Zoe’s Kitchen Inc., the parent company to the 111-unit fast-casual Zoës Kitchen chain, filed Monday for an $80.5 million initial public offering of stock.
 
The Plano, Texas-based company is majority owned by private-equity firm Brentwood Associates, which bought into the concept in 2007.

According to Securities and Exchange Commission Form S-1 documents, the company had revenues of $116.4 million for the Dec. 30-ended 2013 fiscal year, compared with $79.7 million in the prior year.

At the end of 2013, the company had 94 company-owned Zoës Kitchen restaurants and eight franchised units. Average unit volumes were near $1.5 million, the company said in its filing.

The Zoës Kitchen unit count had grown to 111 by Feb. 24, with six of those franchised. The company opened 27 restaurants in 2013 and plans to open 28 to 30 restaurants this year.

Same-store sales in 2013 rose 6.9 percent over the prior year and increased 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the prior-year period, the company said in its filings.

The concept was founded in 1995 by Zoë and Marcus Cassimus in Birmingham, Ala.

“Zoës Kitchen is a natural extension of Zoë Cassimus' lifetime passion for cooking Mediterranean meals for family and friends,” the company said. “We believe our brand delivers on our customers' desire for freshly prepared food and convenient, unique and high-quality experiences.”

Typical menu items include chicken-orzo soup, hummus, Greek and chicken salads, sandwiches, kabobs, and other entrees.

In 2013, Zoe’s said the average check per customer was $9.57, and catering represented about 17 percent of the company’s revenue. The company also said about 70 percent of customers were “educated and affluent women,” and the average customer represented annual household income of more than $100,000.

The company’s restaurant investment model targets an average cash build-out cost of about $750,000, net of tenant allowances, and comes in a variety of formats, including in-line, end-cap and freestanding restaurants. Average units are about 2,750 square feet.

Lead underwriters for the IPO are Jefferies, Piper Jaffray and Baird. Co-managers listed in filings were William Blair, Stephens Inc. and Stifel.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
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