Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a Placer.ai account? Log In

Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
December 13, 2023
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As

Mergers and acquisitions are gaining popularity in the restaurant space as the current economic climate continues to squeeze dining margins. We look at three recent restaurant mergers to see what the data reveals about these deals.

  1. Main Squeeze Juice: Expanding To Include Up and Coming Families

Main Squeeze Juice Co. opened its first store in New Orleans in 2017 and has since grown to 28 locations across several southern states. The company acquired I Love Juice Bar in March 2023 with the intention of merging the two companies under the “Main Squeeze Juice Co.” banner, adding 23 units to the Louisiana-based juice chain and enhancing operational efficiency. And since most of I Love Juice’s venues operate in states where Main Squeeze has yet to establish a presence, the deal will help Main Squeeze expand into new markets.

But the merger is not just about quantity; it's a qualitative step in expanding Main Squeeze's demographic reach. Analyzing the two chains’ captured market trade areas using the STI: Popstats 2022 dataset reveals that Main Squeeze, with its trade area median household income (HHI) of $83.5K/year, tends to attract relatively high-income visitors. Meanwhile,visitors to I Love Juice tend to come from more middle-income neighborhoods – the chain has a trade area median HHI of $70.7K/year, closer to the nationwide median HHI of $69.5K. This difference is not just geographic – in Texas, for example, where both chains operate, the median HHI in Main Squeeze’s trade area is significantly higher than that of I Love Juice. 

Using the Spatial.ai PersonaLive dataset to look at the psychographic makeup of the chains’ captured market also reveals differences between the two brands’ audiences. Main Squeeze visitors tend to hail from more family-friendly areas, and its trade area has a higher share of "Ultra Wealthy Families," "Wealthy Suburban Families," and “Upper Suburban Diverse Families'' than that of I Love Juice. Meanwhile, I Love Juice attracts more "Young Professionals." This means that the merger positions Main Squeeze to capture a coveted customer base – young, upwardly mobile professionals – while retaining its stable foundation of high-earning families.

  1. Subway: Keeping Things Fresh

Subway is the largest food chain in the country by number of locations, with over 20,000 sandwich shops throughout the United States. The chain has experienced a challenging few years, culminating in an August sale to private equity firm Roark Capital, also owns sandwich chains Jimmy John’s and Arby’s. 

Subs were particularly popular with dining consumers in 2023, perhaps due to their relative affordability and simplicity during these times of ongoing economic uncertainty. And the acquisition of Subway expands Roark Capital offers the equity firm a unique advantage to reach particularly dedicated sandwich aficionados. 

Almost half of Arby’s and Jimmy John’s visitors also visited Subway between December 2022 and November 2023, compared to around a quarter of Subway and Jimmy John’s visitors who also visited Arby’s. Just 7.2% and 10.2% of Subway and Arby’s visitors, respectively, also visited Jimmy John’s. This means that a large portion of Roark Capital’s existing sandwich chains’ audience already patronizes Subway – and the deal gives Roark the opportunity to shape the chains’ respective strategies so they can operate in synergy in the sandwich market.    

  1. Ruth’s Chris: Cornering the Market

Darden Restaurants Inc. is a force in the dining scene, with nine chains that run the gamut from fine dining to casual eating. The company, which operates over 1,900 restaurants across its various banners, recently acquired fine-dining chain Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

By acquiring Ruth’s Chris, Darden is significantly expanding its fine dining portfolio. The steakhouse joins the two other high-end Darden chains in Darden’s portfolio – Eddie V’s and The Capital Grille – and now accounts for 47.8% of all fine-dining visits to Darden banners.   And since Ruth’s Chris is slightly more accessible than the other two chains – its trade area median HHI is $85.0K, compared to $96.4K and $99.0K for Eddie V’s and Capital Grille, respectively – the acquisition may help Darden reach a wider spectrum of fine dining guests.

Merging and Shaking

Acquisitions can help small businesses streamline efforts and cut overhead costs while allowing larger brands to expand their reach to more audiences. With more dining M&As expected in the coming year, what will be the big restaurant acquisitions of 2024?  

Visit placer.ai/blog to find out.

