Industry News | September 27, 2013

New Investment to Help Grow Piada Across U.S.

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PIADA Italian Street Food, a fast-casual Italian eatery based in Columbus, Ohio, with restaurants in Ohio and Indiana, announced that Catterton Partners, a consumer-focused private equity firm, has made a significant investment in the company. Catterton's investment will be used to continue growing the PIADA concept across the country. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

PIADA has 14 locations across the Midwest, with six planned to open by the end of 2013. The company is poised for significant national expansion throughout 2014 and the years to come.

"We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Catterton, which has extensive expertise in developing restaurants and expanding brands," says Chris Doody, founder and CEO of PIADA. "We are confident that PIADA's fresh ingredients, innovative menu, and customizable options will translate well to new markets throughout the U.S. and beyond. With Catterton's support, we look forward to the continued evolution of our growth strategy as we pursue our goal of building the leading fast-casual Italian restaurant company in the country."

"We believe PIADA will be one of the great success stories in fast-casual dining," says Scott A. Dahnke, co-managing partner of Catterton Partners. "PIADA is the leading player in the Italian fast-casual space and fits squarely within our investment strategy of finding top companies in great categories. We have a long history of partnering with exceptionally well positioned restaurant concepts such as Noodles & Company, Mendocino Farms, P.F. Chang's, Baja Fresh, Bloomin' Brands, Primanti Brothers, Cheddar's, and First Watch, and believe that our extensive experience makes Catterton the ideal partner for PIADA."

"With its upscale ingredients, customizable offerings, and fast, convenient style of service, all at an attractive price point, PIADA is primed for growth," says Jon Owsley, a partner at Catterton. "We look forward to leveraging our expertise and working with Chris and his management team to expand the brand."

PIADA serves made-to-order piadas (an Italian thin crust dough, baked on a stone grill, then hand rolled with fresh ingredients), pasta bowls, and chopped salads. The company was founded by Doody, who cofounded the BRAVO BRIO Restaurant Group in 1992. PIADA uses high-quality ingredients, including a blend of natural and organic flour, extra virgin olive oil, and made-from-scratch sauces, pestos, and dressings. PIADA restaurants feature a modern Italian design with white Carrara marble, fumed white oak furniture, LED lighting, and stained concrete floors. PIADA was born from the belief that everyone is entitled to experience fresh, authentic Italian food in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Catterton Partners recently closed its seventh buyout fund, Catterton Partners VII, L.P., as well as its second growth fund, Catterton Growth Partners II, L.P. With the closing of these two funds, which include a combined $2.1 billion of Limited and General Partner commitments, Catterton now has over $4 billion under active management focused on growing well-positioned consumer companies. 

PIADA was advised in its exclusive discussions with Catterton by Piper Jaffray & Co. and legal counsel Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter Co. L.P.A. Catterton was represented by Finn Dixon & Herling LLP.