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Sizzle CEO Steve Salis discusses $155M SPAC’s targets

&pizza co-founder’s blank-check company eyes acquisitions in restaurants and food technology


Sizzle Acquisition Corp., a blank-check special purpose acquisition company, closed on its upsized $155 million initial public offering earlier Nov. 8, and CEO Steve Salis says the SPAC is targeting investments in or related to restaurants, hospitality, food and beverage, retail, consumer, food-related technology and real estate.

The Sizzle SPAC’s formation was announced in March, but Salis, in an interview, said the team behind it decided to take some time to bring it to market.

“We had a quiet period,” Salis said. ”And so when the quiet period was over and we were ready to make some noise, the market wasn't so great. I have plenty of other things to keep myself occupied, so I just said we're going to take a little bit of a time out. We can't control the market. The market is going to do what it's going to do. ... So we paused.”

Earlier this month, the Sizzle SPAC was upsized twice and eventually entered the market at $155 million. It offered 15.5 million units, including 2 million units issued pursuant to the partial exercise by the underwriter of its over-allotment option, at $10 per share.  The units began trading on the Nasdaq Nov. 4 under the ticker symbol SZZLU.

Salis, whose Washington, D.C.-based Salis Holdings includes the all-day-breakfast Ted’s Bulletin, Federalist Pig barbecue, Kramers and the Ensemble Kitchen virtual food hall with additional brands like Honeymoon and Sidekick, said potential investments will look beyond the pre-pandemic measure of unit counts.

“It's a very one-dimensional mentality,” Salis said. “That playbook was dusty before COVID, I think COVID only amplified that.”

Salis leads Sizzle as chairman and CEO. The management team includes Jamie Karson, Nestor Nova and Daniel Lee and directors include Karen Kelley, David Perlin and Warren Thompson.

Salis said the management team between March and November investigated how the pandemic had impacted the consumer landscape and how that might affect any potential transaction.

“We asked a lot of questions,” he said. “We have been entrepreneurial through this entire process and that won't change in light of what we're doing here. We continue to learn. We continue to be curious.”

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co acted as the sole book-running manager for the offering.

Listen to the rest of Nation’s Restaurant News’ conversation with Salis.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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