Saladworks announced that New York-based Centre Lane Partners LLC has made an investment in the company. In addition, the private investment firm has committed to investing substantial capital to accelerate the company's growth nationwide with a strategic focus along the I-95 corridor. Centre Lane’s investment portfolio includes leading middle market companies in industries ranging from packaging, to consumer products manufacturing, franchising, and global aviation services.
Saladworks is an iconic Philadelphia-based brand with a stable 29-year history. The company’s long tenured management team will remain in place to lead the next phase of growth. Saladworks president Paul Steck has been promoted to the position of president-CEO, expanding his company leadership responsibilities. Steck has been with Saladworks for more than 12 years and is a well-known and respected executive in the industry. Saladworks is preparing for growth with such initiatives as new store design, menu enhancement, and an increase in support to its franchisees. To support these objectives and its franchisees, Saladworks plans to increase staff in the home office by more than 40 percent over a six-month period.
"We're proud to be affiliated with Centre Lane, a private equity firm known for aligning itself with businesses that hold the lead market positions in their categories and offer strong growth potential,” Steck says. "Moreover, we're excited about what their support and investment means in terms of growth of the brand, expanded product and service offerings to our customers and additional support to our franchisees."
The acquisition follows a four-month search for a buyer after Saladworks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in February 2015. Saladworks customer and franchisees were not affected by the filing, as all 108 Saladworks’ restaurant locations in the U.S., Canada, Dubai, and Singapore remained opened throughout this process. Saladworks remains the leader in the made-to-order, entrée-sized salad category with a health-conscious consumer base that lends itself to a fast-casual atmosphere.
"Saladworks was the creator of the fresh-tossed salad restaurant concept and from the beginning has been committed to offering consumers an exciting dining option that had previously been unavailable: fresh, fast, and convenient food offerings that fit today’s healthier lifestyles,” says Mayank Singh, managing director of Centre Lane Partners. “For us, this type of focus and commitment is the hallmark of a wise business investment and we look forward to partnering with Saladworks to support the company’s growth and success.”
"It’s clear to us that Centre Lane recognizes both the current value of our brand and also has the vision to imagine its future potential. We’re incredibly excited about what lies ahead,” Steck says.