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Wendy Reuer, Published January 04 2013

TRADE TALK: Doug Burgum featured in Wall Street Journal story on winter grilling

Fargo’s Doug Burgum was featured in a Wall Street Journal article this week.

The article was not about any of the local restoration projects Burgum and the Kilbourne Group have spearheaded, nor was it about his success as a former Microsoft executive.

It focuses on a lesser-known arena for Burgum: winter grilling and entertaining.

Wednesday’s article titled “The Life of the Winter Party: Your Grill” is a nationwide look at how some people are taking winter barbecuing to an “upscale entertaining experience.”

It featured Burgum and family and friends bundled up atop his downtown Fargo rooftop deck during a chilly North Dakota evening.

“Guests bundled up to mingle outside on the rooftop deck, spearing appetizers of bacon-wrapped scallops and teriyaki-glazed pheasant” before heading inside for a dinner of rib-eye steaks, bison burgers and salmon grilled on a cedar plank, the article states.

After dinner, guests put coats back on and headed back out for s’mores around the fire pit.

“Anytime you can get outdoors and connect with the air, so fresh and clean, it adds to any meal,” Burgum said in the article.

Fuddruckers may return

Fuddruckers may finally be ready to head back to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Luby’s Inc. – which operates Fuddruckers – announced a new franchise development partnership with SFS Food Service, LLC that will produce five new North Dakota locations starting in 2014.

Fuddruckers was open in Fargo from 1987 until 2000 at 1111 38th St. S.

“The past year has been a time of exciting growth for Fuddruckers, and we look forward welcoming more respected groups like SFS Food Service to our team in 2013.” Peter Tripoli, chief operating officer for Luby’s, said in a statement. “We’re very enthusiastic about opportunities in North Dakota and eager to introduce our premium fast casual concept to the state.”

Calls to Luby’s for more details about the proposed franchises went unanswered.

Luby’s operates 62 Fuddruckers restaurants across the country, along with 93 Luby’s Cafeterias, 23 Cheeseburger in Paradise bars and restaurants, two Koo Koo Roo Chicken Bistros and one Bob Luby’s Seafood Grill. There are also 121 franchised Fuddruckers restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

The closest Fuddruckers to Fargo is now in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Global economy talk set

The North Dakota Trade Office will host a “2013 State of Global Economy” trade talk on Wednesday at the Fargo Ramada Plaza and Suites, 1635 42nd St. S.

Aryam Vazquez, an international economist for Wells Fargo Bank, will give his economic insights into international markets and discuss how companies can navigate the global economy in 2013.

Franchise business up

A recent report from the International Franchise Association says the number of franchise establishments in the U.S. will grow 1.4 percent this year.

Although franchises will be added across the country, growth will be slower than in 2012, when they grew by 1.5 percent, from 746,828 franchises to 757,055.

In 2012, the number of jobs in franchised businesses was up from about 8.1 million to 8.262 million.

The IFA also found that entrepreneurs and those interested in franchise options remain optimistic for expansion in 2013.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530