The Greene Turtle announced Wednesday that it raised $6 million to help scale its new restaurant/sportsbook concept, a growth strategy unlike any other in the industry.
The first unit opened in September in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood. The location offers state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, including multiple tickers that provide real-time updates on various events for bettors and a 40-foot video display capable of broadcasting up to 20 games simultaneously. The sportsbook is operated in partnership with Finest Flag Gaming and betPARX.
A second one came online in Towson, Maryland, on September 29. At 15,000 square feet, it is the largest restaurant in the chain. The store boasts two floors outfitted with an elevated TV package. The betPARX sportsbook, where patrons can use cutting-edge kiosks or visit a live teller window, is situated on the second level, along with an outdoor patio adorned with grass turf and ample screens.
The equity raise was led by TABLE Management, a venture capitalist firm.
“What got us excited about making the investment in ITA are the multiple growth drivers the business has. The rollout of two sportsbooks in the span of one month, the strong unit economics for the latest vintage Turtles and ability to expand its franchise footprint coupled with new Clark Crew locations puts the business on a great trajectory for years to come,” TABLE Management’s Jason Pinsky said in a statement. “I’ve known Geo for 13 years and saw the turnaround he was able to execute at Famous Dave’s BBQ. He has an insatiable desire to win, and that’s the kind of CEO we like to back.”
The Greene Turtle falls under ITA Group Holdings, a parent company featuring Clark Crew BBQ and Founder Growth Platform.
The sports bar acquired the Oklahoma City-based Clark Crew BBQ in June 2022. Established in 2019 through a partnership between Travis Clark and BBQ Holdings, the restaurant has garnered over 700 Top 10 awards. This single-unit establishment boasts an impressive annual revenue of $8 million, with a unit-level contribution of $1.2 million.
The Founders Growth Platform is a program in which ITA collaborates with a founder to fund the development of a standalone unit. Under this arrangement, profits are divided equally, and ITA retains the option to participate in at least 50 percent of any future expansion. Additionally, certain provisions allow for streamlined decision-making to foster concept growth and facilitate transactions if the brand decides to pursue them. There are seven fast-casual brands under the Founders Growth Platform, four of which opened in 2022. Five were scheduled to debut in 2023.
In five years, ITA is projected to have 155 locations, including 73 for The Greene Turtle, 10 for Clark Crew BBQ, and 72 under Founders Growth Platform.
At the start of 2023, The Greene Turtle had 34 locations, 19 of which were company-owned. The brand had an AUV of $2.5 million and 18 percent unit-level EBITDA margins. Last year, the brand built four restaurants, which are posting $3.5 million in AUV and competitive cash-on-cash returns. Five stores are planned for 2023.
The millions in funding will also go toward more barbecue locations and boosting franchise sales.
ITA Holdings CEO Geo Concepcion said TABLE is “unmatched in its expertise and track record in the restaurant space” and that he’s looking forward to having the firm involved.
“The support and strategic insight of TABLE Management is invaluable as we navigate our rapid growth phase,” Concepcion said in a statement.