Perhaps no investor in growth chains has been as active in the restaurant space in recent years as L Catterton. The Connecticut-based private-equity firm has put money behind a wide swath of emerging concepts in recent years, from Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza to Velvet Taco and numerous chains in between. Other investments include Chop’t, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Piada Italian Street Food, Protein Bar, Snap Kitchen, Uncle Julio’s and Primanti Bros., among others. It’s focused on more than growth concepts, though; it was an investor in Noodles & Co., taking that company public in 2013 before reinvesting in the chain more recently. All along, the firm’s activity has helped fuel growth, particularly in fast casual.
Strategy: Amasses a major emerging-brand portfolio
Star holding: Velvet Taco