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6 things you likely didn’t know about The Habit & its IPO

The Habit Restaurants Inc., operator of the 98-unit The Habit Burger Grill fast-casual chain, filed SEC documents this week for its initial, $86.3-million public offering. As usual, the documents are a trove of financial data. But that’s not all there is to learn about the concept. Here are some tidbits to be savored.

  • The average per-person expenditure at The Habit is $7.44—as the company notes in its offering documents, one of the lowest in the fast-casual sector.
  • The chain is a sibling concept of Columbus, Ohio-based Piada Italian Street Food, a fast-casual chain and one of the most talked-about up-and-comers in the business. A significant stake in each is held by KarpReilly, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, though the common ownership will change upon completion of the IPO.
  • The chain cannot open any stores in its birthplace of Santa Barbara County, Calif., because that territory is reserved for the concept’s founder, Bruce Reichard, and his brother, Brent, a former CEO of the company. The duo owns five stores in the region under a licensing agreement that exempts them from having to pay royalties and the usual franchisee fees.
  • Salads accounted for 13 percent of “entree revenue” during the operator’s most recent fiscal year, according to the filing. A Cobb salad is one of The Habit’s signatures. Burgers generated 60 percent of main-item sales, and the remaining 27 percent came from the sale of other sandwiches.
  • Dinner accounts for 47 percent of sales.
  • The first franchised Habit will open next year. 

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