The 27-unit Tokyo Joe’s chain has been acquired by Salad Collective, the parent company of MAD Greens and Snappy Salads, the companies announced Monday.
Terms were not disclosed, but Denver-based Tokyo Joe’s, 26, will be part of the Golden, Colo.-based Salad Collective portfolio and will continue to operate as a third brand within the group.
In what has been described as a collaborative transition, Darden Coors, CEO of Salad Collective, will become CEO of Tokyo Joe’s, replacing founder Larry Leith, who plans to move on to new projects after helping with the merger. The company said the rest of Tokyo Joe’s management team and support staff will remain with the brand.
“Aligning with the Salad Collective places our brand in a strong position for our future – Tokyo Joe locations are incredible community gathering places where we have created incredible relationships with our guests and employees. I am 100% behind Salad Collective, the synergies between our teams, the values we share and the commitment to our employees and guests all run parallel,” Leith said in a statement. “Bringing these two companies together will make them even stronger, leveraging best practices, resources and teams of great people.”
Leith pioneered the fast-casual segment when he opened Tokyo Joe’s in 1996 with build-your-own rice and noodle bowls, sushi and made-to-order salads. The chain includes 24 units in Colorado and three in Phoenix.
Although MAD Greens and Tokyo Joe’s markets overlap, Coors said the move was to integrate another health-focused brand with “unique global flavors”, a quality menu and a popular loyalty program, into the mixture of the collective.
“We found a natural connection in terms of brand values, vibrant cultures, customer engagement and a commitment to delicious, accessible and better-for-you food,” Coors said in a statement. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to join forces with a great team and set up the three Collectives brands for long-term success.”
The Coors family behind the eponymous brewery formed AC Restaurants Group in 2013 to acquire MAD Greens, which at the time had 11 units, with Darden Coors as CEO. Since then, MAD has more than doubled to 25 units.
In 2019, the company acquired Snappy Salads, which then had 13 units. With this merger, the company was renamed Salad Collective, which, along with Tokyo Joe’s, will operate 65 company-owned restaurants from Golden’s headquarters.
With the announcement, however, Salad Collective also said it was preparing MAD Greens for selective franchising later this year, and was also evaluating non-traditional growth through licensing at airports, colleges and other locations. other high volume locations.
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