Arguably one of the most successful multiconcept operators in the U.S., Danny Meyer has turned to investing. Last year, Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group raised $200 million, from third-party investors and USHG itself, and used it to form Enlightened Hospitality Investments. The fund will invest primarily in “fast-casual restaurants and technology companies that fuel hospitality,” it said last year. Mark Leavitt, Union Square’s chief investment officer, runs the fund.
Leavitt said the goal is to fund three to four companies a year over five years. The fund has invested in Joe Coffee, ice cream concept Salt & Straw and Resy Network, which supplies software to restaurants. Enlightened Hospitality also offers operational advice to companies it works with.
“EHI provides us with a strategic investment vehicle to formalize future transactions and bring the benefits of our experience and relationships … to beloved companies that share our passion for our team and community.”
—Danny Meyer, Union Square Hospitality Group