Lauren Fernandez, CEO and founder of Full Course, announced that the company has begun its first round of funding. The fund, named FC Polaris Fund I, seeks up to $20 million to fund the first set of Full Course projects. This round of funding is expected to close around the end of 2021 and focuses on helping young restaurant businesses grow into successful brands.

Full Course is a restaurant investment group that is dedicated to changing the way new and emerging restaurants grow their brands. The company focuses on the people who make restaurants successful, by taking a hands-on approach to business. Full Course’s restauranteur clients maintain operational control with FC Polaris as their principal investor. Prospective fund investors’ capital is deployed via a dedicated development team, with the Fund structured and planned to provide larger returns on Fund contributions. 

FC Polaris Fund I will be used to support and grow five exciting emerging restaurant businesses in the Southeast. In addition to each of their unique food perspectives, they have all shown resilience during the last 18 months. The fund will assist with creating accelerated growth for these businesses across four primary channels—traditional brick-and-mortar growth, non-traditional growth into markets like airports and arenas, product development and franchising

“As former operators with industry experience on the corporate side, we are confident we can guide the next generation of independent restaurants to a more sustainable future,” says Fernandez.

Fernandez brings nearly two decades of diverse experience as a food and beverage attorney and is herself a former multi-unit restaurant operator. As co-founder and operating partner of Origin Development Group, Fernandez served as a multi-unit franchisee for brands like Chicken Salad Chick.  Prior to that, she served as General Counsel for FOCUS Brands, parent company of brands such as Carvel, Cinnabon, and Moe’s Southwest Grill. With a track record for helping restaurants grow, she and her team of former owner/operators and subject-matter experts are positive about the future of the industry and the role of Full Course will play in its revitalization.

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