Salt Lake City, UT-based growth investment firm Mercato Partners closed its inaugural food and beverage fund, Savory, at $90m.
The vehicle will make investments into up-and-coming restaurant concepts by providing access to capital together with a team of experienced industry professionals to accelerate growth and operations.
To create this investment practice, Mercato Partners founder Greg Warnock partnered with restaurant industry veteran Andrew K. Smith along with several members of his leadership team.
Savory combines the experience of Smith and his team in developing and operating over 175 geographically diverse restaurant locations with the experience of Warnock and the Mercato Partners team in executing institutional investment strategies through various economic cycles and private equity practices.
Resources include expertise in real estate selection and negotiation, development and construction of each restaurant location, project and event management, talent recruiting, leadership training and development, supply chain/procurement, human resources, accounting, strategic financial planning, facilities management, sales and marketing, and more.
The current portfolio includes popular restaurant concepts Mo’Bettahs, R&R BBQ and Swig.
Founded in 2007, Mercato Partners provides capital and guidance to firms in periods of high growth. Focusing on under-served markets, the firm structures majority, minority, and secondary positions in market leaders with demonstrated high organic growth rates. The firm works with its in-house performance team and an extended network of advisors and service providers to accelerate growth. Across four distinct practices, the firm actively invests in technology, branded consumer, and food and beverage companies to accelerate their sales, market and build winning teams.