Aramark takes minority stake in Starr Restaurants in new strategic partnership

Licensing agreement will expand Starr Restaurants’ brands nationwide to Aramark client base

Aramark took a minority ownership stake in Starr Restaurants, which was founded by Stephen Starr, as part of a strategic collaboration that will expand the presence of the restaurant group’s brands in the United States. Stephen Starr is a James Beard Award-winning restaurateur and long-time entrepreneur, well known in the Philadelphia area. The partnership adds further culinary cred to Aramark offerings nationwide.

Through the collaboration, Aramark says it will be able to offer best-in-class hospitality experiences to its clients. Specifically, the collaboration will bring Starr concepts and brands to Aramark’s multiple business lines. This will encompass its presence with clientele in higher education, business dining, sports and entertainment, and convention centers. In addition, the partnership will extend into cultural attractions and other food service divisions.

“Aramark and Starr Restaurants are both rooted in a passion for service and in providing unforgettable experiences for our clients and customers,” said Mark Bruno, Aramark chief operating officer for US Food and Facilities. “Being based in Philadelphia, we have had a front-row seat as Stephen Starr—one of the culinary pioneers of our city’s food scene—elevated the dining experience and helped make Philadelphia one of the best food cities in the country. Through this strategic collaboration, we look forward to furthering Aramark’s culinary authority by infusing our kitchens and concepts with the creativity and innovation that Starr Restaurants is famous for.”

Furthermore, the two companies will be able to have their culinary groups and senior leadership teams exchange ideas. Also, Aramark and Starr Restaurants will engage in joint business development opportunities as they arise and are identified. Starr will be developing new concepts, as well.

“This collaboration is a unique opportunity for both Starr Restaurants and Aramark,” said Starr, founder and chief executive. “I began my career as a concert promoter in stadiums and major arenas and am eager to get back into large entertainment venues, but this time in the culinary space. It is an exciting opportunity to converge my two career passions alongside an industry leader like Aramark. The company’s impressive and consistent growth, and its deep commitment to providing high-quality hospitality experiences makes it the perfect food service company partner for Starr Restaurants.”

Stephen Starr added that he looked forward to creating “innovative and cool concepts” for Aramark’s clients and customers, as well as launching the aforementioned creative exchanges.


The Philadelphia-based contract foodservice company noted that the collaboration is part of its accelerated growth strategy. Aramark seeks to tap formidable partnerships, it said, that enhance the experiences of its client.

Transaction details of the Aramark minority stake in Starr Restaurants were not immediately available.

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