What is in this article?:
- Chanticleer Holdings adds fast-casual concepts to portfolio
- Just Fresh, American Roadside Burgers prepare to franchise
The company also strikes a deal to acquire the first two domestic Hooters locations.
Mike Pruitt, chair and chief executive of Chanticleer Holdings Inc.
Chanticleer Holdings Inc., an investment company that has been growing the Hooters brand overseas, has been building a multiconcept restaurant business in the U.S. poised for both domestic and international growth.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based public company recently announced plans to acquire its first two domestic locations of Hooters, both in the Pacific Northwest, with the goal of opening more in the region as a franchisee.
Chanticleer, which holds a minority stake in Hooters’ parent Hooters of America LLC, also holds the international franchising rights to grow the casual-dining brand in South Africa, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Brazil, and is a joint venture operator in Australia. The company owns and operates eight locations in those countries, with two more under construction and another signed lease in Australia.
In recent months, however, Chanticleer began moving into new territory: the fast-casual segment.
In December, Chanticleer closed on a $560,000 deal to acquire a 56-percent controlling stake in the fast-casual chain Just Fresh, also based in Charlotte, which has five locations.
Earlier in 2013, the company also acquired the five-unit fast-casual burger concept American Roadside Burgers, also based in Charlotte, in a $3.6 million deal.
And, in a deal that has yet to close, Chanticleer has agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Dallas Spoon LLC and Dallas Spoon Beverage LLC, the companies that operate the single-unit Spoon Bar & Kitchen in Dallas, created by celebrity John Tesar with financial services firm CapRock Services.
Tesar is developing a fast-casual variation on the high-end seafood concept that Chanticleer plans to grow, along with CapRock.
Mike Pruitt, Chanticleer’s chair and chief executive, said he has no intention of doing anything that would compete with Hooters, a brand with which he has a personal history and he sits on Hooters of America’s board. Pruitt was a friend of the late Robert Brooks, who first grew the Hooters brand.
However, Pruitt said he sees a lot of potential in the fast-casual space, and Chanticleer may not be done with its aggressive move into the segment.
“To me, the more interesting space is fast casual,” said Pruitt. “There’s opportunity in the fast-casual space and certainly we’ll look and explore if there are opportunities that make sense.”
Chanticleer’s restaurant investment spree began in 2012 with a secondary offering that raised $11.2 million to expand the Hooters brand internationally. Since then, the company has gone to the public market three more times to raise cash.
Though Chanticleer has yet to make a profit since the 2012 offering, Pruitt said the company is expected to reach that point this year once the company’s unit count for Hooters hits 12 to 15 units.