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Trending this week: Papa Johns gives crustless pizza a try with new ‘Papa Bowls’

This week on Nation's Restaurant News the top story was Qdoba and Modern Market Eatery to merge in private equity acquisition. Private equity firm and Modern Market Eatery parent company, Butterfly Equity, announced Tuesday the intent to acquire fast-casual chain, Qdoba Mexican Eats for an unspecified amount. The transaction, which is expected to close in Q3 2022, will merge Modern Restaurant Concepts (comprised of Modern Market Eatery and Lemonade) with Qdoba into one fast-casual restaurant platform, though all three will continue to operate separate brands.

In other news, Papa Johns International Inc. just announced the latest addition to its menu lineup: Papa Bowls. Papa Bowls — which will be available to loyalty members on Aug. 15 and nationally to all customers on Aug. 22  — are filled with pizza toppings and trimmings sans crust.  The bowls come in microwavable trays with insulated pizza sleeves that allow the product to stay in place without sloshing around. They will be available in three varieties so far, as well as a choose-your-own option where you can pick up to seven toppings.

Also, the plant-based restaurant wars are getting a major new contender later this month, as Hart House — launched by actor and comedian Kevin Hart — is preparing to open its first location in Los Angeles.The entirely plant-based concept, which serves burg'rs, chick'n sandwiches, salads, tenders, fries, tots and milkshakes that are all made without antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors, preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup, will open its first location in L.A.’s Westchester neighborhood on August 25.

See what else was trending on this week. 

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