What happened the last time restaurants were this smitten with IPOs

Restaurant Rewind: The heyday of initial stock offerings were the 1990s, seen by some as casual dining's coming out party. Here's what we can learn from those days.

This episode of Restaurant Rewind is brought to you by Tock.

The restaurant industry’s romance with Wall Street is back on, with chain after chain set to find out how much the stock market loves them. Cava is expected to get a read this week, possibly followed by brands ranging from Gen Korean BBQ to Panera Bread and its sibling concepts, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Will the stampede set a new high-water mark for restaurant IPOs? Can the volume come close to the torrent of offerings that stock buyers embraced in the go-go 1990s? More than 70 foodservice companies sold themselves to the public that decade, led by steak and eatertainment concepts.

The flood of capital changed the business. Many regarded that time as the coming-out party for casual dining. Others saw it as the first time growth-for-growth’s-sake put the sector in trouble.

Join me on this week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind, where we’ll look back at those days of IPO after IPO. What can we learn from those times about what’s ahead for restaurant companies yearning to go public?

Download the episode from wherever you get your podcasts.

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