Sentinel Acquires Captain D’s and MRM Holiday Giveaway

The #ManicMonday edition of MRM’s Daily Bite has news from Sentinel Capital Partners, Beyond Meat, Cargill, Techstars and Ecolab, Chase Hospitality Group and Holt Renfrew and a Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine Holiday Giveaway. 

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Sentinel Capital Acquires Captain D’s

Private equity firm Sentinel Capital Partners acquired Captain D’s, the franchisor and operator of 530 Captain D’s restaurants in 21 U.S. states from Centre Partners. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1969, the Captain D’s system consists of 227 franchised and 303 company-owned locations with established strongholds in the American Southeast and Midwest. 

“We are very excited to partner with Captain D’s highly-experienced and accomplished management team,” said John McCormack, a Sentinel senior partner. “Captain D’s holds a unique market position and was recently recognized as one of the top 10 brands in America for consumer loyalty. Captain D’s continues to attract younger guests and is the clear category leader. Moreover, its same-store-sales growth over the past decade is in the very top QSR tier regardless of category.”

Bruce Pollack, a Managing Partner of Centre Partners, stated, “We are very proud of our successful investment in Captain D’s.  Through our partnership with Phil Greifeld and his management team, we revitalized the Captain D’s brand, accelerated growth through new unit openings and improved performance through best-in-class execution.  Captain D’s is well positioned for continued growth and we wish the team every success under new ownership.”

Captain D’s CEO, Phil Greifeld, a 22-year QSR industry veteran who has led Captain D’s for the past seven years, commented, “Centre Partners recognized an attractive opportunity to acquire a differentiated, seafood-themed concept in the QSR segment of the restaurant industry. During the past four years, Centre Partners provided expertise and resources that were instrumental in achieving our shared objectives.  We are grateful for the support of the Centre Partners team as we move on to another exciting chapter. Sentinel’s more than two decades of experience in the restaurant franchising sector makes the firm an ideal partner for us as we enter a new phase of expansion. We see significant opportunities to grow inside our existing footprint as well as into new regions. Our brand has never been stronger.”

“Captain D’s provides highly attractive and consistent unit economics for its franchise partners,” added Michael Fabian, a Sentinel partner. “This has fueled substantial growth in new franchise sales and openings over the last several years. We look forward to partnering with Phil and his talented team to help accelerate this growth in years ahead.”

Since its inception, Sentinel has made eight other restaurant franchise investments, including Border Foods, a  QSR franchisee in the Taco Bell system; Checkers/Rally’s, the largest franchisor and operator of dual drive-thru hamburger QSRs in the U.S.; Falcon Holdings, one of the largest QSR franchisees of Church’s Chicken restaurants; Fazoli’s Group, a franchisor and operator of Italian fast casual restaurants; Huddle House, a leading franchisor of family dining restaurants; Newk’s Eatery, a rapidly growing market leader in the fast casual restaurant segment; Southern California Pizza Company, the largest Pizza Hut QSR franchisee in the greater Los Angeles market; and TGI Friday’s, a global franchisor of casual dining bar and grill restaurants.

Beyond Meat Introduces Beyond Sausage

Beyond Meat® added Beyond Sausage™ to the plate. The latest innovation delivers on the juicy, satisfying taste and texture of pork sausage, but with more protein, 43 percent less total fat, 38 percent less saturated fat, 27 percent less calories and 26 percent less sodium than traditional pork sausage. In keeping with the brand’s promise to help consumers looking for healthy options to continue to Eat What You Love, the company is launching Beyond Sausage exclusively at the Whole Foods Market Pearl Street store in three  flavors: Original Bratwurst, Hot Italian and Sweet Italian.

“I love Beyond Sausage first and foremost because it’s truly so enjoyable to eat but also because I see it as an advance in our team’s relentless march toward a perfect build of meat from plants,” said Ethan Brown, CEO of Beyond Meat. “Though we aren’t there yet, I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made with Beyond Sausage and look forward to hearing what the consumer thinks.”

Beyond Sausage is an assembly of pea, fava bean, and rice protein organized to deliver against the unique texture of pork sausage. Trace amounts of beet lend the meaty red color. Coconut oil ensures mouth-watering juiciness. And it’s all wrapped in a 100 percent plant-based casing derived from algae. Like the Beyond Burger, the company used its proprietary approach to braiding and binding proteins, fats, minerals, and water to recreate the basic architecture of meat.

Starting today, December 18, all three flavors of Beyond Sausage will be sold at the Beyond Burger restaurant inside the Whole Foods Market Pearl Street store in Boulder, where The Beyond Burger first launched in May of 2016 and sold out in one hour.

