Hopdoddy Burger Bar announced Thursday that it’s agreed to acquire fellow Texas-based brand Grub Burger Bar in an effort to “bring a shared vision and craveable menus to more burger lovers across the nation.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two fast casuals will operate as HiBar Hospitality Group, and be backed by private equity firm L Catteron, which has held an investment in Hopdoddy since 2014. The restaurants aim to “capitalize on many complementary capabilities” and accelerate organic growth in Texas and other key markets and expansion through M&A opportunities.
HiBar Hospitality will be led by Hopdoddy CEO Jeff Chandler, while Grub founder and CEO Jimmy Loup will keep a stake in the business and join the board of directors.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with Grub, a high quality and complementary brand that we have admired for years,” Chandler said in a statement. “We have much in common, from our team-centric cultures and commitment to people, to exciting menus and a tireless focus on the guest experience. We think very much alike and share a long-term vision, which will serve us well as we come together and embark on our next stage of growth.”
Hopdoddy operates 32 restaurants in five states and is expanding at a pace of eight to 12 units per year. Founded in 2012, Grub owns 18 stores in four states, with restaurants as far east as Georgia and Florida. The chain prides itself on chef-driven burgers and sandwiches, handcrafted milkshakes, a scratch kitchen, and a full-service bar with craft cocktails, wine, and beer.
“As Jeff and I quickly learned after spending time together, we have shared values, objectives, and nearly identical operating philosophies,” Loup said in a statement. “For Grub, this is all about adding talent and expertise to our team, benefiting from new shared opportunities, rewarding our loyal investors, and moving back into growth mode again. It’s going to be a lot of fun growing together and bringing the best of both brands to our mutual guests as well as reaching a whole new group of burger fans.”
Hopdoddy and Grub have 50 stores combined, 31 of which are in Texas.
HiBar Hospitality is yet another sign of consolidation in the quick-service industry. A number of opportunistic restaurants and private equity firms spearheaded transactions in 2021, most notably Jack in the Box’s $575 million purchase of Del Taco and FAT Brands spending $890 million to buy Global Franchise Group, Fazoli’s, Twin Peaks, and Native Grill & Wings.
Also, in August, sister brands Panera, Caribou Coffee, and Einstein Bros. Bagels, all owned by JAB Holding, joined forces to form Panera Brands, now one of the largest fast-casual platforms in the industry. Soon after, the new company announced intentions to file an IPO, with the help of Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group. Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, a 150-unit fast casual based in Texas, is looking to build a platform as well through the creation of Experiential Brands.