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Financing

Corner Bakery sold to Pandya Restaurant group

The struggling Roark-owned fast casual has been purchased by the new owner of Boston Market, real estate investor Jignesh Pandya.
Corner Bakery sale
Photograph: Shutterstock

Corner Bakery Cafe, which has been struggling with office workers still at home during the pandemic, has been acquired by Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands, the chain announced Thursday.

Corner Bakery, which had been owned by Roark Capital, had reportedly hired restructuring and financial advisors to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale, according to the publication Debtwire last month.

Pennsylvania-based Pandya Restaurant Growth Brands purchased Boston Market in April.

“Our acquisition of Corner Bakery aligns with what we believe families are seeking—high-quality, kitchen-crafted food and good, consistent customer service,” new owner Jignesh Pandya said in a statement.

Details of the acquisition were not announced.

Pandya’s group brings “access to resources that we need to continue to operate our business in this challenging environment,” Corner Bakery CEO Frank Paci said in a statement.

With the new investment, Corner Bakery will work on improving the guest experience, menu development and growth of the brand, Paci said.

Real estate investor Pandya acquired Boston Market, also a struggling chain, in April from Sun Capital Partners Inc. His company has owned Pizza Hut units as well as Checkers and Rally’s stores.

Roark Capital Group acquired Corner Bakery in 2011 from Il Fornaio Corporation. The fast-casual chain started in 1991 in Chicago and launched a franchising program in 2007.

Like many urban fast-casual concepts, Corner Bakery has struggled during the pandemic and has seen sharp declines in earnings and revenues since March, according to Debtwire. Corner Bakery had difficulties pre-pandemic, though, with average unit volumes declining 2.4% last year, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic.

Five years ago, Corner Bakery had 184 locations. The chain finished 2019 with 175 stores. The breakfast, lunch and dinner concept operates in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

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