GET THE concept right and the growth potential is almost unlimited in the casual-dining sector, according to Vincent Mourre, managing partner of Mourre Participations.
“The growth potential is wide when you have one of these beautiful casual brands in your hands,” he said. “You don’t have a limit to your growth potential.”
Speaking at yesterday’s Food & Beverage Players’ Recipes session on how to develop concepts with a private-equity partner, Mourre said the sector had seen huge investment of late: “In the last two years we have seen incredible merger and acquisition activity in the food sector, with several milestone transactions that are completely reshaping our industry.” He said he had identified 14 milestone transactions in 2017 and 2018, which fall into three macro categories: growth, market consolidation and turnarounds.
Talking through the key transactions, Mourre said they were all good assets that had been traded at a 12-to-14-plus multiple. “It means there is a better understanding from the investors of the growth model of food brands,” he added.
Despite intense activity in the coffee sector, Mourre said there was still opportunity for more: “Keep an eye on the coffee industry. It has been completely reshaped in the last couple of years and that will continue.”
Although Mourre believes there is still huge potential for successful brands to grow — and for tired brands to reinvent themselves — he said attention had to be paid to delivering a quality offer. “Nothing is easy and the restaurant sector is based on consistency and a high standard of execution,” he added.