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.

How the Emerging Brand and Shark Tank-Backed OatMeals Ventures to Define a New Fast Casual Category

Emerging brands continue to outperform the pack of cornerstone restaurants brands over the past year and the category breakouts are in a race for leadership. Take the crowded fast casual pizza category that now has a clear leader that has prevailed in Mod Pizza.

More and more category challengers are being created in a variety of segments today.

When you analyze the healthy halo category, it’s being dominated by sweetgreen and Tender Greens with new challengers like Lemonade and Flower Child.

Fresh Mex has been holding strong with Chipotle, however, they have seen some fall off in the dominance they once had in meal occasions. This leads us to a much more fragmented field of new category leaders.

OatMeals, on the other hand, is one of these unusual but potentially new category entries that could set a new standard for what it means to innovate at the brand level.

I had a chance to sit down with Founder and CEO Samantha Stephens of OatMeals, a one-unit NYC concept that is aiming to transform what was once a breakfast only menu item into an entire category for menu innovation.

Join me and watch this episode of The Barron Report above as we discuss how consumers are responding to this unusual brand, what it takes to launch a concept like this, and what it was like to present to the sharks on hit TV show "Shark Tank" and actually get a deal with Lori Greiner to build out the brand concept with an entirely new approach to brand building.