L Catterton invests in upstart breakfast and lunch concept Urban Egg

The chain's nine units are concentrated in Colorado, with only one store outside the state. Catterton calls its investment "significant."
Urban Egg
An Urban Egg. / Photo courtesy of Urban Egg

Restaurant financier L Catterton is heating up competition in the emerging daytime dining market with what it calls a “significant investment” in Urban Egg, a nine-unit regional player.

The terms of the deal were not revealed.

Currently, eight of Urban Egg’s branches are located in Colorado. The 10-year-old concept recently moved outside its home state last year with the opening of a store in Kansas.

The brand, founded by Salsa Brava creator Randy Price and his spouse, Liz Price, serves breakfast, brunch and lunch but is closed for dinner. The segment where it competes is sometimes called the one-shift market because employees work only from morning through mid-afternoon, facilitating the recruitment of workers who need to mind their children after school.

Contenders in the market tend to generate high volumes, with a significant portion of sales coming from high-margin alcohol sales.

Leaders in the field include First Watch, Another Broken Egg, Toasted Yolk and Yolk.

Denny’s and Cracker Barrel have entered the market through the purchase of Keke’s and Maple St. Biscuit Co., respectively.

"Daytime dining is one of the most attractive segments of the restaurant sector and has proven resilient throughout cycles with consistent year-over-year growth," Jon Owsley, co-managing partner of the L Catterton’s Growth Fund, said in a prepared statement. "Randy and the Urban Egg team have created a fantastic dining experience that has attracted frequent visitation and loyalty among its customer base.”

L Catterton, a long-standing private-equity investor, has fueled the expansion of such restaurant brands as P.F. Chang’s, Noodles & Co., Chop’t, Piada, Hopdoddy, Velvet Taco and Primanti Bros. Its list of past and current investments also includes First Watch.

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