Four Foods Group, rapidly growing restaurant development, investment, and management company, announced it has acquired 48 Little Caesars Restaurants in Alabama and Louisiana.
The announcement caps a flurry of recent activity for FFG, including the acquisition of the fast-growing R&R Barbecue restaurant concept and its locations in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the acquisition of The Soda Shop—an early participant in the emerging specialty soda category—and its Arizona-based locations. These transactions add to FFG’s significant presence as a franchisee in the Kneaders Bakery & Cafe brand, where the company currently owns 44 Kneaders restaurants. In all, FFG now operates 97 restaurants in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Alabama, and Louisiana, with 2017 annual revenues projected to exceed more than $150 million.
“This is a time of explosive growth for Four Foods Group,” says FFG co-founder and chief executive officer Andrew K. Smith. “I am proud of our team for setting and realizing ambitious and sometimes daunting growth goals. We have now become one of the leading restaurant concept incubators and management growth companies in America, and we are just getting started.”
The Little Caesars opportunity presented to FFG was compelling for many reasons. In addition to an area of the country Smith was familiar with—FFG Co-Founder Shauna Smith is an Alabama native—the Little Caesars brand provided needed balance to the FFG brand management strategy. The pizza giant’s brand positioning of price, convenience, and speed, coupled with a top-known category brand, fits well in the long-term FFG portfolio strategy.
“We have a deep love for the South and the hospitality, respect, and work ethic that comes with Southern culture,” says co-founder Shauna K. Smith. “In this case, we have a terrific brand we believe is positioned for a lot of growth in these rural areas of Alabama and Louisiana. Four Foods Group will provide the capital and management structure needed to maximize growth in these areas.”
In addition to its American Fork, Utah-based corporate headquarters, FFG has now opened a second corporate office in Birmingham, Alabama that will initially house 28 FFG corporate employees. More than 800 additional employees will serve in the Little Caesars locations in Alabama and Louisiana, bringing FFG’s total employee base to more than 3,000 employees across seven states.
W Partners Group LLC acted as the exclusive financial adviser to Four Foods Group in the transaction. Carman Lehnhof Israelsen, LLP acted as legal counsel. Financing for the transaction was provided by CIT Bank N.A. and funds from FFG’s investors and partners.