Atlanta Business Chronicle: Farm Burger Gets Beefy Investment to Fuel Expansion
By: Amy Wenk (As seen in the Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Dec 8, 2016 – An Atlanta private equity firm is beefing up a local better burger chain.
Georgia Oak Partners LLC is investing $8 million into Atlanta-based Farm Burger.
The money will help fuel Farm Burger’s expansion across the Southeast. It looks to grow to Memphis, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Greenville, S.C.; and Athens, Ga. It also wants to open additional locations in metro Atlanta.
“This really helps us have a lot of good expertise and a wealth of experience to help grow our small company,” said George Frangos, who launched Farm Burger’s first location in 2010 with Jason Mann. “We are at stage where you need more help behind the scenes.”
Farm Burger attributes its success to its sourcing of ingredients, said Frangos.
“Consumers are increasingly seeking more knowledge about the food that they consume: that it is ethically sourced, locally grown, and free of hormones and antibiotics,” said Michael Lonergan, managing director of Georgia Oak. “This is exactly what the Farm Burger promise is all about. Their model combines grass-fed, humanely-raised beef with a program of working with local farmers to supply the freshest ingredients.”
Lonergan added the two companies are a good fit because of their commitment to working with local partners.
“Farm Burger’s chef-driven approach gives customers a culinary offering that is virtually unparalleled in the fast-casual category,” he said.
Today, Farm Burger has nine locations in Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and California. That includes three in metro Atlanta: Dunwoody, Buckhead and Decatur. All are company-owned, not franchises.
Two more locations are now in the works.
Farm Burger will come to Atlanta Falcons’ new home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where it will occupy a spot near the “Window to the City,” a floor-to-ceiling glass feature with views of the Atlanta skyline.
At the stadium, Farm Burger will offer “The No. 1 FB Burger,” a grass-fed beef burger with white cheddar, caramelized onions and special sauce. It will also sell its garlic fries and a cheeseburger.
Farm Burger also has a new location in the works for Birmingham, Ala.
For Georgia Oak, the Farm Burger deal marks the company’s second large investment in a Georgia restaurant chain.
In 2013, Georgia Oak also invested Your Pie, a fast-casual pizza concept out of Athens that serves up custom pies.