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Private equity filling restaurant finance gap

Steve Rockwell is managing director of Restaurant Investment Banking at Janney Montgomery Scott and has 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, including as an analyst and finance executive. He can be reached at [email protected]

I have written in the past of a gap between 20 years ago and today in the size at which a restaurant company can go public; the size that companies like Outback Steakhouse Inc. and Papa John’s International Inc. were when they went public in the early 1990s would be too small to go public today. I have also suggested that mature restaurant companies fill that gap by making minority investments in emerging brands.

My thesis is that the smaller companies need both the financial an

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