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May 13, 2022

WOWorks buys fast-casual restaurant brands Barberitos and Zoup! Eatery

WOWorks plans to drive the growth of both brands by taking over infrastructure and operations.

Fast-casual restaurant brands Zoup! Eatery and Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina have been purchased by WOWorks, the parent company of better-for-you restaurant brands Saladworks and Frutta Bowls.

Based in Athens, Georgia, US, Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina is a fast-casual burrito, taco, bowl and salad concept, which serves natural meals and allows customisation of orders with a choice of proteins and toppings.

Currently, the brand has 50 franchisee-owned restaurants and four company-owned stores, all located primarily in the south-east of the country.

On the other hand, Zoup! Eatery is a fast-casual concept that offers soups, broth bowls, salads and sandwiches.

Established in 1998, Zoup! Eatery is based in Southfield, Michigan, and has 67 franchisee-owned restaurants and one corporate-owned location.

While Zoup! Eatery will join the WOWorks family of better-for-you restaurant brands, Zoup! Specialty Products will retain operational independence.

It will be managed by Eric Ersher, the founder and previous CEO of Zoup! Systems.

WOWorks CEO Kelly Roddy said: “Today, we welcome both Barberitos Southwestern Grille and Cantina and Zoup! Eatery to the WOWorks family.

“These brands share our overall goal to grow into one of the largest plant-forward, good-for-you companies in the restaurant sector.”

Going forward, WOWorks plans to take over the infrastructure and operations of both brands to drive explosive growth.

With these acquisitions, WOWorks now has six brands and plans to end the year with more than 400 restaurants, as well as create more than 10,000 job opportunities in the restaurant industry.

Last March, WOWorks agreed to acquire The Simple Greek, a fast-casual Greek restaurant franchise.

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