Curry Up Now has acquired rival fast casual restaurant chain Tava Kitchen. The two companies call the deal a “strategic move to expand.”
Curry Up Now, founded in 2009, tries to take “traditional Indian flavors and present them in a friendly, recognizable way,” the company describes itself. The chain is known for tikka masala burritos and deconstructed samosas. Curry Up Now, headquarted in San Francisco, operates five restaurants in California along with five food trucks under same brand. The company also owns the Mortar & Pestle Bar.
Tava Kitchen, based in Palo Alto, California, is best known for making various “burotis,” Indian-influenced versions of Mexican burritos that replace tortillas with rotis. The majority of Tava’s restaurants in California have closed, and its other location will take on Curry Up Now’s name.
“With this acquisition, we are confident that we will be able to combine our vision of Indian food and a fantastic guest experience to grow the Curry Up Now brand worldwide,” says CEO Akash Kapoor. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Tava previously had backing from CircleUp Growth Fund, Kensington Capital, Agilic Capital and former Smashburger CEO David Prokupek through HiGrowth Advisors. Those investors exited their stakes as the result of the deal.
Both private equity and strategic buyers are buying up restaurants. PE firms are mostly going after regionally focused chains. For example, in 2016, Larsen MacColl Partners backed Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar. At the same time, strategic buyers are looking for new growth channels while diversifying their menus. Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International Inc. is buying Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) acquired Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen for $780 million; Golden Gate Capital bought Bob Evans Restaurants from Bob Evans Farms Inc. (Nasdaq: BOBE); and General Atlantic acquired a minority stake in Torchy’s Tacos. Restaurant deals helped make April an active month for M&A.