NRD Capital Management ("NRD"), the first franchisee-sponsored and managed equity investment fund, recently announced its latest investment — the purchase of a majority position in Fuzzy's Taco Shop®, a 90-unit Fort Worth, Texas-based brand. Expanding from its recent acquisition of Frisch's® Big Boy® Restaurants, NRD is focused on investing in - and accelerating the growth of - brands that offer superior products and compelling unit economics.
"NRD Capital is doing what it set out to do from beginning," said Aziz Hashim, NRD Capital Founder and Managing Partner. "We are finding brands with compelling unit economics and partnering with their existing management teams to maximize the impact that the brand can have through franchising. Our approach to private equity is unlike anything in the space, and it's proving to be extremely fruitful."
NRD represents the next generation of private equity with a total alignment of interests among the fund's operations-minded Partners, the multi-unit franchisees who constitute the majority of Fund Investors, and the management teams of its portfolio companies. Hashim went on to say that through the fund's unique access to its multi-unit franchisee investor base and wider networks, NRD is evolving the franchise private equity space.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with NRD Capital," said Chuck Bush, Fuzzy's Taco Shop President. "We have seen great success with our brand, primarily growing throughout the Southern and Midwestern U.S. We knew that to grow our business dramatically, we needed a partner who knows franchising, has access to qualified developers and is willing to partner with our existing team to enhance the brand and maximize growth."
Fuzzy's Taco Shop is a fast-casual Baja-style Mexican food concept that has built its reputation on an unwavering promise to promptly and efficiently provide guests with generous helpings of uniquely flavorful foods at a fair price in a fun atmosphere.
"The unit economics and growth potential of Fuzzy's Taco Shop makes it the perfect fit for us," said NRD Partner Harrison Price. "We have the tools to make Fuzzy's a powerhouse in the fast casual segment by working with management to enrich this fun, exciting brand and by focusing on bringing additional operators in to accelerate new development."
Mel Knight, Vice President, Fuzzy's Taco Shop, adds, "We could not be more excited to partner with NRD for not only the future of our brand development, but also for our current franchisees who have been instrumental in our success to date."
NRD occupies a unique niche in franchise equity investments. Founded in 2014 and based in Atlanta, NRD is focused on supporting the growth of small to medium sized franchisors. The fund's goal is to position high quality brands for accelerated success. NRD is the first fund to be both managed and sponsored by a multi-unit franchisee. Collectively, the team has more than 75 years of franchise experience and has been involved in top global brands such as Popeyes, Burger King, and Domino's as well as regional brands such as Moe's Southwest Grill, Pet Valu, and Super Wash. If you know of a brand that might benefit from NRD's capital and resources please contact us at www.nrdcapital.com.
Founded in 2001 near the TCU campus in Fort Worth, the original Fuzzy's Taco Shop® was purchased by Alan and Chuck Bush after just two years of operation. The father-son combination with a collective 20 years of restaurant industry experience initially took a slow, hands-on approach to running the business. They insisted on adhering to the promise: "To focus our full attention on promptly and efficiently providing our guests with generous helpings of uniquely flavorful foods at a fair price in a fun atmosphere." That promise remains central to the chain's success today as Fuzzy's Taco Shop expands across the country. Fuzzy's corporate-owned and franchise locations are now serving fresh, handmade Baja-style Mexican food in 90 stores across eleven states, with many more on the way. Fuzzy's Taco Shop is a member of the International Franchise Association and participates in its VetFran Program, which provides special financial incentives to qualified veterans.