What restaurant chain might next go public?

This week I reported on two hot Dallas brand that are ready to make their debuts in the stock market. Chicken chain Wingstop is bringing its 712-store market share to investors, while steak house Fogo de Chão hopes its Brazilian tastes will turn heads.

After that story was filed, Reuters reported “freaky fast” sandwich chain Jimmy John’s is preparing for an initial public offering. With restaurant stock offerings becoming as hot as Wingstop’s atomic sauce, we wondered what chains could be next to go public.

Raising Cane’s

Investors seem to be optimistic about this Baton Rouge-based chicken restaurant, which has built a cult following around its Cane’s Sauce. Considering the success of Bojangles, it could be a winner.

“If you look at some chicken companies like Bojangles’, the IPO has worked, and Popeye’s has totally transformed itself,” noted John Gordon, principal and founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group. “Looking at some chicken per capita consumption numbers, beef’s declining trend has been apparent for quite some time, but the chicken numbers have worked up.”

Which Wich

The “good vibes” sandwich shop was founded in 2003 in downtown Dallas and has since grown to more than 360 locations, putting it on analysts’ watch lists.

“Which Wich is a good concept to look at because it’s growing but operations are really simple,” said Mary Chapman, senior director of product innovation at research and consulting firm Technomic. “People like to invest in things that they understand.”

But Which Wich told the Dallas Business Journal it has no plans for an offering. CEO Jeff Sinelli seems to be more likely to pass his position to his children, the company said.

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