Gala Capital Partners (“GCP”), an investment firm focused on emerging restaurant franchise brands, announced today that it has purchased Rusty Taco from Inspire Brands. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Rusty Taco management team, led by Brendan Mauri, will continue with the brand and have co-invested in the acquisition.
Inspire Brands acquired a majority interest in the Rusty Taco brand as part of its purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings in 2018. Inspire successfully reinvigorated the brand, clarifying its positioning and rebranding back to “Rusty Taco” (from R Taco) to honor its legacy and founders. As a result, Inspire grew the system by over 50 percent, and the newest restaurants have set new opening sales records. In addition, QSR magazine recently recognized Rusty Taco as one of the “Best Restaurant Franchising Deals for 2022.”
“Inspire’s tightly integrated shared services model is optimized for brands at scale, and all our scaled brands have ample runway for continued growth. Therefore, we concluded that an owner focused on emerging brands would be the best partner for Rusty Taco’s next chapter of growth,” said Christian Charnaux, Chief Growth Officer, Inspire. “After a thorough vetting process, we believe that GCP is precisely that partner, and we will be cheering on the brand’s continued success.”
“Over the past decade, Rusty Taco has focused on creating a welcoming environment where guests can comfortably enjoy fresh and flavorful tacos, queso, and margaritas, and we are excited to continue this journey with a tremendous new partner, GCP, to guide our next phase of growth,” said Denise Fenton, Brand Director and Co-founder of Rusty Taco. “I want to thank Inspire Brands for the support and resources that propelled our national footprint, accelerated our growth, and drove increased AUVs and success across our four dayparts.”
GCP is a private investment firm based in Southern California founded by long-term restaurant operator, entrepreneur, and investor, Anand Gala. The firm invests in or acquires restaurant companies that are past proof of concept, feature capable management teams, and offer strong growth potential. Additionally, GCP focuses on restaurant franchisors with 25 – 500 units. Current investments include Dunn Brothers Coffee (2022, 60 units), Cicis Pizza (2021, 300 units), and MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes (2017, 100 units).
“We couldn’t be more positive about bringing Rusty Taco into the GCP portfolio. While the future looks bright, we also know that there’s fantastic opportunity right now for the brand,” said Anand Gala, who also brings an experienced perspective from investments in software, technology, and real estate development. “Rusty Taco offers competitive unit-level economics and investment returns, has manageable operations, and is in a dining segment that is on-trend, growing, and lacks strong competition. As a result, Rusty Taco will be a strong addition to the portfolio.”
Genesis Capital, LLC served as financial advisor, and DLA Piper LLP served as legal counsel to Inspire Brands.
All Points Public Relations
About Gala Capital Partners, LLC
Gala Capital Partners, LLC (GCP) is a private investment company started by Mr. Anand Gala. It is focused on long term investments in franchise brands ranging from 25-500 units. Mr. Gala has spent the past 30-plus years in various aspects of the franchise business, having been involved as an operator, developer, franchisee, investor and member of the Board of Directors of various franchised brands in the restaurant industry. Gala Capital Partners is headquartered in Costa Mesa, CA and has a demonstrated track record of structuring creative investment solutions with lower middle-market franchisors, with a special focus on helping founders, and their management teams, grow their brands beyond their initial stages. For more information, please visit their website at www.galacapitalpartners.com.
About Inspire Brands
Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose current portfolio includes more than 32,000 Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, and SONIC Drive-In locations worldwide. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit InspireBrands.com