US investment firm Mercato Partners launches US$90m food and beverage fund

USA – Mercato Partners, an Utah-based investment firm has announced that its inaugural food and beverage fund, Savory has raised US$90 million, which the company intends to use in making investment in compelling and up-and-coming restaurant concepts.

Mercato Partners, which also has active invests in technology, branded consumer, as well food and beverage companies, said that the new fund will provide access to capital together with a team of experienced industry professionals to fuel growth and operations.

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To create this unique investment practice, Greg Warnock, the founder of Mercato Partners revealed that he has partnered with restaurant industry veteran Andrew K. Smith along with several members of his leadership team.

The investment firm said the new fund will fill a noticeable void in the food and beverage industry by delivering access to growth capital together with a restaurant operations team of more than 50 industry veterans.

The team includes former lead developers of Four Foods Group, one of the fastest-growing restaurant operators in the nation. Mercato notes that the team brings pivotal resources critical to the establishment of successful processes for emerging multi-unit concepts.

“Thousands of restaurant brands have built winning concepts with a promising mix of culture, flavor profile, and momentum; however, the creativity and courage needed to launch a new restaurant is much different from the skill set required to scale a restaurant concept to dozens of locations in multiple states,” said Smith, managing director of Savory.

Smith observes that both capital and expertise are essential to create lasting value in the restaurant industry.

Based on this assessment, Smith revealed that Savory will work by providing a unique approach through; identifying where consumers have “already picked” a winner through loyal patronage; providing capital to rapidly expand the brand and providing restaurant founders with a leadership support.

“The restaurant industry carries an undeserved reputation among certain investors for business risk and razor-thin margins, giving rise to market inefficiency and opportunity.

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“A differentiated brand with several profitable locations and years of consumer loyalty offers a compelling risk-return profile for investors,” said managing director of Savory and Mercato Partners, Greg Warnock.

“By providing both capital and relevant expertise, we have unlocked tremendous success. Savory’s limited partner investors and portfolio brand founders appreciate the Savory approach to driving incremental growth and value.”

Savory’s current portfolio includes popular restaurant concepts Mo’Bettahs, R&R BBQ and Swig.

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