Broomfield, CO (RestaurantNews.com) CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., the largest craft brewery restaurant operator in the country, announced today the acquisition of seven existing Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom locations from longtime franchise partner OCI Enterprises, Inc. The restaurants are located across the Southeast, with a presence in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Today, they are open for business and now operate as corporate-owned restaurants.
“We developed a tremendous partnership with OCI Enterprises over the years and are truly impressed with the way they’ve successfully operated their Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom restaurants in the Southeast,” said Srinivas Kumar, chief executive officer of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. “As tenured operators looking for retirement options, CraftWorks was keen to participate in a purchase of the locations as it would not only expand Old Chicago’s corporate portfolio, but would also help accelerate growth in the region, as Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana are target development areas for the brand.”
The deal with OCI Enterprises will have no effect on employees or guests. The approximate 500 jobs across the restaurants remain post-closing, and guests will continue to receive the same outstanding service and craft beer experience. Under OCI Enterprises’ operational leadership, the restaurants have generated $21 million in total revenue, exceeding the system average AUV, and are poised for continued success.
“We’ve had an incredible run with CraftWorks and Old Chicago, and are grateful for the successful relationship we maintained with the executive team over the last 11 plus years,” said Harold Wallace, principal of OCI Enterprises. “We took pride in serving our communities such high-quality food and providing our guests with unparalleled craft beer offerings, and have the utmost confidence that the corporate team will continue to deliver the exceptional service and experience our guests have come to know us for.”
Old Chicago experienced record-breaking success in 2015 achieving $254 million in system-wide revenue, and is currently reporting 29 consecutive months of positive comp sales. Old Chicago also launched its new restaurant prototype – a 5,000 square feet build with an additional 1,000 – 1,200 square feet of outdoor patio space, a new kitchen and upgraded bar technology. To further enhance the experience, the company has also updated its training programs and guest proven menu categories.
A growing brand with over 16 years of successful franchise partnerships, Old Chicago is an established multi-unit concept with proven processes to support franchisees with site selection, lease agreements, facility design, operational training and marketing. To fuel franchise growth, the company is seeking multi-unit operators with business, management and foodservice and/or restaurant experience, and a passion for and commitment to exceptional customer service. For information about franchise opportunities, visit www.ocfranchising.com.
CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc. is the largest craft brewery restaurant operator in the country with nearly 200 franchised and company-owned restaurants primarily operating under the Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants, Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries and ChopHouse & Brewery brands. As a leader in the craft beer focused casual dining segment, CraftWorks also operates strong regional brands, and employs more than 12,000 people throughout the U.S. All of CraftWorks’ restaurant brands have innovative menus with made-from-scratch food and a vast selection of unique craft beer, as well as unbeatable service and loyalty programs with over a million active members. Based in Broomfield, Colo., CraftWorks is not only committed to serving its loyal guests, but also the communities in which its restaurants operate. The CraftWorks Foundation has contributed millions of dollars, positively impacting communities throughout the country. For additional information about CraftWorks, the Foundation, and its restaurant brands, please visit www.craftworksrestaurants.com.
About Old Chicago
Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom is a leader in the casual dining restaurant segment, specializing in the best local and regional craft beer, serving handcrafted pizza and distinctive taproom fair. Founded in 1976, the crave-able Old Chicago menu has played a complementary role to the vast craft beer selection, a concept differentiator to this day. With over 30 craft beers on tap, Old Chicago is also the home of the World Beer Tour, which rewards members for enjoying 110 of the best craft beers from across the globe. Old Chicago operates in 24 states with more than 100 restaurants nationwide. Visit www.oldchicago.com to learn more and to find the restaurant nearest you. For information about franchise opportunities, visit www.ocfranchising.com.