Sentinel Capital Sells Huddle House
Sentinel Capital Partners sold family dining brand Huddle House Inc. to family office Elysium Management this week. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Based in Miami, Elysium manages investments for the family office of Apollo Global Management co-founder Leon Black.
The private equity firm acquired Atlanta-based Huddle House in 2012 and had since helped guide it through a turnaround and roll out a remodeling program. The chain added 36 new locations to the map in fiscal year 2017—a record year of franchise expansion for the brand—and more than a third of those came from current franchisees.
Sentinel partner Jim Coady said in a statement that Huddle House “has achieved impressive, systemwide operational results that have increased efficiency and improved productivity at the individual restaurant level” and that “average unit volume increased by 14 percent on our watch.”
“Sentinel has been a great partner to Huddle House and over the past six years has helped us set and achieve meaningful strategic milestones,” said Michael Abt, Huddle House’s CEO. “Our customers, franchisees, operators and employees are super excited about Huddle House’s future.”
Huddle House entered new markets across 14 states, including the brand’s first Maryland location and additional growth in New Jersey, where the all-day breakfast concept has one store open and five more in development. Eight of its multi-unit owners signed additional agreements in fiscal year 2017 to open 22 more locations. There are now 401 locations open or in development. The company also attributes its recent growth to additional support in the form of a new real estate department with full site selection assistance and an in-house supply distribution model that promotes favorable unit-level economics for each of the locations.
The brand is also continuing its Evolution redesign initiative. The remodel includes a new building design, contemporary furniture, LED lighting and updated menu offerings, and the company said refreshed locations are outperforming the previous store design by “a staggering 31.5 percent higher sales.”
In the past year, Sentinel also sold the Checkers/Rally's quick-service brands for $525 million and acquired quick-service seafood restaurant Captain D's.
In 2017, Apollo agreed to acquire Mexican restaurant chain Qdoba from Jack in the Box Inc.