TGI Fridays owner targets Gen Z with investment in digital experience

TGI Fridays Manchester.
TGI Fridays owner targets Gen Z with investment in digital experience
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Food tech platform C3 (Creating Culinary Communities) has been given a $10 million boost from TriArtisan Capital Advisors and its investors, the portfolio of which includes TGI Fridays, PF Chang’s and Hooters. 

TriArtisan’s investment is part of an $80 million in Series B funding that C3 secured this past month and co-led by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and REEF Technology with participation from Egon Durban and Greg Mondre, managing partners and co-CEOs of Silver Lake Partners.

The investment by TriArtisan and its affiliates was sourced by co-founder and managing director, Rohit Manocha. Focused on brand and concept development for its restaurant portfolio companies, TriArtisan looks to expand kitchen utilization capacity and sees the investment in C3 as a game-changer because of C3’s position as a food-tech innovator and a brand development business. C3 has developed digital culinary brands that can be cooked out of any restaurant kitchen, each generating an estimated additional $1 million per outlet.

The future of restaurants

Manocha said: “What C3 has built is brilliant. The future of this industry lies in leveraging extra capacity in restaurant spaces to maximise all-day revenue potential.

“Furthermore, C3’s brands are resonating well with the increased buying power of younger generations, providing a road map for legacy brands to reinvent themselves. We want to see C3’s brands in more restaurant kitchens and we’re proud to be part of the digital kitchen revolution by investing in C3’s vision.”

In addition to expanding brands and locations, C3’s omnichannel approach will continue to evolve by harnessing the ordering power of millennials and Gen-Z, two groups that are reshaping the landscape of food and beverage. Early on C3 recognized the importance of Gen-Z’s economic power which is the fastest growing across all generational cohorts.

As part of this strategic investment, select TriArtisan-supported brands will have access to the GO by CITIZENS app, a digital food hall experience where consumers can order from multiple C3 digital restaurant brands in one transaction, with no hidden delivery fees and all orders arriving in one basket. The average for orders on the app is 78% higher than any other client on C3 partner Lunchbox’s hosting platform, showcasing the strength of the proprietary technology.

Nazarian said: “TriArtisan’s investment in C3 validates our restaurant brand IPs and the opportunity that C3 provides to bring utility to existing kitchen space. C3 provides increased revenue without needing to make significant capital investments with already established brick and mortar restaurants.”

As a strategic investment, this funding will support C3’s rapid growth in a few ways. The first is to continue the new brand and restaurant concept development across the company’s network of digital kitchens. Currently, C3 operates more than 250 digital kitchens and has developed 40 restaurant brands including Umami Burger, Krispy Rice, and Katsuya with Chef Katsuya Uechi, Sa’Moto with Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Cicci di Carne by globally-renowned butcher Dario Cecchini, and El Pollo Verde by Chef Dani Garcia.

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