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Crack Shack Signs Expansion Deal

Last year, Crack Shack Enterprises LLC was chosen by Nation’s Restaurant News as one of five hot new restaurant concepts poised for regional or national growth.

This year, despite the global pandemic, it appears the fried chicken chain is doing just that.

Just last week, the Little Italy-headquartered, $25 million company signed a deal with Utah-based Savory.

While the exact financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, the strategic plan is for the investment firm to commit the necessary capital for Crack Shack to open three more units in the next 12 months, preferably outside of California, said founder Michael Rosen.

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Crack Shack, with 191 employees, has five locations in Southern California and one in Las Vegas. It was founded in 2015.

This is Savory’s first investment since announcing its inaugural $90 million fund earlier this year.

Demand for Better Chicken Concepts

“We are not sure what markets we will enter, but we are looking into that and having discussions,” Rosen said. “I think there is certainly a demand for better chicken concepts in other cities. We don’t have the suite of skills that would be necessary to grow our concept. While we weren’t looking for a partnership, when Savory approached us and described this value-added platform they have, we viewed them as the partner we never knew existed. They came to us and said, ‘We love the brand, we don’t want you to change a thing, you drive the menu and we’ll just be your partner, responsible for those things you have no interest in.’”

As part of the deal, Rosen said Savory will help Crack Shack determine what technology and software best fits its needs. It will also step in regarding other areas such as negotiations on future partners and efficiency in kitchen design and equipment. Savory works with several other food brands, including Mo’Bettahs, a customized soda company called Swig, and R&R BBQ, all in Utah. Rosen said brands under the Savory umbrella have higher year-over-year sales, mostly because they embrace take-out and delivery as well as other forms of restaurant-focused technology.

“With Savory’s vast experience developing and operating hundreds of restaurant locations and ability to successfully execute investment strategies through trying economic cycles, we’re uniquely equipped to grow The Crack Shack during the pandemic and beyond,” said Andrew K. Smith, managing director of Savory.

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