MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes, a fast-casual, “better burger” chain is now primed for extensive growth with the announcement of an acquisition of the MOOYAH brand by an affiliate of Balmoral Funds LLC (“Balmoral”), a leading lower-middle-market private equity firm, and Gala Capital Partners, LLC (“Gala Capital”), a private investment company with a focus on hospitality and food service franchises in the United States.
The announcement comes as MOOYAH celebrates its tenth anniversary and the company is focused on continued growth in the next ten years. In 2016, MOOYAH surpassed the all-important 100-unit milestone. The booming “better burger” brand entered several new states in 2016, while also expanding its presence in California, Texas, Florida and New York.
Under the terms of the acquisition, MOOYAH will no longer be part of Reach Restaurant Group. MOOYAH’S executive leadership team will remain in their roles and Michael Mabry, President and Chief Operating Officer of MOOYAH, will lead the transition to new ownership from the company’s co-founders, Rich Hicks and Todd Istre.
“The past decade has been incredibly fulfilling, having grown MOOYAH from that first location to opening our 100th unit last summer. I am excited to see what the next decade has in store for MOOYAH,” said Hicks. “The team from Balmoral and Gala Capital are committed to excellence and see the true potential in a brand that has grown steadily for the last ten years. The company is gaining a partner who shares a vision of intelligent growth behind a solid franchisee foundation.”
MOOYAH’s new ownership groups bring more than three decades of restaurant industry experience as well as an extensive understanding of the franchise model to the emerging brand. Gala has owned, developed and operated multiple franchise locations of brands such as Applebee’s, Jack in The Box, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Del Taco. Through an affiliate, he currently owns and operates the largest Famous Dave’s BBQ franchisee, and currently serves on the brand’s Board of Directors.
“We had been looking to invest in a fast casual brand that had high consumer appeal and the potential for faster growth. MOOYAH had both, as well as a franchisee-first culture embraced by its executive leadership team. I believe MOOYAH is ready to become a household name.”
“I’ve known Anand for the past four years. We had regularly discussed the endless possibilities for the MOOYAH brand, if provided the right funding and expertise. He and his team, along with Balmoral, bring this, and more, to the table,” said Mabry. “We are entering a new, higher stage of growth with this partnership. The passion and emotion of our MOOYAH corporate team is unmatched in the industry, and they now have the opportunity to grow the brand, and themselves, to their fullest potential. That’s the type of company that I wanted to be a part of and build, and now we have the chance to take it to the next level.”
Members of the Balmoral and Gala Capital teams will join the Board of Directors and participate as needed but the majority of the MOOYAH management team is staying with the brand in their capacities and will be focused on its growth and success as part of the vision to continue the brand’s successful trajectory and momentum.
“As a franchisee for various brands over the years, I know the importance of having a strong franchisor support structure in place, that is focused on engagement and collaboration with the franchisees. I have a strong belief that franchisees are the backbone of a brand’s success,” said Gala. “It is our job to lead our existing franchisees to even greater success and to be selective of the prospective franchisees who want to join the MOOYAH team. We are ready for increased growth but with those who share the same vision and commitment to greatness the brand has built over the last decade.”
May 3, 2017