RA Capital represented The Crack Shack as its exclusive financial advisor in securing growth capital from the Savory Restaurant Fund (Savory) to fuel expansion.
Successful, Founder-led Business at Inflection Point: The Crack Shack operates a highly acclaimed chain of upscale, fast-casual, bone-in fried chicken restaurants. Founded in 2015 by Michael Rosen after successfully launching the fine dining restaurant Juniper and Ivy, The Crack Shack successfully launched its first location in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood and has subsequently expanded to six locations across Southern California and in Las Vegas. With leading restaurant-level unit economics and significant growth opportunities outside of its core markets, the Company required both the capital resources and expansion expertise to achieve its ambitious growth objectives.
Deal Execution and Structuring: The Crack Shack owners engaged RA Capital to seek a strategic funding partner to help fuel the Company’s growth ambitions. Despite significant industry headwinds related to the COVID-19 pandemic, RA Capital successfully led a targeted and highly confidential process that resulted in the Company partnering with Savory.
Mutually Beneficial Result: The transaction represented Savory’s first outside investment since the fund was established in partnership with Mercato Partners, a leading growth equity fund. In addition to providing capital for growth, Savory maintains an in-house operations team of more than 50 industry veterans that work with its brands to help them scale. Having the conviction to invest in The Crack Shack amid extreme industry uncertainty speaks to the uniqueness of The Crack Shack brand and the immediate opportunities available to expand the concept into multiple states.
About The Crack Shack
The Crack Shack is a SoCal based gourmet fried-chicken eatery, conceived and founded by Michael Rosen in 2015 as a passion project to transform the pristine local ingredients from his fine dining restaurant, Juniper and Ivy, into a more accessible experience for the masses. At the forefront of the fried chicken craze, the brand now has six locations in San Diego, Encinitas, Costa Mesa, Century City, Pasadena and the Las Vegas Strip. The core of the menu, developed by Culinary Director Jon Sloan, is the original “SoCal Style” Fried Chicken using top quality Jidori birds and a proprietary “Crack Spice” blend from San Francisco-based Le Sanctuaire. While the Bone-In is the signature staple, the chef-driven menu boasts sandwiches, bowls, unique sides and a “Lil’ Cluckers” menu for kids. Outside of the universally-loved food, Crack Shack fans flock to the “coops” for the social atmosphere surrounded by whimsical, chicken-inspired artwork, lawn games, and bars stocked with craft cocktails, wines and local beers.
Savory, a Mercato Partners Fund, is focused on delivering outsized returns through strategic investments in the food and beverage industry. Savory partners with high-potential, profitable and emerging restaurant brands, to deliver financial capital, industry expertise, profitability enhancements and new location development. The Savory team contributes directly to all aspects of growth and replication by using a proven playbook and methodology. Founder involvement in the expansion of a brand is a central theme of the Savory approach, as founders carry the tribal knowledge around the uniqueness that has energized early success and is essential to future growth.