The Buzzer Beaters: 3 Late 2023 Expansion Announcements

Two chains are making respective debuts in Texas and Massachusetts, while another is growing its flock in Canada.

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Twas the week before Christmas, and, yet, all through the news, deals were stirring.

In buzzer-beating fashion, here are some of the latest chains to announce current expansion plans:

16 Handles: The self-serve frozen yogurt and soft serve shop is set to make its Texas debut this coming spring, opening six stores throughout Houston, Dallas and Austin. “We are eager to go big in Texas, and I’m ecstatic that we have had the opportunity to team up with experienced local business owners who are passionate about bringing the best dessert to their communities,” says CEO Neil Hershman. “16 Handles is focused on scaling at the right time in the right way and bringing a lot of excitement around frozen yogurt and soft serve!”

STK Steakhouse: The ONE Group Hospitality brand has opened STK Boston—its first restaurant in Massachusetts. The restaurant offers brunch, lunch and dinner, and is home to an award-winning wine list designed to pair with its dry-aged steaks. The newest company-owned location joins units in cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, New York City, San Diego and San Francisco and Toronto, among others. ONE Group Hospitality also owns Kona Grill.

Freddy s Original Double combo

Shown is Freddy’s original double combo, complete with fries and a drink.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers: The fast-casual brand is picking up the pace in Canada, where it first signed an agreement a year ago. This week, the brand shared that it recently signed a second development agreement, led by Dan Arndt of ZZA Hospitality, to debut five new Freddy’s restaurants in Alberta over the next five years. “Bringing an iconic brand like Freddy’s into Canadian territories has been an exhilarating journey, and we feel thrilled to be closer to debuting our first franchise location in Alberta,” says Gregg Most, franchise owner of North 49 Frozen Custard and Steakburgers. “It’s a pleasure to work with ZZA Hospitality as we realize our goal of expanding Freddy’s Canadian footprint.” ZZA Hospitality currently operates several quick-service restaurant franchises. In 2023, Freddy’s opened more than 60 new locations. Looking ahead, the brand says it looks to maintain a high level of growth across the U.S. and aims to have more than 800 units by 2026.



Boba Tea Chains Target More Markets

As summer heats up, boba drinks continue to burst onto new scenes.

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Thermo-Kool Adds Heartland Reps to Roster

The firm will represent Thermo-Kool in Iowa, Southern Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

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