Chicken Salad Chick’s attraction of a much-larger majority investor, Brentwood Associates with its $2.4 billion fund, captured the Franchise Times Deal of the Year award today at the Franchise Investment Conference, and CEO Scott Deviney invoked an African proverb when accepting the award.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together, he said, acknowledging the team of people needed to make the deal happen. Deviney also outlined a rigorous due diligence process to get there.
“The process was exhausting, as you can imagine. I will say this, we were very fortunate,” he told Franchise Times in an earlier interview. “We had some of the best of the best private equity groups that were interested in partnering with us. That was extremely humbling and extremely flattering.”
Brentwood Associates—which has also backed Zoes Kitchen, Orangetheory Fitness and Blaze Pizza—has majority ownership and will control the board. Deviney said his new investors have told him to stick to about 50 restaurant openings a year; continue the intense local focus of the restaurants; and continue to push the “craveable” homemade chicken salad recipe and their closed-on-Sundays policy.
“Brentwood didn’t come in and say, here’s 15 things we need you to change. Brentwood came in and said, keep doing what you’re doing. That was really refreshing,” he said.
He calls the Brentwood Associates people “very down to earth.”
“People, firms, restaurant brands, everybody has a reputation. We like to think we have a good reputation at Chicken Salad Chick. So what we had our antenna very high on, was listening to different groups…people who have worked for them or worked with them. You get a sense for how people work.”
In total, 12 companies received awards at the luncheon March 10, a highlight of the Franchise Investment Conference, presented by Franchise Times at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West hotel. They are:
DEAL OF THE YEAR 2020:
Chicken Salad Chick and CEO Scott Deviney attracted Brentwood Associates as new investor, buying out Eagle Merchant Partners.
Read the full announcement on: