Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop announced Monday that it has acquired 67-unit fast casual Wing Zone. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The acquisition is the latest in a string of news for the 44-year-old sandwich chain. Despite the pandemic, same-store sales increased by double digits, the company said. Capriotti’s opened 18 stores in 2020, boosting its footprint to 115 locations, with an additional 210 in development. More than 30 will open in 2021, it said. The concept also signed 24 multi-unit franchise agreements to bring 106 restaurants to markets like Miami, Philadelphia, Denver, New York City, and more. The restaurant has a goal of expanding to more than 500 locations by 2025.
Additionally, Capriotti’s rolled out an Impossible Meat Cheese Steak, introduced a new lineup of American Wagyu beef subs, debuted virtual brands, and opened ghost kitchens, including a partnership with REEF Technologies in Baltimore.
Capriotti’s CEO Ashley Morris will serve as the executive leader of Wing Zone as well.
“This year has presented a unique set of challenges for restaurants nationwide and Capriotti’s was no exception. I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and support of our franchise partners and their teams for their dedication to helping Capriotti’s safely serve communities across the country,” said Morris in a statement. “While 2020 has been filled with hurdles, it’s been one of the most rewarding and successful years in the history of the organization. We’re looking forward to growing from here!”
Wing Zone has performed well during the crisis, too. In May, then-CEO Matt Friedman told QSR that comp sales were growing 40 percent, which he attributed to stimulus checks, price point, curbside pickup, and direct delivery. To meet the demand for delivery, the company added hundreds of jobs during the pandemic. Wing Zone first opened in 1993, and has 31 domestic units and 36 international restaurants.
Capriotti’s and Wing Zone finished 2020 with more than $100 million in combined systemwide sales. The sandwich concept said it’s committed “to leveraging its best-in-class leadership, sophisticated organizational structure and strategic partners in order to protect, enhance and promote the success of Wing Zone and invest in the future of the growing brand.”
“The acquisition is a natural fit for both brands, as Capriotti’s and Wing Zone share many of the same internal values and organizational goals,” Morris said. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise in franchising, operational excellence and technology with Wing Zone’s off-premise experience to help both brands continue to grow. We are thrilled to welcome Wing Zone into the Capriotti’s family and are excited about what lies ahead.”