Naf Naf Grill announced Wednesday that it’s splitting up with private equity company Roark Capital.
The fast-casual Middle Eastern concept said it and an investor group acquired the minority stake held by affiliates of Roark. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Roark, which is heavily involved in the restaurant industry, has investments in Inspire Brands and Focus Brands, which operate concepts such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Sonic Drive-In, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Cinnabon. The company also made a $200 investment in The Cheesecake Factory in April 2020.
“I am excited about the future of Naf Naf Grill and want to thank Roark for its support and positive contributions to the Company,” said CEO Greg William in a statement.
Roark made its investment in June 2015. At the time, Naf Naf had 13 stores in the Greater Chicago area. The chain now has roughly 40 stores across more than a half-dozen states. Naf Naf was founded by the late Sahar Sander in 2009, and signed its first franchise deal in 2019.
William became CEO effective June, 15 2020. He’s the co-founder of 316 Investments, which served as Naf Naf’s first franchisee. William’s tenure came after the departure of Paul Damico, who led the chain from June 2017 to April 2020.
Naf Naf is still on a growth trajectory. In January, the chain announced a multi-unit development agreement with INAA Restaurant Group to open 10 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. The first location is scheduled to open later this year. It’s the ninth multi-unit development deal for Naf Naf since it began franchising.