Goldbelly Announces Investment From Danny Meyer’s Enlightened Hospitality Investments
Popular Y-Combinator-Backed Marketplace Raises $20 Million in Series B Round
October 9, 2018–(PR Newswire)
Goldbelly, the popular online food marketplace that connects the most iconic regional and local food providers to consumers around the country, today announced that it has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Enlightened Hospitality Investments (EHI), the fund formed by legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Existing investors Intel Capital, 500 Startups and 645 Ventures have also reinvested, demonstrating confidence in the company’s business model and connection with its customers.
Goldbelly will leverage the new funding to meet increased demand and expand its technology and operations teams in its newly opened New York City headquarters. As a part of the transaction, Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group and a partner in Enlighted Hospitality Investments, will join the Company’s advisory board.
Led by founder & CEO Joe Ariel, Goldbelly’s team of “food explorers” finds America’s most unique, legendary and authentic food experiences and makes them available for national delivery, straight from the source. Their proprietary technology manages e-commerce operations and logistics for 350 of the country’s most popular food makers.
“We are thrilled to partner with Danny and the team at Enlightened Hospitality Investments and to join their great portfolio of brands who are unified by shared values of hospitality and a commitment to providing a stronger emotional connection to food,” said Ariel. “At Goldbelly, we believe that the country’s greatest foods are made by passionate regional food makers and artisans. We’ve created a platform to empower these iconic local brands to connect with food lovers across the country, and look forward to enabling more people to enjoy these magical food experiences around the country.”
“Enlightened Hospitality Investments is passionate about finding category disruptors, particularly when their business and culture leverage technology to provide exceptional hospitality,” said Meyer. “Goldbelly does just that, conveniently fulfilling nostalgic cravings for hometown favorites. Joe Ariel and his team have created something very special, as evidenced by Goldbelly’s devoted following and inspiring culture. We look forward to working together to share the gift of Goldbelly with as many food lovers as possible.”
GV Leads $10M Investment in Kitchen United to Bring Flexible Kitchen Spaces to New Markets
Kitchen United Takes Data-Driven Approach to Help Restaurants Reach More Customers
October 8, 2018–(Business Wire)
Kitchen United, a virtual restaurant concept, today announced the closing of a $10 million Series A funding round led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). Co-founders Harry Tsao and John Miller (Cali Group) also participated, along with several other investors. Launched in 2017, Kitchen United offers national, regional, and local restaurant chains a value-driven, low-risk opportunity to expand into new markets, grow revenue through off-premise dining, and expand their addressable delivery market. Kitchen United’s state-of-the-art commercial kitchens also provide food entrepreneurs the flexibility and business intelligence needed to enter this rapidly growing market.
Kitchen United will use the funding to power its national growth strategy – the company has plans to open new facilities in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Columbus, Phoenix, Seattle, Denver and New York City by the end of 2019. These funds will also build the company’s real estate, marketing, engineering and operations functions in connection with the existing leadership team, which hails from industry giants like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, SBE Entertainment, Wolfgang Puck and more. As part of the investment, GV General Partner Adam Ghobarah will be joining Kitchen United’s board of directors.
Kitchen United leverages aggregate data to identify the best locations for its “Kitchen Centers,” which are facilities that can house 10-20 restaurants in converted warehouses, as well as big box and light industrial locations. Data on local demographics are overlaid with cuisine-specific demand mapping to determine the best locations for these centers, as well as the best partner fit from its growing list of participating restaurants. Once in the facility, Kitchen United provides its restaurants access to opt-in consumer and operational data to tailor their businesses, meet consumer demand, and realize operational efficiency. Examples of these functions include flagging unpopular menu choices, allowing restaurants to reduce menu size, and tailoring labor size based on demand.
“Kitchen United’s data-driven approach to flexible kitchen spaces unlocks critical value for national, regional, and local restaurant chains looking to expand into new markets,” said Adam Ghobarah, general partner at GV. “The founding team’s experience in scaling – in addition to diverse exposure to national chains, regional brands, regional franchises, and small upstart eateries – puts Kitchen United in a strong position to accelerate food innovation. Delivery networks have created new possibilities for food entrepreneurs, and we see significant investment opportunities in this ecosystem.”
