Dallas restaurant group nears deal to sell brand for $225 million

Dallas-based Fiesta Restaurant Group is nearing a deal to sell its Pollo Tropical brand for $225 million, according to a Wall Street Journal report citing people familiar with the matter.

The buyer, Authentic Restaurant Brands, plans to add the fast-casual chain to its existing restaurant brand portfolio, the Journal reported. The New York-based company operates Primanti Bros. restaurant and bar, P.J. Whelihan’s pub and restaurant and Mambo Seafood.

The deal is expected to be made official by Monday, the Journal said.

Fiesta owns and operates 137 Pollo Tropical restaurants in Florida. It also has 30 franchised restaurants in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Panama, Guyana and the Bahamas. The average annual sales per restaurant was about $2.8 million last year, according to company filings.

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The company’s revenue rose over 8% in 2022 to $387.4 million, although it lost $14.6 million on the year. It continued to lose money in its most recent quarterly results.

To offset rising labor and food costs, Fiesta raised menu prices last year by 5% in March, 1.4% in June and 4% in September. It implemented an additional 5% increase this March.

Fiesta previously owned the Taco Cabana chain, which it sold in 2021 for $85 million to California-based YTC Enterprises.

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