Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Isn't this supposed to be a slow news time?

We’re about to ring in the new, but a number of restaurant greybeards aren’t ready to sound the gong on their careers quite yet.

Veterans of McDonald’s in particular have been making considerable news with fresh endeavors. Today brought word that Robert Doran, a one-time operations EVP, was taking the helm of the Granite City brewpub chain. He’ll be joined on Granite’s reconstituted board by Mike Rawlings, a former president of Pizza Hut.

They’ll oversee a company that’s just been injected with a $9-billion equity infusion by Doran’s company, Concept Development Corp.

Doran might be able to get a discount if he eats at Tom & Eddie’s, a new burger joint in Geneva, Ill. The just-opened eatery is a collaboration between Ed Rensi, a supposedly retired president of McDonald’s USA, and Tom Dentice, once EVP of operations and training for fast-food’s Lebron James.

But they’re not the only ones who can’t seem to get enough of the restaurant business. Catterton Partners, a co-owner of such chains as Outback, Carrabba’s, Cheddar’s and First Watch, today announced that has acquired Noodles & Co., once the poster-concept for the fast-casual sector.

Catterton has yet to announce who’ll be assisting Noodles president Kevin Reddy as he leads the chain into a new chapter. But my bet’s on some industry veterans.

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