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Yum! to buy Habit Burger Grill

Deal with Taco Bell parent worth $375M

Yum! Brands, Inc, has agreed to buy The Habit Restaurants, Inc, parent of Habit Burger Grill for approximately $375 million. Yum, parent to brands such as Taco Bell, will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Habit Burger Grill for $14 per share in cash. The board of directors of The Habit Burger Grill has unanimously approved the transaction, according to news statements from the brands.

The Habit Restaurants, an Irvine, Calif.-based burger brand, was founded in 1969. The fast-casual brand specializes in made-to-order chargrilled burgers as well as chicken and tuna sandwiches. The brand has grown to about 270 restaurants in 13 states. It has seen six consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales growth and has recently expanded in-house and off-premise ordering solutions for customers with kisoks and an enhanced mobile app.

“Over the past few years, we’ve focused on becoming a total access brand by growing our delivery business, expanding our online ordering and mobile channels and enhancing the in-store experience by introducing drive-thrus, kiosks and technology-centric solutions for operations,” said Russell Bendel, president and CEO of The Habit Burger in a statement. In 2019, the brand stepped up its drive-thru growth and expanded its partnerships with third-party delivery companies like DoorDash and Postmates.

“We’re proud these and other actions have made The Habit Burger Grill an attractive candidate for a transaction of this kind,” Bendel continued. “On behalf of The Habit Burger Grill Board of Directors, this transaction represents an exciting new chapter to strengthen and significantly grow The Habit Burger Grill by leveraging Yum! Brands’ global scale, resources and franchising capabilities. We’re confident the agreement delivers immediate value to The Habit Burger Grill shareholders and will greatly benefit our beloved brand, team members, franchisees and loyal guests for many years to come.”

 Louisville, Ky.-based Yum!, which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has about 49,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries.

“We’ve emerged from our three-year transformation stronger and in a better position to accelerate the growth of our existing brands and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions,” said David Gibbs, CEO of Yum! In the statement.

“As a fast-casual concept with strong unit economics, The Habit Burger Grill is a fantastic addition to the Yum! family and has significant untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally,” he continued.

“With its delicious burgers and fresh proteins chargrilled over an open flame, The Habit Burger Grill offers consumers a diverse, California-style menu with premium ingredients at a QSR-like value. The transaction is a win-win because it allows us to offer an exciting new investment to our franchisees and to expand an award-winning, trend-forward brand through the power of Yum!’s unmatched scale and strengths in franchising, purchasing and brand-building.”


Contact Gloria Dawson at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @GloriaDawson

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