Louisville, Ky. — Yum! Brands, Inc. has acquired The Habit Restaurants, Inc., following the approval by The Habit Burger Grill stockholders. The transaction marks the addition of the first fast-casual concept to Yum! Brands’ portfolio of iconic global restaurant brands.
The acquisition of The Habit Burger Grill adds an award-winning fast-casual concept with a loyal fan-base to Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of units and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Founded in California in 1969, The Habit Burger Grill offers a flavor-forward variety of made-to-order items uniquely chargrilled over an open flame. The Habit Burger Grill, named Best Regional Fast Food in USA Today’s 2019 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the U.S. and in China.
“Today marks an important milestone in our company’s history as we officially welcome The Habit Burger Grill to the Yum! family,” says David Gibbs, CEO, Yum! Brands. “The Habit Burger Grill is a sweet spot within fast-casual because of its delicious California-inspired menu with premium ingredients at a QSR-like value, strong unit economics and tremendous untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for The Habit Burger Grill and believe our acquisition of this trend-forward brand is a ‘win-win-win’ all around.”
The Habit Burger Grill features a contemporary restaurant design with open kitchens, outdoor patios and interiors enhanced by natural light, polished stone and hardwood accents. This warm, relaxed and comfortable environment has contributed to its balanced day part mix of approximately 50% lunch and 50% dinner.
Over the past couple of years, The Habit Burger Grill has been enhancing the customer experience and offering additional convenience through delivery partnerships and by introducing online ordering, a mobile app, restaurant kiosks, drive-thrus and technology-centric solutions to deliver excellent store operations.
The Habit Burger Grill is now a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. and will continue to be operated as an independent brand. The Habit Burger Grill will remain based in Irvine, Calif., and will continue to be managed by The Habit Burger Grill’s president and CEO, Russell Bendel, and CFO Ira Fils. Bendel reports directly to Yum! CEO David Gibbs.
BofA Securities, Inc. acted as financial advisor and Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal advisor to Yum! Brands. Piper Sandler Companies (formerly Piper Jaffray Companies) acted as financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to The Habit Burger Grill.
Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Ky., has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories.
SOURCE: Yum! Brands, Inc.