Black Bear Diner opened 19 units in California and Texas

US family-dining concept Black Bear Diner partnered with its existing franchisees to expand in California and Texas.

A multi-unit development agreement was signed with Karan Gogri and Sanjiv Patel of National Restaurant to open an additional 19 units over a six-year period.

Black Bear Diner co-founder and CEO Bruce Dean said: “As we execute upon our plans to expand eastward, we will continue to seek out well qualified, committed multi-unit franchise partners who share our core beliefs and values.”


US plant-based restaurant By CHLOE opened its first UK site 

By CHLOE opened its first UK site next week in London’s Covent Garden.

The meat-free restaurant will open on Tuesday 6 February on Russell Street.

As well as its regular US menu offerings, several British-inspired meals have been added such as vegan fish and chips, which is made using crispy tofu served with chips, mushy peas and tartar sauce.

Other plant-based additions include shepherd’s pie, pea and ham soup and sticky toffee pudding.


Restaurant delivery platform DoorDash raised $535m in Series D funding

US restaurant delivery platform DoorDash secured $535m in Series D funding led by Japanese multinational holding company SoftBank Group (SoftBank) to expand its on-demand platform.

Last year, the delivery firm partnered with US restaurants brands such as Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Wingstop, IHOP, Five Guys, The Cheesecake Factory, Jack In The Box, Buffalo Wild Wings and P.F. Chang’s.

Existing investors Sequoia Capital, GIC and Wellcome Trust joined Softbank in the funding round.


Starbucks entered $7.15bn agreement with Nestlé to expand globally

Global coffeehouse chain Starbucks entered a $7.15bn global licence agreement with Nestlé to expand the presence of its brand globally in the foodservice and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

As part of the deal, Nestlé will acquire the rights to market, sell and distribute Starbucks packaged coffee and tea brands, including Seattle’s Best Coffee, Reserve, Teavana, VIA and Torrefazione Italia in the US and worldwide.

Under the deal, Nestlé will pay $7.15bn to the coffeehouse chain in closing consideration.


Corporate Essentials bought American full-service caterer Martin + Fitch

US-based firm Corporate Essentials has acquired Martin + Fitch, a Brooklyn-based full-service catering company.

The transaction will expand Corporate Essentials’ product line-up with the addition of fresh food solutions. Founded in 1996 as an office coffee service company, the company currently offers healthy snacks, coffee services and beverages.

Corporate Essentials president and CEO Judson Kleinman said: “Acquiring Martin + Fitch marks the start of the most exciting time in our company’s 20-plus-year history.

“Being able to offer full-service catering to New York City and New Jersey offices takes what we currently do to a whole new level.

“We’re going to be doing something with the Martin + Fitch brand that we know offices are looking for. We speak with the people making the food decisions in offices every day – we have a really good feel of what our clients want.”


Italian restaurant Carluccio’s closed 30 locations in UK

Italian restaurant and deli chain Carluccio’s received approval for its proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA) from its creditors to close around 30 locations in the UK.

The company proposed the CVA through UK-based KPMG on 17 May this year. The restaurant is currently owned and operated by Dubai-based retail major Landmark Group.

Landmark Group is reportedly investing $13m in upgrading the remaining restaurants. Last month, Landmark said that the upgrade plan was subject to a rescue plan, reported by thenational.ae.


Elior Group acquired catering and management services firm Bateman

Global foodservice operator Elior Group has entered a definitive agreement to acquire catering and management services firm Bateman Community Living.

Bateman is a subsidiary of Compass Group, offering meals to seniors at home and in congregate settings.

Elior Group CEO Philippe Guillemot said: “With a global increase in the number of seniors who are more demanding and more autonomous, this market shows definite growth potential.

“The acquisition of Bateman reinforces our positions in the USA and in the seniors market, in line with Elior Group 2021 objectives.”


GFS Group received $152m foodservice contract from US military

Guam-based food and facilities company GFS Group has received a $152m foodservice subcontract for the US Marine Corps Regional Garrison.

The contract will last for eight years and global foodservice and facilities management company Sodexo will act as the prime contractor.

The GFS team will provide mess hall services throughout the US and approximately 28 million meals per year for both the east and west coast regions.


Grubhub bought food ordering platform LevelUp for $390m

US-based food-ordering marketplace Grubhub has completed an acquisition of LevelUp in a cash deal valued at $390m.

LevelUp operates as a mobile ordering and payments platform for national and regional restaurant brands in the US.

The acquisition of LevelUp will enable Grubhub’s partner restaurants to provide online delivery and pickup orders by powering the full ordering experience from demand generation to fulfilment.


Japanese dining concept ikisho launched in UK

A Japanese in-home dining experience called ikisho has been launched in the UK.

The dining chain offers sushi chefs to prepare food items at a customer’s home or corporate event.

Customers place orders online or through a customer care service number.