Chicken Salad Chick, a fast casual with a big footprint in the Southeast and unique menu category, was acquired by private-equity firm Brentwood Associates. Terms were not disclosed.
Brentwood acquired the 137-unit franchise from Eagle Merchant Partners, which purchased a majority stake in Chicken Salad Chick in 2015 and helped it open more than 100 new locations.
“We are very excited to partner with Brentwood on the next chapter for Chicken Salad Chick,” Chicken Salad Chick CEO Scott Deviney said in a statement. “Brentwood’s long track record of working with leading restaurant companies, coupled with their understanding of our business objectives and strategy, make them the perfect partner for us to continue executing on our robust growth and expansion plan.”
Brentwood is also an investor in fast casuals Blaze Pizza and Veggie Grill, as well as full-service brands Lazy Dog and Pacific Catch.
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“Chicken Salad Chick’s model fits well within our strategy of investing in high-growth, best-in-class consumer businesses,” Brentwood partner Rahul Aggarwal said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Scott and the Chicken Salad Chick team to build upon their success in the markets they serve.”
Chicken Salad Chick was founded in Auburn, Alabama, in 2008 by Stacy and Kevin Brown. Stacy Brown started selling chicken salad door to door after a divorce, and with help from business partner Kevin (who passed away in 2015 after a battle with cancer), transitioned the business into a brick-and-mortar fast casual selling chicken-salad recipes inspired by Stacy’s life and friends. Guests can order chicken salad in a scoop, sandwich, or bowl, along with a variety of sides, soups, and desserts.
“I was truly obsessed with chicken salad,” Stacy Brown told QSR earlier this year. “I was a Southern cook, not a chef, but I enjoyed cooking. I thought, ‘Well, if I can come up with a really good recipe, other people would value that.’ It was something that I was always in search of.”
The chain just announced its 15th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth, and is continuing to expand the model through franchising. Deviney, who will continue as CEO, joined Chicken Salad Chick as part of the Eagle Merchant Partners acquisition in 2015.