Ruby Tuesday had been up for sale for some time in 2017 when it revealed it was to be sold to a name that was somewhat of a surprise—NRD Capital. The Atlanta-based private-equity firm is a relative newcomer, with investments in Frisch’s Big Boy and Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, though its managing partner, Aziz Hashim, is a longtime franchisee of numerous brands and is well-known in franchising circles, as are many of the firm’s principles.
What sets NRD Capital apart is that it portrays itself as a different kind of investment firm, one that is “franchisee-centric” and focuses on unit-level profitability of every brand. Franchisee partners who buy into the fund, for example, get the first shot at franchise territories for brands that NRD acquires, guaranteeing franchisees the chance to grow.
“The biggest difference of our fund is a maniacal focus on brands that will be good for the franchisee. The ultimate test is, ‘Would I sign a franchise deal with this brand?’”
—Aziz Hashim, NRD Capital