Each week, NRN editor-in-chief Sarah Lockyer gives you her take on the top restaurant industry news.
If you’re going to fail, at least fail big. Isn’t that how the saying goes? This week in the restaurant industry, we’re seeing some big failures.
Ignite sold the 167-unit Romano’s Macaroni Grill chain for $8 million. Yes, the same chain Ignite purchased in 2013 for $55 million, and that private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital invested $131.5 million for an 80-percent stake from Brinker International in 2008.
A hot, emerging brand, 100 Montaditos, also admitted to failure this week and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its 17 U.S. restaurants. The brand is a hit in its home country of Spain, with 300 locations there and in other overseas markets, but the concept does not look to have translated well to American customers.
The failure at 100 Montaditos is also a failure at NRN. We had just named the concept a 2015 Breakout Brand — one of 10 concepts we thought were squarely hitting consumer and menu trends — when news of the bankruptcy hit. Financial trouble didn’t come up in our earlier reporting, and 100 Montaditos was a brand on many peoples’ lists of hot concepts. We should have looked a bit more under the hood.
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