Ovation Brands, the nation’s largest company-owned and operated buffet company, recently tapped corporate financial advisors Duff & Phelps to assist with an evaluation of potential strategic alternatives including a sale of the business. Ovation Brands operates 328 restaurants in 35 states, and its portfolio includes five buffet brands – Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet, Old Country Buffet, Country Buffet, and Fire Mountain – and one polished casual brand – Tahoe Joe’s Famous Steakhouse.
Ovation Brands CEO Anthony Wedo, who joined the organization in December of 2012, has led the reinvention of the five buffet brands, and stated that its restaurants now offer the “best of both worlds.”
“We’ve pioneered a new segment in our category we like to call family casual. We now feature individually-made, fresh for you entrees, but still offer all you can eat variety, which combined, represents an awesome consumer value,” Wedo said.
Since Wedo joined, key markets have been reinvented to include updated décor, new menu items including individual entrees and casual dining level service and hospitality, all wrapped up in a “make it right” guarantee.
“We have proven that our reinvention works and have demonstrated incredible success. We are now poised to expand our reinvention to other markets. We are looking for investment partners ready to grow with us,” said Wedo.
While the buffet brands have focused on reinvention, Tahoe Joe’s has maintained steadfast focus on scratch-made cooking paired with “enlightened hospitality,” which has allowed the brand to enjoy 18 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales growth. In 2014, the steakhouse expanded outside of its home base in the Central Valley of California and opened its first new location in three years in Southern California. The newest restaurant features a prototype design that is a modern interpretation of its core restaurants.
Ovation serves approximately 80 million customers annually. They employee 17,000 team members across the system and have Corporate Headquarters in Greer, SC with a Corporate Support Center located in Eagan, MN. For more information, visit www.OvationBrands.com.
Duff & Phelps is a premier global corporate finance and valuation advisor with expertise in M&A, private financing, restructuring, complex valuation and dispute consulting. The firm’s more than 2,000 employees serve a diverse range of clients from offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.duffandphelps.com.