According to UBS, the food delivery market is expected to grow from $35 billion today to $365 billion worldwide by 2030, an annual average of more than 20 percent. Capitalizing on the rapidly changing restaurant landscape, Kitchen United’s Kitchen Centers create operational efficiencies and reduce delivery costs for restaurants while providing more food options and decreasing wait time for customers. Rather than the traditional approach of spending millions of dollars and taking months to establish new locations, restaurant partners utilizing Kitchen United spaces can enter new markets at a fraction of the cost and time, simply by staffing the kitchen and advertising the local address through the delivery services and their web channels.
“Consumers are demanding new dining choices at ever increasing levels,” said Jim Collins, CEO of Kitchen United. “Our Kitchen Centers are designed to bring production closer to homes and businesses across the country, empowering local and national businesses alike to reach new markets. We’re thrilled to work with GV as we bring many more of these kitchen spaces to life in the years ahead.”
Grupo Anderson’s Selling Its Iconic Señor Frog’s Brand
Renowned Fun Dining Restaurant Chain to Sell Rights in The U.S.
October 3, 2018–(PR Newswire)
Grupo Anderson’s, a Mexican hospitality industry leader, has announced plans to sell its iconic fun themed restaurant brand Señor Frog’s in the US. The group owns and operates restaurants and bars located in the main cities and tourist destinations in Mexico, the United States and the Caribbean. Currently they have five Señor Frog’s business units in the country: Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando and San Juan (Puerto Rico).
According to a study conducted by Lizan Retail Advisors (LRA), a New York based consulting firm that recently assessed the chain’s potential of market development in the US, Señor Frog’s brand recognition is very high. Many people in the US know the brand from their trips to the Caribbean and Mexico. Its clientele being comprised mainly of customers on vacation looking for a place to have a good time.
“Señor Frog’s is a key player in the fun themed restaurant market, a niche segment serving food and drinks in a casual / relaxed atmosphere, unified by a central theme, catering to tourists / visitors and local populations” reads the study, which identified 30-40 feasible US locations that qualify to support a Señor Frog’s restaurant, by prioritizing those locations within high-traffic domestic tourist destinations.
Papa John’s asks potential acquirers to submit offers
September 26, 2018–(Reuters)
Papa John’s International Inc. (PZZA.O), the world’s third-largest pizza delivery company, has reached out to potential acquirers to ask them to submit offers, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Papa John’s has come under pressure by founder John Schnatter, who owns about 30 percent of the company. He resigned as chairman in July following reports that he had used a racial slur on a media training conference call. Since then, Schnatter has been seeking ways to regain control.
Papa John’s sent out information this week about an auction to sell itself to other companies and private equity firms, and expects to receive first-round bids by the end of October, the sources said. There is no certainty of a sale, and Papa John’s could also explore an alternative deal, such as receiving an investment, one of the sources added.
The sources asked not to be identified because the matter was confidential. Papa John’s declined to comment. Reuters first reported last month that the company had hired Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) to prepare the ground for a sale.
Papa John’s shares ended trading on Wednesday up 8.5 percent at $50.14, giving the company a market value of close to $1.6 billion.
Elite Restaurant Group buying spree continues with Patxi’s purchase
The owner of Slater’s 50/50, Daphne’s plans 2 more acquisitions
September 26, 2018–(Restaurant Hospitality)
Elite Restaurant Group, the owner of Slater’s 50/50 and Daphne’s, is adding deep-dish pizza to its fast-growing portfolio.
Mike Nakhleh, president of the Los Angeles-based company, said he has purchased the 17-unit Patxi’s Pizza from private-equity firm KarpReilly LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition, expected to close in 60 to 90 days, is the second for Elite in less than six months.
When the deal is complete, Elite’s portfolio will increase to 50 restaurants with total revenue of about $100 million, Nakhleh said.
More than two years ago, Elite began its buying spree with the purchase of the bacon-centric burger brand, Slater’s 50/50 in Southern California. In April, Elite agreed to purchase Daphne’s California Greek.
