Nation's Restaurant News: &pizza scores investment from firm with NFL ties

By Jonathan Maze
Nation's Restaurant News, Oct 25, 2017

RSE Ventures, a sports and entertainment venture firm co-founded by the owner of the Miami Dolphins, has invested at least $25 million in the 23-unit fast casual pizza chain &pizza, the company announced on Wednesday. ... It’s the third funding round since 2015 for the Washington, D.C.-based chain, which has now received at least $60 million from investment firms over that period.

The latest funds will help the chain continue its East Coast expansion. The company has locations in D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. The funds will help the chain expand to Miami, Boston and open four to six new shops in New York City next year.

RSE Ventures is an investment firm that backs “forward thinking entrepreneurs in the sports, media and entertainment industries.” It was co-founded by Stephen Ross, chairman and founder of the global real estate firm Related Companies and the owner of the NFL’s Dolphins. ... Matt Higgins, RSE CEO and cofounder, said the company wants to “arm innovative and socially conscious brands with the tools they need to command their categories.”

He cited &pizza’s company culture — where more than 100 employees love the company so much they get the company’s ampersand tattooed on their person — and its growth in the fast casual pizza space. ...

The company has also taken some political stands, including arguing for increases in the minimum wage. Founder Michael Lastoria is an advocate for the push to pay restaurant workers at least $15 an hour. ...

“We wanted to create a scalable business that’s built on solid moral grounds,” Lastoria said in a statement. “And that’s why we thrive. We challenge ourselves at each stage of development to do the morally sound thing as well as make the sound business decision.” ...

Read more

Copyright 2017 Penton


Share +