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Meet the New Parent of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings


With its $2.9 billion acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings a done deal, Arby’s Restaurant Group renamed itself Inspire Brands Inc., the new multi-concept operator encompassing Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco.

Owned by Atlanta-based Roark Capital Group, Inspire Brands operates more than 1,700 restaurants and has more than 2,900 franchise units across the three brands. The company said combined 2017 global systemwide sales exceeded $7.6 billion, with more growth in sight.

Paul Brown, who was Arby’s chief executive, is now CEO of Inspire Brands. Neal Aronson, founder and managing partner of Roark, is co-founder of the new parent company.

“We believe the time is right to create a different kind of restaurant company—one with a broad portfolio of distinct brands across a full spectrum of restaurant occasions,” said Brown in a release. “Our goal is to build an organization that leverages the benefits of scale, not only to save cost, but also to enable outsized investments in long-term growth initiatives.”

Each brand operates within its own segment, with Arby’s in quick service, Buffalo Wild Wings in casual dining, and R Taco, which BWW acquired in 2014, in fast casual.

Arby’s announced its plan to acquire the chicken wing chain in November and Buffalo Wild Wings shareholders approved the deal February 2. Buffalo Wild Wings investors will be paid $157 for each share they own.

Inspire’s headquarters will be in Atlanta, and it will also operate a support center in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley, the former headquarters for Buffalo Wild Wings.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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