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American Blue Ribbon grows Q4 margins, owners eye more

Restaurant operator American Blue Ribbon Holdings posted a fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciations and amortization of about $25 million on sales of $320 million. The company’s margins rose to 7.6 percent during the last three months of the year, up from 7.3 percent in late 2014, when the operations of the since-spun-out J. Alexander’s were included in results.

Village Inn Continues Expansion with Six New Restaurants as Same-Store Sales Increase Streak Continues To Reach New Heights

24 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth opens door for Village Inn to open new locations in four states and its first location outside the continental U.S.

Village Inn, the family-dining brand known for serving quality breakfast all day and The Best Pie in America®, continues its impressive growth with new restaurant locations in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Virginia and Guam.

American Blue Ribbon CEO eyes $2B sales mark

After several years of focusing on the nitty gritty, American Blue Ribbon Holdings President and CEO Hazem Ouf is back to thinking big.

The recent hiring of Ned Lidvall to run ABRH's O'Charley's chain, which accounts for about 40 percent of its roughly $1.3 billion in annual sales, sent a signal that Ouf is taking a step back from the trenches of restaurant renovations, menu refreshments and culture building. Now, he says, he can attend more to the business of being "only" a holding company leader.

"I can start thinking about growing the business," he told the Post recently. "It's an exciting phase for ABRH and for me personally. We want to get to $2 billion and I'm confident we have the platform to do it."

Longtime breakfast specialists try new tricks to capture p.m. sales

All-day breakfast is growing as a dining-out trend, with McDonald’s the latest player to test the waters. Millennials’ appetites seem to be feeding the trend. According to research company Technomic, 42 percent of young people want breakfast-for-dinner options.

While some concepts are just waking up to the possibilities of extending breakfast hours, Denver-based Village Inn, operated by American Blue Ribbon Holdings, has been serving all-day breakfast since 1958. Its sister company, 44-unit Bakers Square, has been in the game since 1999. But that’s not to say these value-oriented full-service chains haven’t changed with the times.

O’Charley’s names Ned Lidvall president – Industry veteran to lead chain during time of growth

American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC has named industry veteran Ned Lidvall president of the 214-unit O’Charley’s casual-dining chain, the company said Monday.

With more than three decades of experience in the restaurant industry, Lidvall was president and chief operating officer of On The Border when the chain was acquired by Brinker International Inc., in 1994. In 2001, he was named president and CEO of Rock Bottom Restaurants. In 2008, he became CEO of Friendly’s Ice Cream Corp.

HAZEM OUF: THE CHALLENGER – This turnaround artist pushes his team, and himself, to find new answers fast.

Hazem Ouf doesn’t profess to have all the answers for reviving restaurant organizations, even after snatching the likes of Village Inn, Max & Erma’s and O’Charley’s from the ICU. Rather, it’s the questions that drive the success of American Blue Ribbon Holdings, and that characterize Ouf’s style as president and CEO.

Max & Erma’s Wins Mascot(s) of the Year – The Columbus Dispatch

It was March Madness like you'd never seen before! Past and present Columbus mascots went head-to-head in a single-elimination tournament from which only one mascot could emerge.

Or maybe two mascots, in this case, because the 2015 Mascot Madness champions are Max & Erma!

You voted for your favorites in each round, and in the final matchup, fans of Columbus-based restaurant chain Max & Erma's rallied harder than even Buckeye Nation! The current Brutus Buckeye earned just 32 percent of the votes in the championship round.

American Blue Ribbon Holdings Partners With FIS to Enhance IT Capability and Security

American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH), the eighth largest full service restaurant holding company in the U.S., today announced it has partnered with FIS (NYSE: FIS), a global leader in banking and payments technology as well as consulting and outsourcing solutions, for support of key IT functions for the company including infrastructure, help desk and database administration.

With more money in hand, O’Charley’s parent American Blue Ribbon Holdings eyes expansion

American Blue Ribbon Holdings is two years into a three-year turnaround of the Nashville-based family casual dining chain O'Charley's. The restaurant operator, whose parent company Fidelity National Financial Inc. bought O'Charley's in 2012, has renovated, redesigned and refreshed half of the chain's 200-plus restaurants, to the tune of about $250,000 per restaurant.

So far, it's working.

O’Charley’s Prime Rib and Whole Pies for the Holidays

Watch as O'Charley's Executive Chef, Bill Powell shares the secrets behind O'Charley's famous Prime Rib and legendary dessert pies. From Prime Rib Lover's Weekend to Free Pie Wednesday, Chef Bill has something to satisfy all your cravings.