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Placer.ai Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Subway
Text Link
Main Squeeze Juice
Text Link
Ruth's Chris
Crocs’ Footwear Fairytale
Who Attends NCAA Final Four Events?
Eclipse Fever: How Did the (Retail and Hospitality) Stars Align?
Exploring Albertsons Companies’ Grocery Growth
Placer.ai Mall Index: March 2024 Recap – Malls Rise Again
Placer.ai Office Index: March 2024 Recap
Florida Spring Break Break-Up? Travelers Still Love Florida!
Provo-Orem and Ogden-Clearfield Emerging As Utah Hotspots 
Three Formulas for Experiential Retail in 2024
Aldi & Lidl Making The Cut
Texas Suburbs on the Rise
Exploring Luxury Hotel Brands’ Guest Segmentation
The St. Patrick’s Day Effect
How Can JOANN Make a Comeback?
Panera Bread Well Positioned for Possible IPO
Who Will Benefit From Family Dollar’s Downsizing?
Dave & Buster’s and Main Event Entertainment: Food and Fun for Everyone
Darden Brands: Location Analytics and Consumer Behavior
Nike and lululemon: a Strong 2023, Sprinting into 2024
Where Is Retail and Dining Foot Traffic Thriving in Early 2024?
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – February 2024
Three Retail & Dining Chains That May Surprise in 2024
Specialty Discount Chains Rock Retail Therapy
Placer.ai Mall Index: February 2024
Placer.ai Office Index: February 2024 Recap
Ulta Beauty Continues To Shine
First Watch Sails Into 2024
Hibbett Sports and DICK’S Sporting Goods: A Psychographic Analysis
Checking in With Discount & Dollar Stores
Peeking Behind The Curtain: Movie Theaters in 2023 and Beyond
Diving Into Brick-and-Mortar Eyewear
Getting Into Gear: Exploring The Auto Part Industry
Recapping Valentine’s Day 2024 Foot Traffic Trends
Fitness: A Strong Start to 2024
Dutch Bros. Continues To Percolate Visits
Super Bowl 2024: Placer.ai’s Postgame Foot Traffic Analysis
CAVA & sweetgreen Are On the Rise
Hats Off For Off-Price
Who Is Shopping at Malls?
Drilling Down Into Home Improvement
Walmart, Target, Costco & Superstore Space 2023 Recap
Catching Up With Shake Shack and Wingstop
Something To Chew On: Demographic Shifts at Steakhouse Chains
Placer.ai Office Index: Looking Back at 2023
Recapping RBI & Yum! Brands’ 2023 Foot Traffic Performance
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – January 2024
Who Shops at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters?
Three Taco Chains to Watch in 2024
Starbucks and Dunkin’: 2023 in Four Data Points
Who Visits CVS and Walgreens?
Fashionably Frugal: Apparel in 2023
Catching Up With Fast Food
The Grocery Sector in 2023: An End-of-Year Recap
3 Mall & Shopping Center Trends for 2024
Bakery Chains Rising To The Top
Placer.ai and Esri Partner to Deliver Geospatial Analytics
Tampa Tourism Trends
Going For The Green: The Changing Dynamics Of Country Clubs
Christmas Day Dining Recap
Major Urban Shopping Districts – Holiday Season Recap
Placer.ai Office Index: December 2023 Recap
Recapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – December 2023
7 Retail & Dining Segments to Watch in 2024
Diving Into Holiday Season Favorites
Super Saturday and Christmas Eve Eve: A Winning Combination
3 Budget Grocery Chains Finishing 2023 On a High Note
Making It In America: International Chicken Chains Bring The Heat
Domestic Tourism at a Glance: A Q3 2023 Roundup
Five Pizza Chains On The Rise
Jewelry Brands Taking Advantage of the DTC Opportunity
Secondhand News: Kids' Thrift Shops
Recapping 2023’s Dining M&As
MetLife Stadium Kicks Off Football Season
Placer.ai Office Index: November 2023 Recap
Small Coffee Chains Brewing Big Success
Placer.ai White Paper Recap – November 2023
Thanksgiving Travel 2023 Recap
Checking in With Nike and Lululemon
Black Friday 2023 Retail Recap
Starbucks’ 2023 Holiday Menu & Red Cup Day Performance
Turkey Wednesday 2023
Who Attended the 2023 Pickleball Championship? 
Three Surprising Holiday Shopping Trends
What’s in Store for Ulta Beauty This Holiday Season?
Best Buy and Department Stores: A Holiday Deep Dive
Discount & Dollar Stores: Strength Toward The End of the Year
The State of Off-Price Retail: Discounts Seal The Deal
Placer Mall Index Recap: October 2023
Placer.ai Office Index: October 2023 Recap
Retail Corridors Ahead of the 2023 Holiday Season
California, Here Gap Comes
Checking in With Home Improvement
Getting Into the Glasses Game: Warby Parker Takes Over
Fitness Positioned for a Strong 2023 Finish
White Paper Recap: October 2023
Coffee Giants Brewing Up Business
Popeyes and Burger King Lead the Way
Diving into Yum!
Looking Ahead to Black Friday 2023