Private-equity firm Area 15 Ventures announced Friday that it acquired full ownership of Daddy's Chicken Shack, an emerging fast-casual franchise.
Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Daddy's Chicken Shack was founded in 2018 by married couple Pace Webb and Chris Georgalas. The restaurant evolved from fried chicken sliders Webb served from her catering business, Taste of Pace.
The company's franchise growth plan kicked off in 2021 when Area 15 Ventures—owned by RE/MAX co-founder and chairman Dave Liniger—made a significant investment. Now, the brand has 160 locations in development across Florida, Texas, Colorado, California, Georgia, and Arizona. Daddy's Chicken Shack currently has one open unit in Houston.
Liniger, who also serves as the chain's regional developer for Scottsdale and Denver, will transition to board chairman. The first location in Scottsdale will open later in May.
“I love this concept and am grateful to Pace and Chris for providing the groundwork to take this brand to the next level,” Liniger said in a statement. "I’m thrilled to acquire full ownership, and we’re excited to move forward with our development goals.”
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Additionally, Webb will step down as CEO. Dave Liniger Jr. will serve as brand president.
"The past two years have been an incredible and exhilarating ride with Area 15 Ventures as we have built Daddy’s Chicken Shack’s systems, training and processes to support rapid expansion through the regional developer model," Webb said in a statement. "The kind of brand interest and rapid growth is unparalleled. ... They are building a solid team to take Daddy’s and their other brands to the moon, and we couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds for Daddy’s under their management. Dave Liniger is a true visionary and has given us and our vision a tremendous opportunity to become a legacy brand.”
Area 15 Ventures' investment portfolio includes 12 businesses in various industries. In April, the private equity firm revealed that it purchased sandwich concept Port of Subs. With the help of Liniger and his family, the 50-year-old West Coast chain plans to award up to 50 regions for franchise development in the next 12 months.
The company will continue to add concepts and provide guidance via its shared services model, including marketing and technical support.
“We are thrilled with the outcome of this partnership, and I am personally ecstatic to be taking on a new role with Daddy’s Chicken Shack,” Liniger Jr. said in a statement. “Pace and Chris cultivated a stellar business model with amazing menu items, and we’re incredibly grateful for the close relationship we’ve formed with them over this last year. I have every confidence that their next endeavor will make waves in the restaurant industry and look forward to seeing our continued success as we work to scale Daddy’s Chicken Shack to its fullest potential.”