Decorating Pies with Bakers Square

Watch as Mary Pint aka "The Pie Lady" shows viewers how to elevate dessert pies for the Holiday Season. Mary recently visited WISN's TV studios to demonstrate ways that guests of Bakers Square can take their holiday pies to the next level by adding even more deliciousness.

Village Inn Adds Another Location In Mesa, Arizona

Restaurant to open in Mesa, raise funds for local charity! Village Inn will open a new location in Mesa Sept. 29 and celebrate with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 3. Village Inn will fund raise for local Boys & Girls Clubs during its opening week, collecting donations on opening day and donating some of its sales on Oct. 3.

O’Charley’s Franchise Footprint Expands to Rome, GA

O’Charley’s, the Nashville-based casual dining restaurant that has been serving the American dining public since 1972, is coming to Rome, GA. Local developers and new franchisees Wayne Robinson and Brooke Temple have begun construction on the newest O’Charley’s franchise, located at 707 Turner McCall Blvd. The restaurant is expected to open by August, 2014.

O’Charley’s bucks winter weather, industry traffic slump

Solid same-store gain helps parent's restaurant group lift EBITDA margin by 2 points. The turnaround at O'Charley's took another big step in the first three months of 2014 as the restaurant chain grew same-store sales by 2.8 percent despite many weather-related disruptions.

New East Side Village Inn location brings new look

The new Village Inn on Joe Battle will be like no other in El Paso, says vice president of the local franchise Jim Welsh.

"It's a brand new prototype. It's a new look that we haven't done anywhere in town," Welsh said.

O’Charley’s Holiday Whole Pie Menu!

We are busier than ever, how do you handle holiday meal responsibilities without sacrificing quality? O’Charley’s is aiming to lighten the load by offering guests to order and take home their fresh baked award-winning whole pies this holiday season.

American Blue Ribbon Margins On the Rise

The Nashville-based restaurant operations under the umbrella of Fidelity National Financial cranked up their profitability in the second quarter as almost all of its concepts grew same-store sales.

American Blue Ribbon Looks at Acquisitions, Texas

By the end of the year, Hazem Ouf and his team at American Blue Ribbon Holdings will have poured about $15 million into revitalizing the O’Charley’s brand in Tennessee. And they will only be a quarter of the way through their renovations.

Hometown Hero: Alcoa proclaims day for injured US Marine Brian Robbins

The guests at O’Charley’s in Alcoa were called to attention at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to bear witness to the arrival a great American hero. Five-year veteran U.S. Marine Brian Robbins of Alcoa was honored at a Hometown Hero celebration at the restaurant.

Hazem Ouf Takes O’Charley’s Down Fresh Path

Hazem Ouf, CEO of American Blue Ribbon Holdings, a Nashville restaurant-holding company whose brands include O'Charley's, has a lot on his plate, but he always makes sure to leave room for a little dessert. A favorite? French silk pie.

FSR 50: Top 10 Restaurant Groups

Changes in executive leadership, new business models, and brand acquisitions characterize a dynamic year for the industry’s largest owners of full-service restaurants.

Two local Vietnam vets honored with special night

Two Vietnam vets were honored at an East Knoxville restaurant and they didn't expect it! Harry Carroll and John Wolfe, who both fought in the Vietnam War, thought they were just grabbing a bite to eat, but it turned into much more.

O’Charley’s Launches “Free Pie Wednesday

O'Charley's Guests Nationwide Will Receive a Free Slice of Award-Winning Pie With the Purchase of Any Entrée Every Wednesday at Any of the Restaurant's Participating Locations Across 17 States

American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC – 3rd Party Logistics

At American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) LLC, there are 13 people who manage the company’s $500 million supply chain, according to Chief Supply Chain Officer Mark Hampton. The foodservice company has more than 690 restaurants in 43 states, and Hampton admits “you either have to be laser-focused or throw a battalion of people at it” to manage such a large operation successfully, but that is exactly what ABRH is doing.

Restaurant Chains Get Makeovers

In November Max & Erma's unveiled a 'next-generation' store, the prototype for its future restaurants, featuring an expanded list of locally-brewed craft beers. "It's all about value," says Ouf. To that end, the chain has added a three-course meal priced under $10.

American Blue Ribbon Holdings names Jennifer Sanning CMO

American Blue Ribbon Holdings, parent to the Village Inn, Bakers Square and Max & Erma’s brands, has named Jennifer Sanning chief marketing officer, officials said Monday. Sanning previously worked as chief marketing officer at Rainbow Rewards, a loyalty-marketing firm.

Successful M&A Deals Mesh Management Practices, Communication and Values

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, the hardest work may be on the soft stuff. Two-thirds of all mergers and acquisitions either fail or under perform,” said Tony Rucci, clinical professor of management and human resources at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. “More often than not, that has nothing to do with the strategic reason or financial assumptions of the merger.”