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Cracker Barrel buys Maple Street for $36M

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. has acquired emerging fast-casual brand Maple Street Biscuit Company in an all-cash deal valued at $36 million, the Lebanon, Tenn.-based casual dining chain announced Friday.

The purchase of the 33-unit Florida-based breakfast and brunch chain comes a few months after Cracker Barrel took a non-controlling position in Denver-based Punch Bowl Social, a Nation’s Restaurant News Hot Concept winner in 2018.  Cracker Barrel CEO Sandra B. Cochran said the company plans to convert its Holler & Dash Biscuit House units into Maple Street locations in the coming months. 

“The breakfast and lunch-focused fast casual category is an attractive segment, and our experience with Holler & Dash has reinforced this belief. We have long admired Maple Street Biscuit Company with its emphasis on made-from-scratch food and hospitality,” Cochran said in a statement. “It is a proven brand with attractive unit economics and strong growth potential, and it is positioned to become a leader in this category.”

Maple Street, which prides itself on its unconventional operational approach, was created by entrepreneurs with no restaurant experience. The counter-service chain is not open on Sundays, sells biscuit dishes at a flat dollar price (no cents involved) and does not call out orders by name or number.

MapleStreetKitchen_EXTCREDITNANCYLUNA.pngMaple Street co-founder Scott Moore calls the chain’s menu Southern “comfort food with a twist.”

Co-founder Gus Evans came up with the flakey buttery biscuit recipe for a menu of fried chicken sandwiches made with premium ingredients such as sautéed spinach, shiitake mushroom gravy and fried goat cheese. 

The menu also features waffles, a fried hashbrown cake, home fries, salads and oatmeal.  “We want to be a destination, not an option,” Moore said.

Moore said in a statement: “Our brands share many similarities such as scratch cooking and an emphasis on hospitality. I’m excited about this opportunity, and I believe Cracker Barrel will help us grow our brand and further achieve our mission of helping people, serving others, and being a part of the community.”

Moore will remain CEO of Maple Street, a 2019 NRN Hot Concept winner. He will report directly to Cochran.

This content was originally published here.

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