Last year, the pizza concept 800 Degrees announced plans to open 500 delivery locations over five years using the Reef ghost kitchen network. Now Reef wants to acquire 800 Degrees, the pizza concept's officials say.
800 Degrees Go, as the pizza company is now named, on Thursday announced Kenneth Rourke, Reef’s vice president of kitchens and brands, will be joining the board.
In parallel, 800 Degrees Go said Reef would pursue an ownership stake in the Santa Monica, Calif.-based pizza concept.
“As one of the largest operators of restaurant brands in the world, Reef is looking for incredible brands with potential for growth globally,” said Rourke in a statement. “We’re investing heavily in the success of 800 Degrees Go into our ghost kitchens because we believe 800 Degrees Go is one of those brands. We look forward to growing the brand as well as our stake in the company.”
800 Degrees Go is also using the crowdsource-funding site Wax to raise funding for growth. The company is offering up to 5 million shares of common stock with the goal of raising up to $12 million by May 4, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Reef and 800 Degrees Go did not immediately respond to requests for more detail.
So far, 800 Degrees Go has launched more than 40 Reef outlets in 13 markets, with plans to hit 100 by the end of 2022, the companies said in a press release.
In addition, 800 Degrees is scheduled to open a brick-and-mortar location in Burbank, Calif., within Los Angeles, which will serve as a research-and-development and training hub for franchise growth.
As revealed last year, the pizza brand is also planning to grow a network of robotic pods called 800 Degrees Go by Piestro, designed to bring automated, customizable pizzas to locations like college campuses and office buildings. The automated pizzeria pods were developed by Massimo Noja De Marco, a co-founder of the Kitchen United ghost kitchen chain.
Founded in 2011, 800 Degrees was one of the first fast-casual pizza brands to open in Los Angeles. It was initially positioned as a more-premium brand known for Neopolitan-style wood-fired pizzas. But co-founder and chef Anthony Carron developed a more-deliverable classic-crust pizza designed for the off-premise variants.
Tommy Lee, CEO of 800 Degrees Go, said in a statement that explosive growth for the brand was well within its grasp.
“As our ghost kitchen business grows with Reef, we will significantly expand our brick-and-mortar footprint, followed by the 800 Degrees Go by Piestro robotic pods,” said Lee.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to clarify the information comes from 800 Degrees Go.
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