Luna Grill secured nearly $30 million in financing from CapitalSpring, a private investment firm focused solely on the branded restaurant sector.
Luna Grill will be using the proceeds from this investment to further advance the company's successful growth strategy, expanding from nearly 30 units since its founding in 2004, with another 18 locations already in the pipeline for 2017.
"Our growth has been measured and strategic, and we wanted a financing partner who understood our needs and mindset. We chose CapitalSpring based on their team’s expertise in the restaurant industry, accessing their wealth of knowledge and resources as we continue to branch into new markets—the type of invaluable information you just don't get from a large financial institution," says Luna Grill co-founder and CEO Sean Pourteymour.
"We see many great restaurant operators in our business, but the Luna Grill team really stands out," says Chad Spaulding, managing director at CapitalSpring.
W Partners is the investment banking advisor in the transaction. “What differentiates Luna Grill is that they have spent the time and resources to build a unique culture and deep organization that is prepared to quickly expand into new territories … for instance, if customers knew how much time has been dedicated to ensuring that each of their ingredients is as natural, fresh and healthy as possible, they would be amazed. Luna Grill essentially offers fine dining quality food and an upscale ambiance at fast-casual prices, which is unmatched in the marketplace,” says Joel Weinstein, managing director at W Partners.
"Sean and Maria Pourteymour have created a truly exceptional brand in Luna Grill. We were immediately impressed with the world-class team and entrepreneurial culture that has allowed them to grow rapidly while maintaining best in class financial results ... all without compromising the brand. Luna’s amazing food product and customer experience have made 'Lunatics' out of all of us here at CapitalSpring, and we’re thrilled to be part of the story," Spaulding adds.
Coupled with the investment by CapitalSpring is the company's relocation to its new 10,500-square foot corporate headquarters in Carmel Mountain Ranch, more than double the size of its previous location.
"We have seen too many operators expand too quickly without the back-end infrastructure and knowledge in place to guide growth. As a result, we have always been very strategic with our growth strategy, mindfully adding the infrastructure and executive team required to manage our expansion in a successful manner. Now, that time is here and we have simply outgrown our previous corporate headquarters," Pourteymour says.
Nearly 40 employees will be housed at the new offices at 13520 Evening Creek Drive North, Suite 400-A, San Diego, supporting around 700 employees in the field at restaurants in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties, along with the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area.
Luna Grill offers wholesome Mediterranean cuisine such as signature kabob plates, gourmet salads, appetizers, wraps, desserts, craft beer and wine in a contemporary setting. The majority of menu items, marinades and dressings are made from scratch every day and each meal is made fresh to order.