligns with Yale’s ongoing effort to create a sustainable campus. One of the university’s primary objectives outlined in the Yale Sustainability Plan 2025 is to ensure sustainable consumption and disposal patterns across campus. Hosting an online auction with bids starting at $1.00 ensures that anyone who can provide a home for the items has a shot at winning them.

Melt Shop Expands Footprint

Melt Shop will expand its footprint by opening 18 locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware as a part of its first development deal. This new partnership supports Melt Shop’s aggressive plans to grow to 100 locations worldwide over the next five years. The first location is slated to open in Delaware in 2018.

New franchise partner Drew Smith, a Pennsylvania native, will own and operate Melt Shop’s newest restaurants. He is a seasoned multi-unit franchisee, owning and operating 23 Five Guys locations throughout the greater Philadelphia area. 

“Backed by fellow Five Guys franchisees, Melt Shop was the clear choice for me when I decided to diversify my portfolio,” said Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Rockham Melt, LLC. “Its smooth and efficient operations coupled with its focus on food quality and customer satisfaction make it a winning combination. I’m eager to begin this journey with Melt Shop and stand behind an emerging concept I love.”

Founded by Spencer Rubin in 2011, Melt Shop has eight corporate locations throughout New York, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis, and signed a multi-unit deal to open seven restaurants in the Middle East, four of which will open by the second quarter of 2018. Last month, Melt Shop signed its first domestic franchise agreement to open a location in Staten Island Mall in Staten Island, New York.

“It has been a stellar year for Melt Shop with the launch of our franchise program and we’re looking to continue this momentum in 2018,” Rubin said. “Finding an experienced, knowledgeable partner like Drew to sign our first development deal is key to catapulting our growth. We’re excited to have him join our family and see how far he will take the Melt Shop brand.”

Melt Shop is seeking qualified franchisees to join the brand and currently has opportunities domestically in markets such as the Northeast, Midwest, and Florida, and in most international markets, including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Japan, China, India, Mexico, South America, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia.

Melt Shop is a part of Aurify Brands, a company equal parts hospitality group and restaurant incubator. Aurify Brands was founded by Andy Stern and John Rigos, who are Five Guys Burgers and Fries multi-unit franchisees, and former franchisees of Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Baskin-Robbins.  Aurify  also owns and operates The Little Beet, The Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken, and MAKE

All About Pancakes

IHOP® Restaurants unveiled a new advertising campaign that seeks to capture the magic of IHOP in one phrase: ‘Pancakes, Pancakes, PancakesSM‘. Developed by IHOP Restaurants’ newly appointed creative agency of record, Droga5, the campaign is quirky with an irreverent and humorous tone that reflects the same fun, playful approach the brand takes with its food and atmosphere.

“IHOP is a brand that’s always got pancakes on the brain, and believes that everything would be better if it were all just about pancakes,” said Scott Bell, Executive Creative Director at Droga5. “Knowing this was the mindset, our priority going into this new integrated campaign was to capture this simple truth with three words: Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes.”

The campaign premieres with a new 30-second TV spot called “Pilots” to promote All You Can Eat Pancakes for $3.99, with additional 15-second spots planned throughout the limited time offer period. The “Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes” narrative will be amplified across a fully-integrated digital and social campaign featuring engaging and interactive content on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter throughout the promotional window.

“The love people have for the IHOP brand — and especially for our pancakes — was the natural launching pad for our new advertising campaign and the basis for its rallying cry of ‘Pancakes Pancakes Pancakes’,” continued Haley. “The Droga5 team has had a lot of fun with it and we’re incredibly excited to see the campaign come to life across every channel.”

Chipotle’s Biggest Fan

Chipotle Mexican Grill recognized one of its biggest fans, a Tiffin, Ohio man named Bruce Wayne who has spent the past 426 days enjoying at least one entrée per day from his local Chipotle.

Bruce Wayne
Bruce Wayne

Chipotle commemorated the milestone by presenting Wayne with a custom-made Chipotle superhero cape and cufflinks – a nod to his love of both Batman and burritos. Chipotle will also reinvest his dollars spent over the course of his journey in a monetary donation to a nonprofit of his choice.

Wayne began the self-started challenge on Oct. 30, 2016 after learning of Chipotle’s plans to open a brand-new location in Tiffin. He conducted research about Chipotle and learned about a fellow fan who had ultimately consumed Chipotle for 425 days and maintained his fitness goals. Wayne then set out to become the new record holder.

“Day after day we’re committed to serving our customers the most delicious, real ingredients we can find and it’s great to see a customer like Bruce is as committed to us as we are to him,” said Chris Arnold, communications director at Chipotle. “While this might not be everybody’s New Year’s Resolution for 2018, it certainly shows that our menu of real and fresh ingredients offers something for everyone – even superheroes.”

After having consumed his record-breaking order, Wayne says he has no immediate plans to stop. His entire journey is documented on his personal Instagram account, including daily photos of his order and accompanying receipt.