Owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is looking to buy more chains

NRD Capital on Tuesday announced the formation of a platform company called Experiential Brands, headed by Fuzzy’s CEO Paul Damico.
Fuzzy's Taco Shop
Photo courtesy Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is the first chain to be part of a new acquisitive platform company called Experiential Brands, owner NRD Capital announced Tuesday.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop CEO Paul Damico will now also serve as chief executive of Experiential Brands, the company announced, as it seeks to “acquire truly experiential brands in the food and beverage space.”

Despite the rise of concepts focused on off-premise sales, these acquisitions will focus on diners looking for an in-restaurant experience, the company said.

“We believe there is still a place in the market for guests who are searching for a ‘dining experience,’” Damico said in a statement. “There is an experience our fans love about Fuzzy’s in addition to the Baja flavor profile of the food. Whether it’s the full bar, our laidback patios, the music, TVs, or overall ambiance, guests see out the physical restaurant to get the full Fuzzy’s experience.”

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, which was founded in 2003, now has nearly 150 locations in 17 states. The chain intends to double its number of restaurants over the next five years, while adding new concepts to its platform.

“We’re thrilled to launch Experiential Brands, and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop is the optimal anchor of the platform because of its energy and unique offering,” Damico said in a statement. “We are actively looking for additional exciting brands to continue to build out the portfolio.”

Private equity firm NRD Capital acquired Fort Worth, Texas-based Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in 2016. At that time, Fuzzy’s had about 90 restaurants in 11 states.

Restaurant brand collectors have been busy this year.

BurgerFi earlier this month acquired Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, calling it the first purchase in its quest to “building a premium multibrand platform.” Famous Dave’s parent BBQ Holdings has acquired Tahoe Joe’s and Village Inn. And Fat Brands spent $300 million to buy Twin Peaks after earlier spending $442.5 million to pick up multi-concept Global Franchise Group.

UPDATE: The headline of the story was changed to clarify that Experiential Brands will be the one buying restaurant chains. 

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