Darden investor wins backing for vote on Red Lobster spinoff (CNBC)
The hedge fund Starboard Value on Tuesday won consent from 54 percent of Darden shareholders to call a special meeting, sources familiar with the issue told CNBC. That gives the restaurant company a 60-day deadline to call the meeting and consider a nonbinding shareholder proposal. Starboard is run by activist investor Jeffrey Smith, who has been waging a public campaign to keep Darden from spinning off its Red Lobster restaurants into a standalone company. Asked whether he wanted to see Darden shake up management and remove CEO Clarence Otis, Jr., Smith said, "So is Mr. Otis, in a hot seat? I think he is in a hot seat."
Outrageously expensive menu items return (Eater)
Eater has noted a couple of outrageously expensive food offerings, the likes of which have been a rarity since the end of the economic boom of the late 1990s. One is the €1,500 tasting menu at Sublimotion, a restaurant slated to open in June at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Spanish resort island of Ibiza. The other is the new $1,000 sundae at Bagatelle in New York City, which includes a Champagne sorbet and a steel-and-gold ring.
BJ's Restaurants, shareholders come to board agreement (The Wall Street Journal, registration required)
PW Partners Atlas Fund II and Luxor Capital Partners will vote for the company's three nominees.
Souplantation, Sweet Tomatoes certified as nation's largest 'green' restaurant chain (PR Newswire)
In honor of Earth Day, the Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes chain has been named the largest restaurant chain to earn the “certified green” designation from the Green Restaurant Association. Each of the 128 restaurants in 15 states has implemented 40 environmental steps to meet the association’s standards for energy use, water, waste, chemicals, packaging and food. Examples include a menu with more than 30 percent meat-free entrees; installing water-efficient spray valves that save an estimated 7.6 million gallons a year; and recycling enough to save 12.5 million pounds of garbage from the landfill. Mother Earth says thank you.
Arby’s announces handful of development deals (press release)
Arby’s Restaurant Group disclosed that it currently has 211 restaurants under development, including scores from four recently finalized deals. The Atlanta-based brand of 3,400 locations refranchised 14 company-operated units in Tampa, Fla., to Mosaic Investments Inc., which will remodel the restaurants it acquired and will 13 more Arby’s units in Tampa over the next nine years. The chain’s largest franchisee, U.S. Beef Corp., has agreed to build 38 more locations in Colorado. Its operates 323 Arby’s units, including 48 it acquired recently. In addition, Arby’s inked deals with current franchisees Love’s Country Stores Inc. and the Army Air Force Exchange Service.