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Cheesecake Factory buys into North Italia, Flower Child

Company takes minority stake in Fox Restaurants-founded brands

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. is making minority equity investments in North Italia and Flower Child, two concepts founded by Fox Restaurants Concepts LLC, the companies said Monday.

Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based Cheesecake Factory, under the terms of the agreements, is making initial minority equity investments in the two concepts and will provide ongoing growth capital. 

Phoenix, Ariz.-based Fox Restaurants will continue to manage the day-to-day operations, and the agreements allow for The Cheesecake Factory to acquire a future majority or full ownership position in either or both concepts.

“We are pleased to partner with Sam Fox to support the growth of these two highly differentiated concepts," said David Overton, Cheesecake Factory chairman and CEO, in a statement. "We share a similar culture and philosophy, making this is a good strategic fit for both companies."

Casual-dining North Italia, founded in 2002, has nine locations in five states. Fast-casual Flower Child, founded in 2014, has five locations in three states, emphasizing salads, bowls and wraps.

“North Italia and Flower Child are such exciting brands within our family," said Sam Fox, founder of Fox Restaurants Concepts. “After spending a good amount of time with David and his team, it became very clear to me that we share the same values in terms of our commitment to delivering amazing food and hospitality to our guests, while also recognizing that our team members are our greatest asset.”

The Cheesecake Factory said the deals were not expected to have a material impact on its financials “for the foreseeable future.”

In the Nation’s Restaurant News Top 100 survey earlier this year, Cheesecake Factory ranked No. 36 among chains in U.S. systemwide sales, booking $1.9 billion in the fiscal year ended Dec. 2015.

The company has 193 full-service Cheesecake Factory units in the United States and Puerto Rico. It also has 12 Grand Lux Cafes and one RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen.

Fox Restaurant Concepts has 53 restaurants in eight states, including True Food Kitchen. Among its 16 concepts are also: The Arrogant Butcher, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Culinary Dropout, Doughbird, The Greene House, The Henry, Juby True, Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend, Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace, Wildflower American Cuisine and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

TAGS: Finance News
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