Gatti's Pizza gets scooped up
As the popularity of pizza chains continues to rise, Austin, Texas-based Gatti’s Pizza has been acquired by Sovrano, LLC, out of Fort Worth, Texas—one of several franchised restaurant brands to attract private equity investment in recent years.
According to the release announcing the sale, the private-equity group is excited about the opportunity to re-energize the nearly-100-unit legacy brand by capitalizing on its strengths, including the chain’s family-friendly ambiance.
Restaurant industry veteran Michael Poates is the president of Sovrano LLC and will lead the Gatti’s team as president. Poates draws from more than 28 years of experience at Dairy Queen, Whataburger, Papa John’s, Chesapeake Restaurants, and others.
“There’s a lot that I admire about Gatti’s,” he said. “The pizza is great, and the people are even better. We’ve got an energized group of franchisees and a dedicated corporate team that’s committed to supporting them. This company is solid and profitable, and provides a great platform for growth. These were deciding factors as we evaluated this acquisition. All the elements for success are in place. My job simply is to serve the brand while accelerating the momentum. We’re all very motivated and excited for what’s ahead.”
Growth is among the team’s first initiatives, including the development of new corporate-owned restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Gatti’s is also exploring partnerships with new franchisees.
Launched more than 45 years ago, Gatti’s now has nearly 100 restaurants that combine to deliver more than $100 million in annual revenue.