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Shoney’s corporation sees new ownership

The parent company of the Knoxville area Shoney’s restaurants is under new ownership, but local Shoney’s officials say employees do not need to worry about their jobs.

Royal Hospitality Corp., an affiliate of Royal Capital Corp., said last week it would take over all 282 Shoney’s restaurants from Shoney’s LLC., an affiliate of Dallas-based Lone Star funds.

Shoney’s, known nationally for its breakfast bar, has 282 locations in 18 states, 230 of which are owned by


Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc. is a local Shoney’s franchise. President and CEO Bill Baugh declined to comment on the sale other than to say the local Shoney’s restaurants, including the one at 401 Lovell Road, are included in the corporate sale.

“We understand that Mister Davoudpour is a businessman with twenty-eight years of food service experience, who wants to continue to build the Shoney’s brand,” Baugh said in a press release. “We will support his company [Royal Hospitality] in continuing to grow Shoney’s here in East Tennessee.”

Annie LaLonde, advertising and marketing director for Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc., said employee jobs are secure.

“This was more a financial transaction,” she said. “Only the franchise rights have been sold. We don’t see any affects here in Knoxville.”

Baugh, in the release, said his company knows little about the actual corporate transaction. Company officials did not reveal to him or the public the amount Royal Hospitality Corp. paid to acquire Shoney’s.

Shoney’s of Knoxville, Inc. has 22 locations in Knox and 10 surrounding counties and about 1,100 employees.

on its payroll.

Hannibal Myers, chief development officer for Shoney’s Corporation, said the new restaurant chain owners see the business as a diamond in the rough.

“The immediate goal is to look at the brand and its performance over the next ninety days to help each store be as good as it can be,” he said.

Shoney’s traces its origins back to 1947 in West Virginia, where it started to grow. In 1971, the company merged with Danner Foods of Nashville to become Shoney’s Big Boy Enterprises. It became Shoney’s, Inc. in 1976.


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