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Focus Brands

Focus Brands — restaurant holding company and affiliate of private equity firm Roark Capital Group — was formerly known as Carvel Corp. until Roark Capital bought a controlling interest from Investcorp in 2001.

Focus Brands is known for its “mall brands,” particularly in the dessert and snack segment and owns fast-casual sandwich chain Schlotzsky’s, soft-serve ice cream and ice cream cake shop Carvel, quick-service cinnamon roll brand Cinnabon, fast-casual Mexican restaurant Moe’s Southwest Grill, fast-casual deli chain McAlister’s Deli, pretzel shop Auntie Anne’s and smoothie chain Jamba (formerly known as Jamba Juice).

After purchasing Cinnabon in 2004, Carvel Corp. became known as Focus Brands, with the other acquisitions coming later in the decade. The latest acquisition made by Focus Brands was Jamba, which was completed in September 2018.

During the pandemic, Focus Brands CEO Jim Holthouser — who came on board in February 2020 — acknowledged that moving forward, their mall brands will have to evolve to be more flexible and invest in different types of store footprints. Focus Brands’ companies have been pivoting to keep up with changing consumer needs. Most recently, McAlister’s Deli introduced tableside mobile ordering and in December, Schlotzsky’s rolled out two smaller store prototypes that emphasize drive-thru and curbside pickup. 

Key Data: Focus Brands

Headquarters: Atlanta

Segment: Quick Service, Fast Casual

Restaurant Segment: LSR Bakery-Café, LSR Dessert/Snack, LSR Mexican, LSR Sandwich/Deli, LSR Salad/Healthful

Number of US locations: 4,343

2020 Sales: $3.15 billion

Source: Datassential Firefly 500

CEO: Jim Holthouser