Restaurant and Foodservice Technology M&A

M&A activity continued to break records in 2021. In the U.S., private equity deal-making rebounded 50% over 2020. This is no surprise given the impact of COVID, as we’re seeing a year and a half’s worth of activity happening in just a few months.

Q4 ‘21 was one of the busiest quarters ever for transactions across the board, particularly in our industry, and restaurant M&A activity in 2022 is expected to be just as active.

Key Takeaways

  • There were big deals in the QSR category, including the acquisitions of Firehouse Subs (enterprise value of $1 billion), Del Taco ($575 million), Fazoli’s ($130 million), and Church’s Chicken (sold for an undisclosed amount)
  • There was also intense deal activity in the fast-casual segment, including the merger of Panera Brands, Tocaya, and Tender Greens, and the acquisitions of several middle-market restaurant chains such as Wing Zone, Playa Bowls, Taco Cabana, and Fuddruckers
  • Some of the notable deals in the Casual Dining segment were Twin Peaks (acquired by FAT Brands) and J. Alexander’s (acquired by SPB)
  • The number of Delivery and Tech companies receiving investments or with exits is also increasing fast. Some of the significant tech M&A of 2021 included deals such as ghost kitchen developer Zuul acquired by Kitchen United, Punchh acquired by PAR Technology and several investments of Yum! Brands (Dragontail Systems, Tictuk, and Kvantum)

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