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Carlisle Corp. sells off struggling LYFE Kitchen

The three-unit brand is bought by Chicago-based L3 Hospitality Group, a former franchisee.
LYFE Kitchen

Memphis, Tenn.-based Carlisle Corp. sold its struggling, health-focused LYFE Kitchen fast-casual concept to L3 Hospitality Group, the companies announced Friday.

L3 Hospitality Group, a Chicago-based multiconcept operator, was previously a LYFE Kitchen franchisee.

As part of the sale, LYFE shuttered its unit in downtown Memphis, leaving the fast-casual chain with just three locations, all in Chicago.

"LYFE Kitchen was a fantastic brand that looks to change how we perceive ‘healthy food.’ Unfortunately, as we aligned our strategic priorities, we did not have the time or resources necessary to fulfill LYFE’s potential and felt a divesture made sense [for] all parties,” said Carlisle CEO Chance Carlisle in a statement.

Carlisle Corp. will instead focus on its 152 Wendy’s franchises, as well as a multimillion dollar mixed-use development in Memphis. The LYFE logo no longer appears on Carlisle’s website.

L3 Hospitality Group told Restaurant Business it is preparing a statement about the sale and that the group is “thrilled to now be the sole owners of LYFE,” Emily Paulson, director of marketing, said via email.

Carlisle purchased a minority stake in LYFE Kitchen in 2014 before buying the brand two years later, and had ambitious plans to grow the buzzed-about brand. Recent months, though, have seen a major contraction of the company. The chain closed four units late last year, followed by more closures in recent months. 

The chain generated much industry excitement when it opened in 2011. LYFE, which stands for Love Your Food Everyday, originated with former McDonald’s executives who promised to offer a quick, customizable and health-focused cuisine. However, it never grew beyond 14 units, a level it reached in 2016.

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