Qdoba is joining Colorado-based Modern Market Eatery and California-based Lemonade, owned by Modern Restaurant Concepts, as part of an agreement with Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. King Street Capital Management, a global alternative asset manager, is investing alongside Butterfly to create an 800-unit portfolio, according to a company press release.
Qdoba CEO Keith Guilbault will continue to lead Qdoba as co-CEO, while Rob McColgan will lead the Modern Market and Lemonade brands as his co-CEO. Each brand will grow through company-operated, franchised and licensed openings; the company believes it will eventually hit 3,000 total units.
“With this transaction, we could not be more excited to bring together three incredible restaurant brands in QDOBA, Modern Market and Lemonade to form one of the leading next-generation restaurant platforms,” Adam Waglay, co-founder and co-CEO of Butterfly, said in the release. “Together, these brands are incredibly positioned for the future with craveable food, flexible and affordable menu choices and a powerful off-premise offering.”
Guilbault said he was excited to partner with Butterfly in the next phase of Qdoba’s journey.
“We’ve only scratched the surface of QDOBA’s potential to date and Butterfly’s food focus will strengthen our ability to grow and deliver great food to our loyal customers,” he said in the release.
Modern Market recently signed a multi-unit franchise development agreement to bring over 40 locations to seven states. Earlier this year, Qdoba signed its largest multi-unit franchise development agreement in company history, and in aggregate has developed a committed pipeline of nearly 300 franchised units to be opened in the next five years.
“QDOBA is an iconic brand whose reach will help us bring Modern Market and Lemonade to new consumers and franchisees around the country, particularly as we begin our own franchising journey,” McColgan said in the release. “We’re thrilled to welcome the QDOBA team to the Modern Restaurant Concepts family and believe that together we can build something truly differentiated in the restaurant space.”
The terms of the transaction, which will close Q3 2022, were not disclosed.
Jack in the Box Inc. which previously owned Qdoba Restaurant Corp., sold it in 2018 for approximately $305 million to Apollo Global Management.