Italian cooking and casual dining are two things that excite this company. Fired Up operates and franchises more than 140 Carino's Italian restaurants in more than 25 states. The full-service eateries offer pizza and freshly prepared pasta along with beef, chicken and pork dishes inspired by the cuisine of Southern Italy. The company owns about half the restaurants and franchises the rest; a handful of franchised Carino's units are located in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, and UAE. Fired Up was founded in 1997 by partners and former Brinker International executives Norman Abdallah and Creed Ford. It is backed by private equity firm Rosewood Capital. In March 2014, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.