Private Equity Firm Ares Management Acquires Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk has been acquired by Ares Management for over $700 million. Some estimates suggest the purchase price approached $800 million—an unthinkable number for many burgeoning restaurant chains.

Cooper’s Hawk offers consumers a unique restaurant-winery experience. The Chicago-based restaurant crafts its own premium wine with 50 unique blends. The wine is made in the chain’s suburban Woodridge production facility.

According to data from Restaurant Business, the deal is likely worth about 23 to 26 times that of the restaurant’s 2018 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). Chicago Business estimated lower, calculating the deal to be worth 17.5 times that of the restaurant’s income last year. Cooper’s Hawk reported $31 million in earnings in 2018.

Experts compare the move to Fidelity investing $200 million in Sweetgreen in late 2018. The investment implied a billion dollar valuation for Sweetgreen, surprising some in the industry.

Current owners and operators Tim and Dana McEnery founded the first Cooper’s Hawk restaurant in 2005. The chain is understood to be the first restaurant-winery hybrid of its kind in the state. It remains unclear what the McEnerys’ role will be after the deal is completed.

Cooper’s Hawk currently operates more than 35 restaurants in ten states. The chain just opened a new location in Rockville, Maryland. Cooper’s Hawk also features a wine club that is now comprised of over 400,000 members. Club members pay $19.99 a month for a total of twelve company branded wines each year.

Why Diners are Visiting These Hot Casual Dining Concepts Instead of Chili’s and Applebee’s

Why Diners are Visiting These Hot Casual Dining Concepts Instead of Chili’s and Applebee’s

You’re in luck data hungry marketers and operators, Foodable Labs decided to do a deep data dive and highlight the Top 25 Hot Casual Dining Concepts to kick-off 2018.

In the past couple of months, traditional casual dining brands, like Applebee’s and Chilli’s, have been experiencing a decline in sales due to decreased millennial foot-traffic. All the while, a new generation of upscale casual dining brands are picking up slack and gaining new customers.

So why are diners choosing to eat at these establishments versus the former casual dining staples?

These concepts have been able to forge a connection with the local communities they serve— not only through community outreach, but also through their menus.

Learn about two popular brands included in the casual dining report, which is available for download, here!

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