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Woworks acquired Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, a 54-unit fast casual chain, and Zoup Eatery, a 68-unit fast casual chain, in a press release this past Thursday. 

Zoup will continue to be run separately by Eric Ersher, founder and previous CEO of Zoup Systems. 

With these acquisitions, Woworks will own six brands and over 400 restaurant locations.

Since its birth in 2020, Woworks, the parent company of Saladworks, has focused on adding healthy fast casual brands to its portfolio. The company acquired Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls in 2020 and The Simple Greek last year. Woworks has also targeted expansion, adding 60 restaurant units last year and signing 28 new franchise agreements, which represented 112 new units.

The company may be buying these chains in consumer distress - with a consistent downtrend in consumer sentiment in all but one of the transactions. Garbanzo, Frutta and Simple Greek were in dire consumer downtrends at the date of the sale. Zoup however has been a solid performer on overall sentiment and Barberitos was also a falling knife of consumer dissatisfaction according to Foodable Labs sentiment data.

Barberitos and Zoup could also grow using Woworks’ network of nontraditional locations, including ghost kitchens through partnerships with Ghost Kitchens and Combo Kitchens, as well as grocery stores, airports, colleges, and universities.
Woworks acquired Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina, a 54-unit fast casual chain, and Zoup Eatery, a 68-unit fast casual chain, in a press release this past Thursday.  Zoup will continue to be run separately by Eric Ersher, founder and previous CEO of Zoup Systems.  With these acquisitions, Woworks will own six brands and over 400 restaurant locations. Since its birth in 2020, Woworks, the parent company of Saladworks, has focused on adding healthy fast casual brands to its portfolio. The company acquired Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls in 2020 and The Simple Greek last year. Woworks has also targeted expansion, adding 60 restaurant units last year and signing 28 new franchise agreements, which represented 112 new units. The company may be buying these chains in consumer distress - with a consistent downtrend in consumer sentiment in all but one of the transactions. Garbanzo, Frutta and Simple Greek were in dire consumer downtrends at the date of the sale. Zoup however has been a solid performer on overall sentiment and Barberitos was also a falling knife of consumer dissatisfaction according to Foodable Labs sentiment data. Barberitos and Zoup could also grow using Woworks’ network of nontraditional locations, including ghost kitchens through partnerships with Ghost Kitchens and Combo Kitchens, as well as grocery stores, airports, colleges, and universities. read more read less

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