Flat Top Grill bought by BD’s Mongolian Grill
Steve’s breakdown: The “make your own stir fry” chain, Flat Top Grill, may be in search of a new agency because they’ve left the nest and looking for growth.
CHICAGO, IL: BD’s Mongolian Grill announced that it has acquired fast-casual chain Flat Top Grill on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
BD’s Mongolian Grill, based in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville, acquired the nine-unit Chicago chain Flat Top Grill in a bid to get into the fast-growing Asian cuisine.
“Asian concepts are one of the fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry, especially those that allow guests to customize, create and be in control of their dining experience,” Joe Phraner, president and COO of BD’s Mongolian Grill, said in a statement.
Flat Top Grill was founded on Chicago’s north side in 1995 and serves create-your-own Asian fare. The acquisition continues a volatile period for the chain.
Flat Top Grill had 14 locations in 2009 when the private equity firm Walnut Group, owner of Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill, acquired the chain with plans to grow both companies.
That growth never happened. By 2013, the renamed Flat Out Crazy Restaurant Group filed for bankruptcy. At the time, Flat Top Grill had 15 locations. An investor group including one of the company’s lenders, HillStreet Capital, bought the chain out of bankruptcy.
Flat Top Grill and BD’s Mongolian Grill will maintain their names and concepts, while BD’s operations and marketing teams will support both concepts. Phraner, who has been president of BD’s since 2012, will lead both companies, though Flat Top’s current management team will remain with the chain.
BD’s Mongolian Grill, founded in 1992, has 28 locations, all but one in the U.S. The company operates 11 locations in the U.S. and franchises 16. It also has one franchise location in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
“BD’s Mongolian Grill and Flat Top Grill have more than 40 years of collective restaurant experience throughout the Midwest and we are confident the two concepts can look to each other’s strengths and best practices,” Phraner said. “We believe this acquisition will lead to strong top-line sales, increased guest satisfaction and future growth for the restaurants.”