Saladworks and Garbanza Mediterranean Fresh parent company, WOWorks announced Thursday the acquisition of fast-casual burrito and bowl concept, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, and fast-casual soup and sandwich concept, Zoup Eatery, for an undisclosed amount. As a result of these acquisitions, Centre Lane Partners, LLC-owned WOWorks now has six brands and 400 total restaurants in its portfolio.
“Today, we welcome both Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina and Zoup Eatery to the WOWorks family,” Kelly Roddy, CEO of WOWorks said in a statement. “These brands share our overall goal to grow into one of the largest plant-forward, good-for-you companies in the restaurant sector. Equally as important, both brands are in direct alignment with our WOWorks vision, mission and shared values. They are dedicated to fueling the passions of their team members, guests, partners and communities to give everyone the opportunity to live their best life.”
Barberitos was founded in 2000 in Athens, Georgia and has 54 taco and burrito restaurants throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. Zoup was founded in 1988 in Southfield, Michigan as a soup and sandwich eatery in the mid-central region of the United States. Zoup’s stores will be joining the WOWorks team but Zoup Specialty Products, LLC, will continue to operate separately by Eric Ersher, the founder and previous CEO of Zoup Systems.
WOWorks was founded in 2020 as a company of mainly plant-based and/or healthful brands, including SaladWorks, Frutta Bowls, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, and The Simple Greek. In 2021, Kelly Roddy told NRN that WOWorks plans to become “the largest plant-based restaurant company.” With these acquisitions, WOWorks will take over both brands’ infrastructure and operations to drive growth across numerous channels including both traditional and non-traditional formats like ghost kitchens, food trucks, grocery retail and traditional storefronts.
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