American restaurateur Bradley D Blum and Brazil-based investment firm GP Investments have established a new restaurant company, FoodFirst Global Restaurants, in the US.
The company has acquired its first brands, Brio Tuscan Grille (BRIO) and Bravo Cucina Italiana (BRAVO!) in a deal that completed on 24 May.
BRAVO! and BRIO are two Italian restaurant concepts operated by Bravo Brio Restaurant Group (BBRG), which currently owns and operates 110 locations in 32 states across the US.
BRAVO! offers an Italian food menu including combinations such as wedding soup, lobster bisque and BRAVO! chopped salad, along with appetisers, desserts and cocktails.
BRIO restaurant offers catering services and dining menu options including shrimp, lobster, char-grilled steaks and pastas.
FoodFirst Global Restaurants board of directors consists of Blum as chairman and CEO, while GP Investments CEO Antonio Bonchristiano serves as vice-chairman.
Blum said: “This inspired partnership that has created FoodFirst Global Restaurants represents an entrepreneurial endeavour with all parties contributing significant capital and professional skill.
“As a private company, the board of directors can take a long-term view and allow the leadership team to focus on developing superior restaurant brands that serve superior food with a superior guest experience. We will set up our diverse employee teams for success, starting with the critical importance of having superior restaurant general managers who are well trained leaders.
“We believe that focus will create a virtuous cycle that will quickly result in profitability. GP Investments is the perfect partner to develop this unique, differentiated company. The opportunities for growth and expansion are significant.”
In addition, restaurant executive Bob Mock has been appointed as chief operations officer, while Diane Reed is the chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary.