Starbird Chicken, the nation's first super-premium fast food concept, announced today the closing of a $12 million capital raise. The fundraise was led by KarpReilly and will ignite Starbird Chicken's next phase of growth, which includes development of additional company-owned restaurants and ghost kitchens, increasing licensing engagements, and launching its franchise offering.
"This year has been a phenomenal one for Starbird and this capital infusion is evidence that our mission to reimagine what fast food can and should be has potential for exponential growth," said Aaron Noveshen, founder and CEO of Starbird Chicken. "When we created Starbird five years ago, we saw consumers were looking for more out of fast food and that there was an enormous opportunity for someone to step up and establish a new segment, which Starbird calls super-premium fast food. We're incredibly proud to be a leader in the innovation of this space and are energized by what's to come."
The significant fundraise comes on the heels of Starbird Chicken reporting strong third-quarter results, including year-to-date same-store sales growth of 26% over 2020 and 75% over 2019. The brand, which operates in streetside storefronts, stadiums, airports, and ghost kitchens, has increased its footprint this year throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is slated to enter Southern California by the end of the year.
"Over the last 18 months, consumers' needs and wants have changed dramatically. They're interacting with restaurants in a different way and have become even more particular about what they eat and how they purchase it. Starbird has clearly demonstrated it can deliver premium, high-quality food and an unrivaled customer experience even in the most difficult operating environment," said Ryan Greene, a Principal at KarpReilly. "We are proud to partner with Starbird on this investment and look forward to its continued growth as it expands its business to reach more customers in the U.S."
Greg Dollarhyde of Dollarhyde Investment Group III, an original investor in Starbird and the previous lead investor said, "From day one, we saw something special in Starbird. This innovative concept is in a league all its own. I truly admire the passion that Aaron and his team have for delivering their vision, and welcome KarpReilly as thoughtful investors and partners. Starbird continues to beat every expectation."
In addition to this continued success, Starbird Chicken has also earned top industry awards such as Nation's Restaurant News' Most Influential CEOs in the Country, being named "Best Restaurant" on ICX Association Elevate Awards, and ranking #21 on Fast Casual's Movers & Shakers list.
Known for its hand-crafted, feel good crispy chicken, bold flavors and chef-driven innovation, Starbird Chicken offers an unrivaled customer experience, optimized menu, and tech-enabled convenience designed to meet consumers' increasing need for convenience and accessibility. Starbird Chicken also operates a suite of virtual brands under the Starbird name, including Starbird Wings, Starbird Salads, Starbird Bowls, and the brand's new plant-based concept, Gardenbird. Strategically tailored to maximize digital real estate and drive sales through different channels, Starbird's virtual brands are trending at double digits of company-wide sales in Q3 2021.
About Starbird Chicken:
Starbird Chicken is fundamentally changing the future of fast food by delivering feel good crispy chicken and a positive, tech-driven customer experience. Starbird was founded in 2016 by restaurant innovators at The Culinary Edge (TCE), when the restaurant consultancy recognized that chicken consumption was on the rise and set out to reimagine fast food to meet the needs of a new America and their tastebuds. Built upon pillars of culinary innovation, a frictionless service model, and operational excellence, Starbird has successfully established a forward-thinking concept, leading the super-premium fast food marketplace and national brand recognition within the $34-billion U.S. chicken marketplace. A scalable concept from day one, Starbird has grown rapidly from one location to nine, with four more openings planned in 2021. See www.starbirdchicken.com for more information.
KarpReilly, LLC is a private investment firm, founded by Allan Karp and Chris Reilly, whose primary mission is to partner with premier small to mid-size growth companies and help them achieve their long-term vision. KarpReilly currently manages funds and affiliates with capital commitments in excess of $800 million. Over the past 10 years, the principals of KarpReilly have invested in, sat on the boards of and nurtured over 60 growth companies. For more information, please visit www.karpreilly.com.