Cava nabs a $190 million investment

The parent of Mediterranean brands Cava and Zoes Kitchen will use the money to fuel expansion on several fronts.
Photo: Shutterstock

The owner of Mediterranean chains Cava and Zoes Kitchen received a $190 million investment to fuel expansion on several fronts, the company announced Tuesday.

Cava’s Series F funding round, which was led by T. Rowe Price Group, comes less than 18 months after the operator secured a $40 million investment.

The Washington, D.C.-based fast-casual company has raised more than $640 million since 2015, with a source telling Bloomberg that Cava is valued at close to $1.3 billion.  Cava acquired Zoes Kitchen for $300 million in November 2018.

Cava plans to convert more than 50 Zoes Kitchen locations into Cava units this year. The brand also plans to enter several new markets, with a focus on suburban locations, including 14 new stores in Atlanta.

The latest cash infusion will also fund the brand’s consumer packaged goods line, expanding on its packaged dips and spreads sold in Whole Foods stores across the country.

Cava also said it would use the funding to expand its tech platform, including plans to invest in “next-gen technologies, laying the foundation for further channel diversification in the future,” the company said in a statement.

Cava and Zoes are a tale of two brands. Cava ended 2020 with 105 units and sales growth of 4.5% over the prior year, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company, Technomic. Zoes Kitchen had 237 units in 2020, down 7.4% from the year before. It also saw its sales decline 17% in 2020, according to Technomic.

Cava’s latest funding round was also contributed to by The Invus Group, Declaration Partners, Equilibra Partners Management, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners, Mousse Partners, Revolution Growth and Lighthouse Investment Partners, the company said.


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