Financing

Cracker Barrel acquires Maple Street Biscuit Co.

The company plans to fold its Holler & Dash brand into the newly acquired fast-casual concept following the $36 million deal.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Cracker Barrel is trading one biscuit chain for another.

The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company on Friday said it has acquired 33-unit Maple Street Biscuit Co. for $36 million in an all-cash deal, its second major investment in a growth chain in just a few months.

It also plans to fold its 3-year-old Holler & Dash brand into the newly acquired fast-casual chain. Cracker Barrel said it plans to convert the seven Holler & Dash units into Maple Street Biscuit Co. locations in the coming months.

Scott Moore, Maple Street’s co-founder, will remain CEO of that brand and will report directly to Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra Cochran.

“The breakfast and lunch-focused fast-casual category is an attractive segment, and our experience with Holler & Dash has reinforced this belief,” Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra Cochran said in a statement. “We have long admired Maple Street Biscuit Company, with its emphasis on made-from-scratch food and hospitality.”

Maple Street has average unit volumes of more than $1 million and store-level earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of 17% of net sales.

Cochran said Maple Street “is a proven brand with attractive unit economics and strong growth potential.”

The acquisition comes less than a month after Cracker Barrel revealed plans to move forward as a three-concept company, anchored by the 660-unit highwayside family-dining chain that is its namesake.

It will also include Punch Bowl Social, the eatertainment chain that Cracker Barrel invested in earlier this year. Cracker Barrel agreed to invest up to $140 million in the chain.

But it will have all of Maple Street, which in a few months will grow unit count by 21% with the Holler & Dash conversions. Moore and Gus Evans founded the chain in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2012. The brand currently has 28 company restaurants and five franchise units in seven states.

In a statement, Moore said that Cracker Barrel and Maple Street “share many similarities such as scratch cooking and an emphasis on hospitality.”

“I believe Cracker Barrel will help us grow our brand and further achieve our mission of helping people, serving others, and being a part of the community,” he said.

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