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Mergers and acquisitions across the restaurant industry aren’t far off from last year’s pace in spite of coronavirus

Halfway through the year, big delivery brands like UberEats and Postmates have merged, while chains like Krystal and Le Pain Quotidien have been bought out of bankruptcy

In spite of the past three months, which have been tumultuous across every industry to say the least, the speed with which restaurants are bought and sold hasn’t slowed down. As of July, there were 12 mergers and acquisitions across the restaurant industry, compared to this point last year where there were 19 at the end of July.

It would be impossible to predict second-half decisions across the industry so all we can do is watch and see if there will be more than 34 mergers and acquisitions in 2020, the total the industry saw in 2019. Considering only three companies who have declared bankruptcy in 2020 have been purchased, we may see a buying spree as well as an expansion spree as real estate picks up in late 2020.

Fast-casual brand Habit Burger was acquired by Yum Brands in January of this year. The deal was finalized in March in a huge merger for the brands, introducing a fast-casual chain into the company’s portfolio, which already included Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.

Third-party delivery companies, who saw increased attention and business starting the first month of the pandemic when stay-at-home orders began, also saw some major mergers. It began with Just Eat Takeaway acquiring Grubhub, and – so far – ended with Uber acquiring Postmates after a snub from Grubhub.

This meant that three of the biggest delivery players – UberEats, Postmates and Grubhub – either merged or were purchased within a four-week span.

Zuul Kitchens, a ghost-kitchen operator based in New York, acquired Ontray, a food ordering system, in January. This was before the pandemic took hold of the country but, with the increased interest in delivery and questions over the future of dine-in, will we see ghost kitchens becoming big players in the merger and acquisition market?

See what companies have changed hands since January ahead.

Contact Holly at [email protected]

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