Fat Brands announced the acquisition of Nestle Toll House Café by Chip from Crest Foods on Wednesday for an undisclosed amount and will begin rebranding the dessert shops as Great American Cookies, which FAT Brands also owns.
Crest Foods currently franchises 85 Nestlé® Toll House Café by Chip cafés in the United States and they will each be folded into the Fat Brands portfolio.
“In 2022 we are focused heavily on our deep organic growth pipeline, but we saw great value in making this accretive acquisition,” Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn said in a statement. “These stores will fold seamlessly into our Quick-Service Division and provide us the opportunity to increase the capacity of our manufacturing business, a key growth objective. To date, acquisitions have been a strong growth vehicle for Fat Brands, and we anticipate the combination of our production and distribution facility and scale to increase the profitability of the franchisees that are joining us in this acquisition.”
In January, Nation’s Restaurant News reported that Fat Brands had mostly halted its acquisition spree. In 2021, the company had undergone a whirlwind of acquisitions including Global Franchise Group, Twin Peaks and Fazoli’s. But at the virtual ICR conference on Monday, Wiederhorn made it seem like they were not going to be doing much in 2022 in terms of M&A.
“We view 2022 as the year to digest the acquisitions we made in 2021,” Wiederhorn said at the time. “We’re going to build out this organic pipeline (incremental earnings as opposed to buying another brand and accruing additional debt), grow our factory business, […] and continue to digest and integrate those acquisitions, make sure to focus on synergy and cross-sell the franchise development system across our base.”
Overall, Fat Brands’ goal is to add 846 units across all four restaurant categories (quick-service, fast-casual, casual-dining and polished casual), with a particular focus on the fast-casual burger brands.
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