Dig Inn Raises $20 Million in Funding Round Led by Danny Meyer's Investment Group

The farm-to-table fast casual Dig Inn has secured $20 million in a funding round, led by Danny Meyer's Enlightened Hospitality Investments.

Dig Inn founder and CEO Adam Eskin announced the latest investment in a post on Medium where he also shared what the company plans to do with the additional funding.

The fast casual has been expanding rapidly. With 26 store locations in New York and Boston. But the latest funding round will help the brand launch in a new market- Philly and the company is also aiming to open an additional 10 stores.

To do that, the chain is going to need more manpower. So the restaurant will be ramping up its hiring.

"We’ll hire another 300 men and women, many of which have never stepped foot in a restaurant kitchen, and teach them that knife skills are life skills, and how learning how to cook can change everything," writes Eskin for "Medium."

The chain has now raised $71.5 million total. Dig Inn, which was founded about 7 years ago, is one of the leading trendy concepts aiming to bring healthy, all-natural food with fast service to customers.

With its new partnership with the Danny Meyer team, the restaurant will also be ramping up its supply of healthy vegetables.

"We’ll supply our restaurants with over 8 million pounds of vegetables from the 80+ farmers that make up our growing community, including 100,000 pounds from our own Farmer Larry Tse, his team, and his newly launched Young Farmer Incubator Program," writes Eskin.

The chain will focus on not only expansion and increasing food supply but it will be expanding it's delivery service and opening a full-service concept in New York City's West Village as well.

Read more at "Restaurant Dive" now.

Chains like Dig Inn with veggie-forward menus that deliver are going to stand out in today's market. Plant-based consumption was up 300% last year. Although the demand is high for these menu items, there aren't that many restaurants offering delivery of plant-based meals. Watch the On Foodable: Industry Pulse episode below to learn more about how consumers are wanting more plant-based food delivery options.

A Look at the Industry: Social Restaurant Visits Drop, Consumers Give Chipotle a Second Chance

On this episode of "On Foodable Weekly," we’re not only taking a look at the industry after the end of January through Foodable Labs, but we’re also dissecting some long-term trends that we will continue to see throughout 2017.

Social restaurant visits (SRVs), or restaurant visits that include some type of social media interaction, have actually seen a drop in social interactions for the first time in these past few months. Currently, we are still showing an upward trend. We keep a close eye on SRVs, because when consumers have online discussions about dining out, those social media discussions are indicative of restaurant performance.

Looking back at December, Veggie Grill, Mod Market, and honeygrow showed the most SRV growth at the end of 2016. There is often a lot of movement in that top 10 SRV list and January was no exception, showing a shake-up in the top brands. Shake Shack made their move back to No. 1, followed by Dig Inn, and Paris Baguette, a newcomer to the top three.

Starbucks also showed up in the top 10 in January. However, some other major brands that usually rank high were missing from January’s top 10 list, such as Arby’s, Jersey Mike’s, McDonald's, and Sonic Drive-In.

Industry-wide, January marks the first time we’ve seen a downturn in SRVs. Though the winter months do normally show a slow in SRVs in part due to the holidays, we will need to keep an eye on this.

Second Chance for Chipotle?

Chipotle had it rough last year. Focusing on their consumer sentiment, Chipotle showed a drop in December, but just this month, Chipotle’s social sentiment jumped up. This could possibly be consumers giving Chipotle a second chance. Chipotle is also showing a slight positive growth in SRVs, and though small, these growths in SRV may not be an anomaly. We will continue to keep an eye out for continued growth.

Keep watching "On Foodable Weekly" to stay up-to-date with how the industry is faring here on Foodable Network.

Dig Inn Names Former Panera Executive Irene Cook COO and Announces Store Expansion

Dig inn, a farm-to-table fast casual concept based in New York, has just announced two big developments.  The restaurant is not only opening two new Boston locations, but the company has hired a new COO.

Irene Cook, who led the operations at Panera Bread for 12 years, will be the brand's first COO. Adam Eskin, Dig Inn's founder will remain the CEO. 

The chain has been expanding rapidly. With 10+ store locations in New York, the brand has set it's sights on Boston. 

About three months ago, the first Dig Inn location in Boston opened and the company plans to open two more by early 2017. But, Boston won't be the only area with a few more of these farm-to-counter restaurants. The company plans to open five to six new stores by early 2017. 

Dig Inn is one of the trendy concepts aiming to bring healthy, all-natural food with fast service to customers. 

"We do this by forming genuine, trusting relationships with our farmers and partners, and serving food that embraces the seasons," according to Dig Inn's mission. "In our kitchens, our chefs prepare real food from scratch, inspiring them to cook up their best ideas and their own best futures."

To have better access to fresh produce and ingredients, the brand bought a farm in upstate New York earlier this year. 

“We would really love to grow our own food,” said Eskin, to Fast Company. “That's ultimate control — your own procedures, how you think about things like crop rotation. But we're never going to have a farm large enough to support what I would consider our fairly lofty growth goals. You have to have a supply chain for that.”

It looks like big things are in store for this brand now that a fast casual industry veteran has signed onboard and the concept has been proven successful in another city besides where it is based. Read more