Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, a fast casual sandwich concept with 80 units across the West, has made a strategic investment in Los Angeles phenomenon Bangin’ Buns with plans to expand the young concept across Southern California and bring the brand to new markets.
The team at Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, led by CEO Michael Goldberg, Founder Ike Shehadeh, CMO Renae Scott and VP of Development Adam Rinella, will be taking over development, operations, and marketing for all future Bangin’ Buns locations. The team will leverage Ike’s Love & Sandwiches’ strengths and experience to systemize operations, expand digital marketing, leverage buying power and share resources to grow the brand.
This strategic investment in Bangin’ Buns is the first of its kind for the company, which is looking to create a restaurant accelerator with a portfolio of brands that complement each other.
Bangin’ Buns launched in 2018 when a tight-knit group of friends in the San Fernando Valley, Nick Nshanyan, Gary Shahbazyan, Sam Manvelyan, and Arman Grigoryan, started cooking Nashville Hot Chicken in each other’s homes. Bangin’ Buns grew to be a beloved Nashville hot chicken brand, a phenomenon on social media and a favorite of Los Angeles food press. Bangin’ Buns’ craveable, spicy and delicious recipe for Nashville hot chicken is served on a hoagie-style French roll, instead of the traditional hamburger bun, which makes their sandwiches easier to eat and take on the go. Bangin’ Buns has three locations in Southern California: North Hollywood, South Central including the soon to be opened, Artesia.
“We think this strategic partnership is a great way to leverage the strength of the Ike’s brand and build our restaurant portfolio” says Michael Goldberg, CEO of Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. “Both Ike’s and Bangin Buns have unique flavorful products unlike anything available in the market today.”
Goldberg adds, “Our Ike’s team has successfully opened over 20 new Ike’s restaurants with record setting average unit volumes over the last two years. We have the proven blueprint to grow both businesses, reach new customers and build a nationally recognized brands.”
Ike Shehadeh, founder of Ike’s Love & Sandwiches says, “I met the guys who created the Bangin Buns brand a year ago and realized we had the same appreciation for menu innovation and a respect for maintaining a fun and irreverent culture in our brands. It was a natural fit to bring Bangin Buns into the Ike’s family.”
Goldberg has plans to add 15 new locations for Bangin’ Buns by the end of 2022. Initially, he will be focusing Bangin Buns growth efforts in Ike’s strongest markets, including Northern California, Southern California and Arizona. The group plans to grow both Ike’s and Bangin’ Buns through franchising starting in 2023.