This week, Taco Mac announced it is changing hands from Dallas-based private equity owners CIC Partners to a team of independent investors and experienced restaurateurs led by Atlanta resident and long-time Taco Mac guest Harold Martin, Jr. Harold Martin, Jr. will lead the company as CEO. The company headquarters will remain in Atlanta, where Taco Mac was founded in 1979.
The new ownership team is comprised of Martin and three of his partners from Fresh Hospitality, a group consisting of chefs, investors, entrepreneurs and franchisees working to help restaurant concepts succeed long-term. The four partners—Martin, Michael Bodnar, John Michael Bodnar and Mike Tidwell—are investing their own money in Taco Mac because they believe in the brand’s Atlanta heritage and reputation for serving great local craft beers and award-winning wings in a warm, welcoming environment.
“We are long-term owners who understand and enjoy the unique legacy of Taco Mac as an enduring restaurant that offers quality food, family fun, sports viewing and craft beer education. We respect and value this brand not only as investors, but as fellow guests ourselves. Our commitment is to be true to Taco Mac’s roots by serving families the best wings and craft beer in the city in a sports-focused casual dining environment,” Martin says.
A graduate of Morehouse College, Martin has lived in Atlanta since 1998. He dines frequently at Taco Mac with his wife and two children. Martin will work closely with Michael Bodnar, who brings 45 years of experience running public and private companies. As longtime guests and experienced restaurateurs, Taco Mac’s new owners are well positioned to work closely with employees and loyal guests to patiently make decisions that are in the best interest of the beloved brand.
As for immediate efforts, Martin and his co-owners will spend the first few months of their ownership on a listening tour, gaining valuable feedback from loyal guests and employees to continue to improve the Taco Mac experience in each neighborhood while maintaining the restaurant’s successful calendar of special events and promotions. The team also plans to continue investing in the popular Brewniversity program, which rewards loyal guests as their beer knowledge expands.
“Customer engagement is something we are aiming to enhance because we want guests to truly identify with their neighborhood Taco Mac,” he says. “We will work with staff to ensure that the quality of the dining experience remains consistent across the board while retaining the unique character of each neighborhood restaurant.”
The principals of Arlington Capital Advisors acted as the exclusive financial advisors to Taco Mac on the transaction.
An Atlanta institution since 1979, Taco Mac offers over 100 beers on draft, the Southeast’s Original Buffalo wings and 50=plus HD TVs for enjoying all your favorite sporting events. Started by two friends from Buffalo, New York, Taco Mac now has 27 locations across Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. Taco Mac is locally owned by managing partner Harold Martin, Jr. along with Michael Bodnar, John Michael Bodnar and Mike Tidwell of Fresh Hospitality.
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