GRG plans to update, improve Midwestern casual chain
Glacier Restaurant Group (GRG) has announced that it is buying the Max & Erma’s restaurant chain from American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) with the objective of revitalizing the concept for exceptional growth.
Max & Erma’s is a casual dining concept with 51 locations in 10 states, primarily in the Midwest. American Blue Ribbon Holdings is the eighth largest full-service restaurant holding company in the United States and owns Baker’s Square and Village Inn, along with other brands.
“We are excited to welcome Max & Erma’s to our portfolio of restaurants,” said Brad Ridgeway, president of GRG. “It is a great brand that has a tradition of being an important part of the communities each location serves.”
“Our plan is to renew the concept and update it to today’s tastes by investing working and creative capital so it delivers the best guest experience possible. Our team is eager to revive the brand, introduce it to first-time guests and invite communities to rediscover the experience.” he said. “We’re very optimistic about Max & Erma’s potential.”
He added that Max & Erma’s is an excellent complement to GRG’s existing collection of brands expanding the company’s breadth and geographic distribution. Based in Whitefish, Mont., GRG will now operate restaurants in 14 states.
“One thing that is so appealing about Max & Erma’s is its heritage,” Ridgeway said. “It is a family friendly restaurant where guests remember going as kids and now are bringing their kids in for the made-from-scratch hamburgers and other delicious food. Our goal is to build on the groundwork established by ABRH and take menu innovation, quality control, community involvement and brand culture to the next level.”
Earlier in January, ABRH announced the closing of 13 under-performing Max & Erma locations.
Max & Erma’s was founded in 1972 in Columbus, Ohio, in a tavern that was operated by Max and Erma Visocnik since the 1950s. The restaurant was influential in creating the theme restaurant trend of the 1970s. Its interior was filled with quirky artifacts and local paraphernalia, including a vintage bathtub that was transformed into an ice cream sundae dessert bar. Since then it has become known for the place where friendly fun and comfort food come together.
Glacier Restaurant Group is a young and growing holding company operating four restaurant concepts differing in design, ambiance and menus, but alike in that they offer an outstanding place for food, drinks and fun with family and friends. With its headquarters in Whitefish, Mont., GRG employs more than 2,000 passionate and energetic people committed to providing an excellent guest experience.
Max & Erma’s joins the four other Glacier Restaurant Group concepts: MacKenzie River Pizza Grill & Pub, Ciao Mambo, Craggy Range Bar & Grill and Latitude 48.