“As a category leader in plant-based meat alternatives, Beyond Meat has revolutionized how consumers get their protein,” said Red Elk Banks, vice president of Whole Foods Market’s Rocky Mountain region. “We’re thrilled to introduce the Beyond Sausage to our Boulder shoppers, and proud to partner with Beyond Meat on the introduction of another innovative and delicious plant-based protein.”

Based in Los Angeles, California, Beyond Meat is a privately held company with a mission of building meat directly from plants. Investors include Bill Gates, actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio, Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams, Kleiner Perkins, former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson, Honest Tea founder Seth Goldman, Humane Society of the United States, and Tyson Foods. 

Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator

Because new technologies can lead the way to a safer, more secure and sustainable food supply, Cargill is partnering with Techstars and Ecolab to create the Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator launching in Minneapolis in 2018.

“We are thrilled to welcome some of the brightest minds in food and ag tech into Cargill and Ecolab’s backyards,” said Justin Kershaw, Cargill CIO. “This Accelerator allows us to invest our time and resources in technology shaping the future of agriculture, and to address some of the greatest challenges facing the food system. At the same time, we see the partnership with Techstars as a way to inject startup energy inside Cargill, where we are committed to creating a culture that fosters technology innovation through internal expertise and external partnerships.”

The first class, featuring 10 of the world’s most promising startups, is set to arrive in Minneapolis in the summer of 2018 for a 13-week engagement, where they will build their business and receive input on developing technology to positively impact the food industry, securing capital and expanding their industry reach.

Minnesota was literally built by food entrepreneurs more than 150 years ago, and entrepreneurs continue to thrive in the state’s quickly expanding, yet supportive ecosystem,” said Brett Brohl, Techstars Farm to Fork Accelerator managing director. “The Farm to Fork Accelerator will build on this rich history, leveraging Cargill’s reach and leadership in food and agriculture as well as Ecolab’s expertise in safe food, clean water and healthy environments. Combined with Techstars’ proven accelerator model, we can truly help entrepreneurs take their companies to the next level while making a positive social impact.”  

The accelerator is scheduled to continue for three years, engaging both early stage entrepreneurs and late stage startups with a vision for affecting positive change across the food system. Applications for the first class open in January 2018, with a focus on startups that can advance key aspects of the food system including food security and safety, ag tech, consumer goods and supply chain management.

Startups accepted into the program will be offered mentor support from Cargill and Ecolab executives and access to the companies’ market expertise, global connections and investment capital. Techstars’ network of successful entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other partners also work hand-in-hand with the selected startups throughout the accelerator.

For more information on the Farm to Fork Accelerator,  click here.

Collette Grand Cafe’s to Open Across Canada

Chase Hospitality Group and Holt Renfrew formed a national culinary partnership to open Colette Grand Café in five of the retailer’s locations across Canada. Commencing early 2018, the French-inspired restaurant will replace Holts Café in Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto’s Yorkdale and Bloor Street locations. 

Inspired by Colette in Toronto, a beloved staple of the city’s upscale dining scene, Colette Grand Café at Holt Renfrew will introduce a chic and sophisticated menu and atmosphere to complement the iconic retailer’s elevated offering. 

“Colette Grand Café embodies the French-style and is the perfect fit for Holt Renfrew to offer clientele the full luxury experience,” said Mario Grauso, President, Holt Renfrew. “Well-known for culinary excellence and creating beautifully designed spaces, we are excited to have Chase Hospitality Group restaurants as a valued partner.”

“We are very happy to be partnering with such an iconic luxury brand as Holt Renfrew, and to be expanding Colette Grand Café across Canada,” said Steven Salm, President, Chase Hospitality Group. “The French-inspired aesthetic and menu are a natural fit for the stylish destination and we are so pleased to bring the two together.”

The partnership marks Chase Hospitality Group’s national expansion, just weeks after the group announced 100% plant-based restaurant, Planta, is expanding to Miami in Spring 2018. Earlier this fall, Chase Hospitality Group launched two new restaurant concepts in Toronto, Planta Burger and Palm Lane.

Colette Grand Café menus and décor will be introduced in Holt Renfrew Edmonton, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto Yorkdale and Toronto Bloor Street locations in 2018. 

MRM Holiday Giveaway

To celebrate the holidays and the latest work from MRM contributor Donald Burns, we are giving away four Kindle copies of his book, “Your Restaurant Sucks!: Embrace The Suck. Unleash Your Restaurant. Become Outstanding.” 

To enter the giveaway, click here.