Fast casual operator MOD Pizza has banked a $150m investment from private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to accelerate its growth in the market.
The chain said it had sold a “significant” stake in the business to the firm, as it looks to ramp up its activities in the US and UK.
Ken Giuriceo, CD&R Partner, and Paul Pressler, CD&R Partner and former CEO of Gap Inc. and senior Disney executive, will both join the MOD board of directors.
With 433 locations system-wide, MOD offers individual artisan-style pizzas and hand-tossed salads using any combination of over 30 toppings – all for the same set price.
Pizza is the fastest growing sub-category within the fast casual restaurant market, and MOD is the number one fast casual pizza concept in the US by unit count, with 100-plus stores opened in each of the last three years.
With this additional capital, MOD plans to maintain its rapid growth across existing and new markets in the US and internationally.
The company said it is aiming to reach approximately 1,000 locations over the next five years, creating more than 14,000 new jobs.
“We could not be happier with our new MOD partnership and we look forward to working closely with management on strategies and operational initiatives to ensure that the Company profitably achieves its ambitious growth plans,” said Ken Giuriceo, CD&R Partner. “The MOD team has created an exciting, market-leading business with a truly special culture and purpose.”
In addition to continued growth, MOD plans to enhance the experience it provides customers through investments in off-premise and digital capabilities, while continuing to look for ways to use its business as a platform to make a positive social impact.
Beginning with eight stores, MOD was founded in 2008 in Seattle by entrepreneurs already well known for building two successful restaurant businesses, Seattle Coffee Company and Carluccio’s.
Today, the company’s deep management team includes proven executives with broad and highly relevant experience at well-known restaurant companies such as Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread.
“Over the past 11 years, we have built MOD upon a conviction that we could build a best-in-class business by putting our people and the communities we serve first,” said Scott Svenson, co-founder and CEO, MOD Pizza.
“This strategic partnership with CD&R is further validation of our belief that profit and positive social impact can co-exist. We are incredibly energized by the opportunity to work with CD&R to scale the MOD brand, while continuing to build our people-first, purpose-driven culture.”