Crack Shack investor Savory, which formed earlier this year, named its first chief executive: Shauna Smith.
Smith, who was previously a company president, will lead Savory Management Group as it pursues investments in emerging restaurant brands, the company announced Thursday morning. The $100 million growth fund was formed earlier this year as a new division of Salt Lake City-based Mercato Partners.
So far this year, Savory has announced two major investments: San Diego-based The Crack Shack and Austin, Texas-based Via 313. Smith has more than a decade of executive management experience in the food and beverage industry.
Prior to Savory, she co-founded Four Foods Group, a multi-brand operator of 170 restaurants.
"Shauna is an incredibly talented and respected leader with a proven track record of success across a variety of restaurant brands and businesses,” Greg Warnock, co-founder and managing director of Mercato Partners Savory Fund, said in a statement. “She has continued that success at Savory as the fund has closed new deals and substantially grown the footprint and revenue of its current portfolio companies, even amidst the pandemic.”
Smith, left, said the company’s brands “continue to innovate and thrive despite the challenges that the restaurant industry is facing across the country.”
“I owe that success to my team’s determination and expertise. We’ve got major plans on the horizon and are just getting started here at Savory,” she said in a statement.
Smith is married to Andrew Smith, managing director at Savory and former CEO of Four Foods Group. The Smiths oversaw an empire of food and beverage brands that generated $1.2 billion in sales among 170 restaurant locations across the country. Several Savory leaders previously worked at Four Foods Group, which has since been dissolved.
Besides Via 313 and The Crack Shack, Savory’s portfolio includes Mo’ Bettahs, R&R BBQ and Swig. The brands have added 16 new locations since forming this year. Pursuing an aggressive growth plan, Savory’s brands plan to add more than 45 locations in four new markets throughout the western U.S. in 2021.
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