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Einstein Noah to close 39 underperforming units

Einstein Noah to close 39 underperforming units

New owner has history of culling locations after acquisition

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. plans to close 39 underperforming locations Tuesday, company officials said Monday.

Thirty-six of the units are part of the Einstein Bros. Bagels chain, the company said. Two are Noah’s New York Bagels locations, and one is a Manhattan Bagels unit.

“After careful evaluation, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. has come to the difficult decision to close 39 underperforming restaurants, effective Tues., Feb. 24, 2015,” the company said in a statement.

“The company will continue to focus on its high-performing restaurants to ensure the future growth and success of the business,” the statement continued. “Einstein Noah values the continued support of its customers, and the dedication and hard work of all its employees.”

The units scheduled to close are located in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, the company said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that 11 Einstein Bros. units scheduled to close are in Chicago.

The move comes just a few months after Einstein said in September that it would be acquired by JAB Holding Co., an affiliate of the private-equity firm Joh. A. Benckiser Group. The deal took the Lakewood, Colo.-based operator private.

At the time of the acquisition, Einstein Noah operated, franchised and licensed more than 855 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia under the Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagels brands.

Before the deal, Einstein Noah had been working for years toward a turnaround by reworking its menu, upgrading its coffee program and reducing debt.

David Einhorn, the largest shareholder of Einstein Noah prior to the merger, supported the JAB deal, saying the private-equity operators would lead the company to its next phase of growth.

In 2012, Joh. A. Benckiser, based in Germany, acquired Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee.

The following year, Joh. A. Benckiser announced the closure and rebranding of 168 Caribou locations. The company closed 80 Caribou units, and another 88 were rebranded as Peet’s locations.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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