Since closing the Daphne’s deal in recent weeks, Nakhleh said he’s positioning the 22-unit fast-casual chain for major growth.
He stripped “California Greek” from its name, revamped its look and menu and introduced Daphne’s-branded gyro kits at 90 Costco locations on the West Coast.
Four new corporate Daphne’s restaurants in Southern California are under construction, including a closed San Diego-area restaurant that is reopening in a new location in Mission Valley, Calif.
Grubhub Acquires Tapingo
Tapingo will provide increased exposure to college student market and strategic brand partnerships
September 26, 2018–(Restaurant News Resource)
Grubhub (NYSE: GRUB ) today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Tapingo, a leading platform for campus food ordering.
With over 150 college campus partners, Tapingo enables tens of thousands of order-ahead transactions per day for more than half a million active diners at on-campus cafes, restaurants, and cashier-less stores. The combination of Tapingo’s network with Grubhub’s restaurant marketplace and delivery capabilities will bring greater convenience to students and help campus restaurants capitalize on pickup and delivery orders.
Tapingo’s U.S.- and Israel-based teams have built a technology platform custom designed for campus use, with direct integration into college meal plans and point-of-sale (POS) systems, ensuring seamless order-taking and accurate, up-to-the-minute transparency on wait times for diners. The Tapingo platform also streamlines operations and increases in-store efficiency for campus restaurant partners—including Taco Bell, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Panda Express and Jamba Juice—and powers partnerships with Aramark and Sodexo, the leading providers of food services and facilities management nationwide.
“We are excited to add Tapingo, a company that shares our vision of bringing greater convenience to diners and improving the restaurant ordering and pickup experience through technology,” said Matt Maloney, Grubhub’s founder and chief executive officer. “We value the college student population, many of whom we hope become life-long Grubhub diners with their first order. Tapingo makes students’ lives easier, allows merchants to efficiently capitalize on online ordering, and enables colleges and universities to give students the technology they’ve come to expect.”
RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2018 Financial Results
September 25, 2018–(Restaurant News Resource)
RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ :RAVE ) yesterday reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 24, 2018.
- RAVE total comparable store retail sales increased 0.4% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to the same period of the prior year.
- Pizza Inn domestic comparable store retail sales increased 2.5% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to the same period of the prior year, while total domestic retail sales increased 0.3%.
- Pie Five comparable store retail sales decreased 6.4% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period of the prior year, while total system-wide retail sales decreased 10.7%.
- Total revenue decreased by $2.5 million to $2.8 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to $5.3 million for the same period of the prior year.
- Net income improved by $4.4 million to $3.3 million compared to a net loss of $1.1 million for the same period of the prior year.
- The Company reversed $3.4 million of the previous valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets, resulting in a net income tax benefit of $3.3 million.
- On a fully diluted basis, the Company had net income of $0.21 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to a net loss of $0.11 per share for the same period of the prior year.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $0.3 million was a $0.6 million improvement from the same period of the prior year.
- Domestic Pizza Inn units increased by one during the quarter bringing the domestic total units open at the end of the quarter to 153.
- International Pizza Inn units decreased by two during the quarter bringing the international total units open at the end of the quarter to 58.
- Pie Five units decreased by five during the quarter bringing the total Pie Five units open at the end of the quarter to 73.
- RAVE total comparable store retail sales decreased 2.1% compared to fiscal 2017.
- Pizza Inn domestic comparable store retail sales increased 1.8% from the prior year, while total domestic retail sales decreased 1.9%.
- Pie Five comparable store retail sales decreased 12.9% from the prior year, while total system-wide retail sales decreased 16.7%.
- Total consolidated revenue decreased 42.0% in fiscal 2018 to $15.1 million.
- Net income improved by $14.4 million to $1.9 million compared to a net loss of $12.5 million in the prior year.
- The Company reversed $3.4 million of the previous valuation allowance against net deferred tax assets, resulting in a net income tax benefit of $3.3 million.
- On a fully diluted basis, the Company reported net income of $0.13 per share compared to a net loss of $1.18 per share in the prior year.
