CAVA considers being open | QSR Magazine

CAVA Group, which owns Mediterranean fast food chains CAVA and Zoës Kitchen, is considering going public.

The company announced Monday that it had filed for a confidential IPO. The total number of shares to be offered and the proposed IPO price range have not yet been determined.

In 2018, CAVA acquired then-publicly traded Zoës Kitchen for $300 million. The acquisition was funded by a significant investment from Act III Holdings, an investment firm founded by Panera Bread founder and former CEO Ron Shaich.

At the time of the deal, CAVA had about 70 seats, while Zoës had about 260. But in the five years since then, CAVA has converted several Zoës restaurants to CAVA. At the beginning of last year, CAVA had 160 restaurants. CEO Brett Shulman said about it QSR In February 2022, it planned to exchange 55 Zoës units in 2021 and 60 plus units in 2022.

CAVA opened 83 locations in seven new states and 10 new markets in 2022 (including the conversion of Zoës Kitchen locations). It also produced a seven-figure pickup streak, bringing its total to 17.

Through conversions, CAVA has found an easier means of growth than fighting for real estate.

“It allows us to quickly expand into these cities that we’ve been touring and trying to list high-quality sites — it’s hard to build that many in a short amount of time,” Shulman said. QSR about a year ago. “We can quickly expand into markets that CAVA has been trying to deliver for years. Overall, grow our business on a shorter timeline.”

A lot of private dollars have flowed into CAVA in recent years. In December 2019, the chain opened a $40 million funding round. In April 2021, it announced a $190 million investment led by T. Rowe Price Group; which increased CAVA’s value to approximately $1.3 billion.

Part of the investment of about 200 million dollars was spent on the implementation of next-generation technologies. Before COVID, CAVA’s digital platforms had a 20 percent engagement and up to 50 percent engagement in some urban areas. At the height of the pandemic, it reached 70 percent. In percentage terms, issues have fallen to around 40 percent as of early 2022. But in absolute dollar terms, digital sales remain sticky, and along with in-store sales growth, the numbers have exceeded 2019’s marks. CAVA launched a new app in December 2021, and the chain began opening digital shipping windows in 2019. Today, rAbout 63 percent of the brand’s sales come from dinner purchases.

In 2021, the IPO market was hot, with five major companies going public: Krispy Kreme, Dutch Bros Coffee, Portillo’s, First Watch and Sweetgreen. Panera Brands (Panera, Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee) also had similar plans, but put them on hold last year due to “deteriorating capital markets.” Fogo de Chão and MOD Pizza have filed for IPOs but have yet to move forward.