A few things have caught my eye recently and it's time for a few links.
I saw this article on Wendy's and their future plans. It first caught my attention because it mentioned Baja Fresh, which is a fairly popular food chain over here (I'm not exactly sure how spread out they are; it's like Taco Bell but a lot better). Apparently their sales are rather weak, but it got me thinking of brands that I would find interesting if they went public. Here's my rather short list:
Whenever I go to the mall, I notice one store is normally packed and that's Forever 21
I think it's mainly for high school/college girls and it seems to be really busy. They are in the top 10 most popular stores for high school girls (last ranking I saw as #7) and I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they generate a good amount of sales.
Another clothing company I would watch out for, and this is very premature, is Company 81. I saw an ad for their clothes and they are along the lines of American Eagle and Abercrombie. It seems for the slightly older crowd so it might be comparable with Urban Outfitters. They are incredibly new and I don't even think their online store is up as of yet, but just by looking at their clothes I want to at least keep an eye on them. I definitely think the AE/Abercrombie look is going to be popular for awhile.
The next companies are food companies. The first one is found in all the malls around here and it's Panda Express. It's basically a take-out chinese food place that is incredibly popular. I've been to the mall countless times when the other food places are barely packed, but there's a long line for Panda. The food is definitely good, especially the orange chicken!
Another place, but I doubt it will go public, is In-and-Out. I think there's only two in San Francisco and a few in San Jose. This place is packed all the time! I'm amazed by how crowded these places are. There's one south of San Francisco that always has a packed drive-thru line.
I always wonder how profitable they are because they generate a ton of sales, but I would figure their labor costs are rather high. I know they employ a good amount of workers (there seem to be at least 12 people working at one time) and each one starts off at $10/hour, which is higher than the other fast food places. Plus their food costs less than the other places.
I'm fairly confident that the stores I listed are not public (or part of a bigger company), but I might be wrong. If you have any favorites that you wish would go public, write a comment about them.