- Adjusted EBITDA of $0.6 million was a $2.4 million increase from the prior year.
- Shareholders’ Equity increased by $8.4 million to $6.3 million as of the end of fiscal 2018 compared to the prior year
- Domestic Pizza Inn units decreased by eight during the year bringing domestic total units open at the end of the fiscal year to 153.
- International Pizza Inn units decreased by two during the year bringing the international total units open at the end of the fiscal year to 58.
- Pie Five units decreased by eleven during the year bringing the total Pie Five units open at the end of the fiscal year to 73.
“We are encouraged by progress that we’ve made with both brands,” said Scott Crane, Chief Executive Officer for RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. “The decisions made in fiscal 2018 have laid a solid foundation for success in coming quarters. We are executing on key elements of our revitalization plans which are driving us towards the next phase of growth. Positive trends in comparable store retail sales point to a strong turnaround.”
Carlisle Corp. Sells Off Struggling LYFE Kitchen
The three-unit brand is bought by Chicago-based L3 Hospitality Group, a former franchisee.
September 21, 2018–(Restaurant Business)
Memphis, Tenn.-based Carlisle Corp. sold its struggling, health-focused LYFE Kitchen fast-casual concept to L3 Hospitality Group, the companies announced Friday.
L3 Hospitality Group, a Chicago-based multiconcept operator, was previously a LYFE Kitchen franchisee.
As part of the sale, LYFE shuttered its unit in downtown Memphis, leaving the fast-casual chain with just three locations, all in Chicago.
“LYFE Kitchen was a fantastic brand that looks to change how we perceive ‘healthy food.’ Unfortunately, as we aligned our strategic priorities, we did not have the time or resources necessary to fulfill LYFE’s potential and felt a divesture made sense [for] all parties,” said Carlisle CEO Chance Carlisle in a statement.
Sonic Corp. to be Acquired by Inspire Brands in $2.3 Billion Transaction
September 13, 2018–(Business Wire)
Sonic Corp. (“Sonic”) (NASDAQ: SONC) and Inspire Brands, Inc. (“Inspire”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Inspire will acquire Sonic for $43.50 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.3 billion including the assumption of Sonic’s net debt.
Inspire is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes more than 4,700 Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Rusty Taco locations worldwide. Following the completion of the transaction, Sonic will be a privately-held subsidiary of Inspire and will continue to be operated as an independent brand.
The agreement, which has been unanimously approved by Sonic’s Board of Directors, represents a premium of approximately 19% per share to Sonic’s closing stock price on September 24, 2018 and a premium of approximately 21% to Sonic’s 30-day volume-weighted average price.
“Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family,” said Paul Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Brands. “We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands.”
“We’re excited to build on Sonic’s momentum as we leverage our combined expertise and capabilities to better serve guests, further support team members and franchisees and drive long-term growth.”
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Announces Sale of Sullivan’s Steakhouse to Romano’s Macaroni Grill
Gross Proceeds of Approximately $32 Million, Net Proceeds to Reduce Outstanding Indebtedness
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Del Frisco’s” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: DFRG) today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Sullivan’s Steakhouse to Romano’s Macaroni Grill for gross proceeds of approximately $32 million. The net proceeds, which have not yet been finalized, will be used to reduce the Company’s outstanding indebtedness. The transaction is expected to close on or before September 30, 2018.
The divestiture of Sullivan’s Steakhouse represents the culmination of a strategic alternatives process for the brand that was first announced in March 2018. Sullivan’s Steakhouse currently comprises 14 locations across 12 states.
Scott Smith, who had served as President of Sullivan’s Steakhouse since January 2017, will remain with Del Frisco’s and assume similar responsibilities for Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse. Ray Risley, who previously served in that same position, has resigned to pursue other interests.
Norman Abdallah, CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc., said, “The sale of Sullivan’s Steakhouse enhances our financial condition while enabling us to sharpen our focus on opportunities with the highest potential for strong returns. These include executing our Emerging Brands integration and expanding our core concepts of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Barcelona Wine Bar and bartaco. We wish our colleagues at Sullivan’s Steakhouse all the best under their new ownership.”