Considering an IPO? Put this on your calendar

A session at this year's Restaurant Leadership Conference will focus on the factors to consider, with executives of Dutch Bros and First Watch sharing their firsthand experiences.
Josh Ricci, CEO of Dutch Bros | Chris Tomasso, CEO of First Watch Restaurants

Is a public stock offering the appropriate next step for your operation? Veterans of several high profile 2021 IPOs will take the stage at the Restaurant Leadership Conference next month to share what factors to consider based on their experiences.

Participating will be Joth Ricci, CEO of the Dutch Bros drive-thru coffee chain; Chris Tomasso, CEO of the daytime dining operation First Watch Restaurants; and Damon Chandik, co-head and managing director of consumer investment banking for Piper Sandler & Co.

The keynote session will be moderated by Restaurant Business Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Maze.

The two participating chains raised about $655 billion via IPOs last year—$484 million by Dutch Bros, $170 million by First Watch.  They were among the wave of restaurant offerings that broke a five-year drought within the industry. The 2021 class also included Portillo’s and Sweetgreen. Krispy Kreme returned to the equity markets through an offering as well.

More brands are expected to pursue that funding route. Fogo de Chao, MOD Pizza and Panera Brands have already filed the regulatory paperwork to go public at some later date.  Cooper's Hawk and Tropical Smoothie Cafe have also been identified as companies considering an IPO.

“It’s not like the companies that went public last year are all killing it on Wall Street,” said Maze, RB’s lead financial writer. “At least a few have seen their stock prices dip from the offering price. But that route is still interesting private-equity companies looking for an exit strategy.”

Financing is one of several C-suite issues that will get a sharp focus at this year’s Restaurant Leadership Conference. Other topics include how to weather current challenges in the supply chain; the pros and cons of virtual brands; labor; artificial intelligence’s future in the restaurant industry; mining a chain’s loyalty data; new forms of marketing; and a C-suiter’s guide to menu trends.

The conference will be held April 10-13 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Click here for the full agenda.  The event is hosted by Winsight Media, the parent of Restaurant Business.

Click here to request an invitation.

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