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There was troubled Moe's Southwest Grill, discontented Mama Fu's, and distressed PJ's Coffee. As of yesterday, there are two more: Shane's Rib Shack and Planet Smoothie. They have been sold to private equity firm Edmonds Capital LLC.
"It absolutely is not a sinking ship," says Raving Brands President Daryl Dollinger. "Of the three brands that we have left, they are in high-growth mode." Monkey Joe's, with 32 units, Flying Biscuit, with 8 units, and Boneheads Grilled Fish and Piri Piri Chicken, with 7 units, remain with the company. - QSR Magazine
Both Shane's and Planet Smoothie will operate under the newly created holding company of Petrus Brands Inc., based in Atlanta. Shane's Rib Shack founder, Shane Thompson, becomes president of Shane's Rib Shack and Chris Morocco, who has been the chief development officer for both brands, becomes the new CEO of Petrus Brands.
Over two years ago, Raving Brands, while in the honeymoon phase with its new acquisition, had a bodacious goal of reaching 2,000 locations across the country by 2020. Shane's Rib Shack back then had 40 units.
One of Shane's difficulties was that ribs were largely appreciated regionally. No one has been successful in building a national chain of rib franchises.
It now has more than 80 units. "The Shane's Rib Shack brand has grown very fast over the last few years under Raving Brands," explains Shane Thompson, who founded Shane's after leaving his corporate job to pursue what he calls the 'American Dream.'
But the ex-holding company struggles:
"After the exit of a lot of the executives at Raving, LaMastra included, we realized that we wanted to focus on some of the smaller concepts like Monkey Joes," Dollinger says.
...As capital becomes more difficult to come by, Dollinger's focus on emerging brands might pose a challenge. Most franchisees must have better credit, more front money, and past business experience to access the cash to open a unit—which wasn't always the case before the credit crisis.
"It's tighter than it's ever been definitely and it may even get worse," Dollinger says.— QSR Magazine