L Catterton-backed Hopdoddy agrees to acquisition of Grub Burger Bar

After acquisition of Grub, combined restaurant company to become HiBar Hospitality

Hopdoddy Burger Bar agreed to acquire Grub, a burger-joint chain with a craft cocktail bar. Backed by private equity firm L Catterton since 2014, Hopdoddy’s union with Grub will create a joint company with a total of 50 restaurants. Plus, Texas-based Grub will now have resources and momentum to grow.

A union of two, seemingly compatible burger concepts

Part of the better-burger movement, Hopdoddy suggests it is also ready to scale. It has “a unique and compelling brand positioning, menu offerings, and superior, category-leading financial results.” Furthermore, the 32-unit burger has been growing at a rate of 8 to 12 units per year.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Grub, a high quality and complementary brand that we have admired for years,” said Jeff Chandler, Hopdoddy chief executive. “We have much in common, from our team-centric cultures and commitment to people, to exciting menus and a tireless focus on the guest experience. We think very much alike and share a long-term vision, which will serve us well as we come together and embark on our next stage of growth.”

After the acquisition of Grub, Hopdoddy and Grub will become HiBar Hospitality Group. Chandler will lead the combined restaurant company. Meanwhile, Grub founder and CEO Jimmy Loup will join HiBar’s Board. He will retain a stake in the combined enterprise, as well.

Additional growth opportunities

Founded in 2012 by Loup, Grub notes that it has best-in-category guest satisfaction scores and online review ratings. As a customer-centric brand, Grub has built a loyal following. It now operates 18 restaurants in four states.

“As Jeff and I quickly learned after spending time together, we have shared values, objectives, and nearly identical operating philosophies,” Loup said. “For Grub, this is all about adding talent and expertise to our team, benefiting from new shared opportunities, rewarding our loyal investors, and moving back into growth mode again. It’s going to be a lot of fun growing together and bringing the best of both brands to our mutual guests as well as reaching a whole new group of burger fans.”

After the acquisition of Grub, HiBar will have 18 restaurants operating in Texas alone. Although ongoing expansion plans focus on the Lone Star State, there are also other key markets to be had. Also, expect additional expansion in the Southeast United States. With Grub, HiBar will operate restaurants as far east as Florida and Georgia. Additional growth may include more M&A activity.

The parties did not disclose transaction details.

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