Connor Concepts, Inc. and CapitalSpring, a leading private investment firm focused exclusively on the branded restaurant and food service industries, announced a recapitalization to support the company’s financial goals and facilitate new store growth in the Southeast and Midwest. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Connor Concepts is the operator of two restaurant brands: The Chop House and Connors Steak & Seafood.  Connor Concepts reflects a rich tradition of hospitality and excellence, driving success through an unrelenting commitment to “Superior Dining Experiences. Everyday.” 

Both concepts appeal to the “polished casual” diner by offering premium food with an emphasis on quality menu offerings, warm and inviting atmospheres, and best-in-class service from energetic team members. This unique dining experience has resulted in both concepts consistently outpacing industry same store sales trends while earning some of the highest current foot traffic and guest retention rates among competitors. Connor Concepts is built on an exceptional culture, led by founder and CEO Mike Connor and his team, all key members of which are continuing in their current roles following the transaction.

“Mike started Connor Concepts over 27 years ago. Throughout the growth of the business, he and his team have been uncompromising in the traditions that drive an exceptional employee culture and unmatched guest experience,” says CapitalSpring’s Chad Spaulding

Wade Daniel, also from CapitalSpring, adds, “We are really proud to have provided Mike and the management team this creative capital solution that keeps control in their hands, while still accomplishing their strategic and financial goals.  We believe this is a unique investment structure for a unique restaurant Company, all aimed at protecting that which makes Mike’s vision exceptional.”

“I was afraid that in taking on an institutional capital partner I’d be forced to compromise on what I think are the pillars of our success. However, CapitalSpring’s solution allows me to stay in control of the business, and gives me and my team access to their wealth of industry knowledge, best practices and resources to accelerate the growth of the Company,” says CEO Mike Connor. “We really feel like we found a partner who values the culture we have built and who will be a collaborative supporter of our growth.  With CapitalSpring as a partner, we can continue to deliver the same exceptional dining experiences to guests in new markets.”

Both FocalPoint Partners and Morgan Stanley served as financial advisors to Connor Concepts, and Brock PLC served as the Company’s legal advisor in connection with the transaction. CapitalSpring’s legal advisor was Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.

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