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Round Table Pizza

Great American Cookies owner buys Round Table Pizza

Global Franchise Group acquires 450-unit pizza chain for undisclosed amount

Global Franchise Group on Friday said it has acquired Round Table Pizza, giving the Atlanta-based owner of Great American Cookies and Pretzelmaker a growing, 450-unit pizza chain.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the acquisition gives GFG its fifth brand, and one that has seen steadily improving sales in recent years.

Round Table was an employee-owned company.

“Round Table employee owners have seen a dramatic increase in their equity over the last six years and this deal allows them to reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication to making Round Table pizza what it is today and getting the brand to this moment,” Jack Robertson, chairman of Round Table Pizza, said in a statement. 

Global Franchise Group, owned by private-equity firm Levine Leichtman since 2010, operates Hot Dog on a Stick and Marble Slab Creamery/Maggie Mooe’s Ice Cream, in addition to GAC and Pretzelmaker. GFG acquired Hot Dog on a Stick out of bankruptcy in 2014. 

The Round Table acquisition gives GFG a portfolio of brands that operate more than 1,500 locations and have nearly $1 billion in combined system sales.

Round Table itself is on a comeback. The Concord, Calif.-based pizza chain emerged from federal bankruptcy protection in 2010. Its system sales have grown more than 10 percent in the past two years, due entirely to improving unit volumes. 

Estimated unit sales have increased more than 11 percent the past two years to just more than $1 million, according to NRN Top 100 data.

The deal “provides market validation of a tremendous accomplishment by our employees, franchisees and everyone involved in the success of Round Table Pizza,” Round Table CEO Rob McCourt said in a statement.

Most of Round Table’s locations are franchisee-owned, but the company operates 70 locations.

GFG said it plans to invest in menu and technology innovations. It also plans to build franchisee support and remodel restaurants. 

“Round Table Pizza is an iconic pizza brand with a loyal consumer base, a strong franchise community and superior products,” GFG CEO Chris Dull said in a statement. “We have high expectations for Roundtable’s integration into GFG as a ‘center of the plate concept.’”

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

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