Detroit-Big Boy could be about to lend Mr. Pita a financial hand. The restaurant chains are discussing a deal that would make Big Boy Restaurants International LLC an equity shareholder in Pita Franchise Corp.

It's a deal that could help Mr. Pita expand outside Michigan while giving Big Boy a new business opportunity. The CEO of the Big Boy chain said any kind of partnership would give the 252-store chain a new avenue of growth-an opportunity it would first offer to current franchisees. Mr. Pita's owner said a deal would give his chain some much needed cash and expertise to expand outside the state.

Gregory Thomas, director of the national restaurant practice at McTevia and Associates, an Eastpointe-based financial and operational consulting firm, said it makes sense for Mr. Pita to look for an experienced franchising partner, because the low-carb sandwich and wrap business has become competitive. -Nation's Restaurant News