- Forty-three unit chain True Food Kitchen secured $100 million in funding led by new investors HumanCo and Manna Tree last week. The round was supported by existing investor Centerbridge Partners, the former owner of P.F. Chang’s.
- The wellness-focused, full-service brand will use the cash to grow its network and develop stores with smaller footprints, Christine Barone, CEO of True Food Kitchen, said in a statement.
- This invstment is True Food Kitchen’s largest to date, according to a press release, which may signal ongoing investor confidence in health-focused restaurant concepts.
True Food Kitchen already has plans to open an additional outpost in Edison, New Jersey, this fall. By 2024, the restaurant aims to open 10 locations across new and existing regions, Restaurant Business reports.
True Food Kitchen’s growth plans also involve a new brand entirely.
The full-service chain will launch a Phoenix-based fast casual concept in 2023, the publication reports, which will share True Food Kitchen’s emphasis on health-focused fare at a lower price point.
This fast casual concept will face stiff competition in the better-for-you restaurant category. Sweetgreen announced in August it would open at least 35 new restaurants by the end of the year — building on 20 units it launched earlier in 2022.
The brand plans to double its store count over the next three to five years and reach 1,000 units by the end of the decade. When Sweetgreen opened a store in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, it made roughly $15,000 in sales on its opening day.
Whole Foods founder John Mackey also plans to debut a wellness-focused restaurant chain called Love Life in Southern California next year. His company, Healthy America, has raised $31 million in 2022 to support its restaurant goals, as well as the development of medical wellness centers nationwide.
According to Scrape Hero, Sweetgreen has no outposts in Arizona, which could leave True Food Kitchen’s upcoming fast casual more room to grow in that market. True Food Kitchen’s affiliation with celebrity investors Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas may also give the chain a competitive edge with customers.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, the scale of the planned expansion for True Food’s fast casual brand was misstated. The company plans to open one unit in 2023.