Hargett Hunter, TriSpan buy majority of STACKED

Hargett Hunter and TriSpan have a majority stake in STACKED. Financial terms weren’t announced. Co-founders Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy will remain as co-CEOs. STACKED, of Huntington Beach, California, a contemporary casual dining brand, has five locations in California.


Hargett Hunter, a North Carolina-based private equity firm focused exclusively on the hospitality industry, together with Rising Stars, the dedicated restaurant platform of TriSpan, a global Private Equity firm with offices in New York and London, is pleased to announce that together they have acquired a majority stake in STACKED of Huntington Beach, California. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.


Founded in 2010, Stacked is a disruptive contemporary casual dining brand delivering experiential dining that allows guests to fully customize and personalize their meal. Since its founding, Stacked has garnered a loyal Southern California following for its made-to-order menu, including many award winning items like its fresh, tasty burgers and savoury mac and cheese. Stacked’s entertaining dining experience, rooted in its proprietary technology, empowers guests to use mobile devices to completely control their dining experience. Using the interactive system, guests can design their ideal meal from Stacked’s wide range of specialty ingredients.


Stacked was founded by and is led by casual dining industry leaders Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, who previously founded BJ’s Restaurants and Brewhouse, which today operates over 200 restaurants in the US and generates over $1 billion in annual sales. Motenko and Hennessy will remain in their current roles as co-CEOs of Stacked and, together with their new partners, will focus on continued operational improvement and unit expansion.


Hargett Hunter’s founder, Jeff Brock, shared, “Stacked is a differentiated growth brand that successfully pairs approachable, delicious food with a fun dining experience where customers control their interaction with the brand. It is a tremendous honor to partner with both Trispan and two of the best people in the restaurant industry – Paul and Jerry. We look very forward to supporting the world class team at Stacked in expanding this innovative and exciting brand.”


TriSpan’s Jessica Kates added, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Paul and Jerry and invest alongside the team at Hargett Hunter in what we believe is a very uniquely positioned restaurant concept that stands out in today’s environment.”


Commenting on the deal, Paul Motenko, Co-Founder, Stacked, said: “We are partnering with restaurant experts that share our vision for enhancing the full-service dining experience with hospitality driven personalization. Our relationship with the principals at Hargett Hunter extends six years, thereby creating a significant amount of comfort in our new partnership. The financial and operational resources provided by TriSpan, Hargett Hunter and others will be invaluable to Stacked as we accelerate our growth. Collectively, we’re very excited to continue to build what we believe can be a national brand.”


This transaction marks the fourth investment by Rising Stars, after their acquisition of Rosa Mexicano (www.rosamexicano.com), and investments in Rosa’s Thai (London-based; www.rosasthaicafe.com) and Yardbird (www.runchickenrun.com) in less than 12 months. This transaction marks the third investment from the Hargett Hunter platform, after previous investments in 2016 in Original ChopShop (www.originalchopshop.com) and Bellagreen, an American Bistro (www.bellagreen.com).


About Hargett Hunter

Hargett Hunter is a unique private equity firm that invests exclusively in emerging and established restaurant chains generating a minimum of $10 million in annual sales. In addition to capital, Hargett Hunter offers industry leading resources in support of the growth plans commonly executed by emerging brands with less than 100 units. By focusing exclusively on US-based restaurant chains, Hargett Hunter offers significant hospitality industry expertise and is the preferred partner for investors looking for exposure to the restaurant industry and operators looking for a partner in growing their brands. Hargett Hunter is headquartered in Raleigh, NC. For more information, please visit www.hargetthunter.com.


About TriSpan – Rising Stars Fund

TriSpan is an independent and management-controlled private equity firm established in 2015 with offices in New York and London, and backed by leading family groups across the US, Europe and the Middle East. Rising Stars is TriSpan’s unique dedicated global restaurant fund whose in-house team of senior operating partners provide hands-on growth expertise to its portfolio companies. The Rising Stars partners have an exceptional restaurant investment and operating track record built over a period of 30 years. For more information, please visit www.trispanllp.com.


About Stacked Restaurants

Founded in 2010, Stacked is a disruptive contemporary casual dining brand with an experiential dining experience that allows guests to fully customize and personalize their meal. Enabled by proprietary technology, Stacked allows for complete customization of the dining experience, from the ingredients and related pricing to the pace of the meal. Stacked currently has five locations in California: Huntington Beach, Cerritos, Torrance, San Diego, and Thousand Oaks. For more information, please visit www.stacked.com.