Expansion News: Big O Tires, Crescent City Beignets, Damon's, Panera Bread

Englewood, Colorado--A Big O Tires franchisee group is going to acquire nine retail tire stores in Utah. The stores are located in the Salt Lake City area and were previously operated either as Grandma's Tires or Carmerica. -aftermarketNews.com

Houston--Crescent City Beignets is planning to roll out its New Orleans-inspired cuisine concept nationally by the end of this year. The franchise has signed an agreement with Alexandria, Virginia-based Fransmart, a national franchise development company, to expand across the country. Fransmart's strategy is to target major markets around the country, and the company estimates there will be more than 100 new Crescent City units in development by the end of 2002. -Houston Business Journal

Columbus, Ohio--Damon's Grill has signed multi-unit franchise development agreements with restaurant operators in New York and New Jersey. Metropolitan Restaurant Group Inc., a New York City multiunit Wendy's franchisee, signed an agreement for northern and central New Jersey and plans to have the first of five Damon's locations opened by mid-2003. Veteran restaurant owner/operator Anthony DiLeo signed an agreement for Staten Island, New York, and Ocean and Monmouth Counties in New Jersey and may open as many as six restaurants. -Brad Ritter Communications

St. Louis--Panera Bread Co. has signed an agreement with John Wolfgang Nelson and Dwaine Setzer, franchisees of 18 Burger Kings in Tennessee, to open 14 bakery-cafes in Georgia. The first franchise is expected to open by the end of 2002. -Panera Bread Co.