In an effort to become more prominent in markets where they currently operate, five U.S. and Canadian restaurant chains — Bruegger's Bagels, Fazoli's Restaurants, Friendly's Ice Cream, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill and Timothy's Coffees of the World Inc. — are teaming up to develop a joint concession concept that will bring the brands to airports, hospitals and other non-traditional retail venues. The chains, all owned by Boca Raton, Fla.-based private investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., have agreed to participate in a joint strategic development program that will expand the concepts' reach beyond traditional retail venues and into the concessions arena. The chains will be flexible in how the concepts are configured. The exact composition will depend on the availability of space and that particular market's preference for certain brands. “They really complement each other and they can work well together,” says T. Scott King, senior managing director at Sun Capital.

The idea to move into concessions took form in 2008 when Bruegger's began expanding to airports. The chain can now be found in Boston's Logan Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Cleveland Hopkins. The new bundled locations will be between 600 square feet and 1,000 square feet. The company is hoping to open about five new, mainly franchised concession locations in 2010.