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Thursday, Dec 7, 2023

Fat Brands Buys Barbecue Chain

Fat Brands Inc. now owns Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill barbecue restaurants.

The barbecue chain, which has 62 locations in 16 states, is the 18th brand to join the Beverly Hills company and is its first barbecue concept. The acquisition, a $30 million deal, was announced on Sept. 26.

Fat Brands also owns Round Table Pizza, Johnny Rockets, Fatburger, Hot Dog on a Stick and Fazoli’s, among other restaurant chains.

Fat Brands counts Smokey Bones, based in Aventura, Florida, as its second “polished” casual dining chain. The first was sports bar Twin Peaks, which it purchased for $300 million in 2021. 

The company bought the barbecue chain from Sun Capital Partners, a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts in Boca Raton, Florida. 

Fat Brands co-chief executive Rob Rosen said that the company continues to be selective and opportunistic in its acquisition strategy, targeting brands that are both scalable and synergistic with its existing platform.

“We are pleased to add another polished dining brand, which will provide more options for our sales team to offer our franchise partners to further their new unit development,” Rosen said in a statement.

Hal Lawlor, president of Smokey Bones, said the company employees are excited to become part of the Fat Brands family and benefit from its purchasing power and scale.

“Additionally, we see great opportunity in being a part of a leading global franchising company to further our growth with new franchised locations,” Lawlor said in a statement. 

Lawlor became president of Smokey Bones in June after serving for about four years as chief operating officer.

Andy Wiederhorn, the founder and chair of Fat Brands, said that as the company has spent the last year focusing on digesting past acquisitions, it has also been amplifying the growth in its polished dining vertical. 

“Having a strong player in the barbecue space provides another arrow in our quiver for the polished dining segment and opens the door for additional growth strategies for our sister brands,” Wiederhorn said in a statement.

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