FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, and McAlister’s Deli, tapped rapidly growing restaurant supply chain buying group SpenDifference to manage purchasing for the more than 3,000 domestic locations of its six concepts.

SpenDifference, which is headquartered in Denver, works as a partner with restaurant chains, combining their spending to obtain the lowest possible delivered prices. It contracts with a wide variety of suppliers, providing chains with a unique combination of buying power and expertise, while enabling each to maintain its specifications.

“It made a lot of sense to bring the benefits of scale and the SpenDifference technology platform and business intelligence tools to our system,” says Steve DeSutter, CEO of FOCUS Brands. “We already had an established multi-year relationship with SpenDifference through similar services they were providing our McAlister’s Deli brand, so we knew we could count on them as a trusted business partner to help us improve efficiency and increase our buying power.”

SpenDifference will open an Atlanta office to consolidate FOCUS Brands’ purchasing. FOCUS Brands will maintain internal teams to manage domestic and international distribution and logistics, international procurement, and quality assurance.

With the addition of FOCUS Brands to its portfolio, SpenDifference will be responsible for more than $1.2 billion annually in spending, says SpenDifference president and CEO Maryanne Rose.

“We are delighted that FOCUS Brands chose us to help them navigate their strategy of combining brands to increase market leverage,” Rose says. “Progressive operators are increasingly embracing our co-op model, recognizing it gives them a critical, competitive edge. The increased spend that will result from this partnership will be a huge benefit to both FOCUS Brands, as well as our existing clients.”

Back of House, News