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12/16/2021

FAT Brands Buys Fazoli's for $130M

Sentinel Capital Partners sells the Italian fast-casual chain.
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm, sold Fazoli's Group Inc. to strategic buyer FAT Brands for an enterprise value of $130 million.

Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, Fazoli's is renowned for offering high quality, moderately priced Italian food favorites. With nearly 220 franchised and company-owned restaurants in 28 states, Fazoli's blends the speed and value-for-the-money of a quick service restaurant with the quality, atmosphere, and service traditionally found in the casual dining segment.

Fazoli's too has been lauded for its innovative technology and top-notch staff. The brand received HT's  Industry Hero for its Slick Shift to Off-Prem and  Fazoli's Johanna Miner, a Top Women in Restaurant Technology Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, had a major leadership role in this project.  

"Sentinel has been an outstanding partner to Fazoli's through a transformational period of our company's history," said Fazoli's CEO, Carl Howard. "Since our partnership with Sentinel began, Fazoli's has completed a successful refranchising, grew average unit volumes by more than 30%, and built our new franchise pipeline to an all-time high."

"Fazoli's has performed exceptionally well during our partnership thanks to its world-class management team, its offering of high-quality food at a reasonable price, and its off-premise capabilities, including drive-thru, delivery, and take-out ordering," said John Van Sickle, a Sentinel partner. "It has been a privilege to partner with Carl and the rest of the Fazoli's team. All of us at Sentinel wish them continued success."

Sentinel has significant industry expertise in the franchised restaurant sector. The firm's portfolio currently includes Captain D's and Newk's Eatery. Prior investments include Checkers Drive-in Restaurants (hamburger QSR), Huddle House (family dining), TGI Fridays (casual dining), and Tony Roma's (casual dining). Sentinel's restaurant experience also includes investing in large franchisees, including Border Foods (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC), Falcon Holdings (Church's® Chicken), and Southern California Pizza (Pizza Hut).