Steaks. Ribs. Spirits. That signature yeast roll. Logan’s Roadhouse. Yum. The Nashville-based chain of restaurants has 213 corporate and franchise restaurants in 23 different states, and the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2016. It had lots of debt. In January 2017, Logan’s Roadhouse brought on Hazem Ouf, a touted turnaround expert with loads of restaurant cred (O’Charley’s, 99 Restaurant and Pub, Village Inn, Bakers Square, Legendary Baking). Ouf is now leading the company into a new, um, chapter.
CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries (owners of the likes of Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants and Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery) recently announced that it had acquired Logan’s Roadhouse, creating a whole new company — CraftWorks Holdings (CWH). Leading this multi-brand restaurant rollup will be Ouf. From the press release:
“I am excited to lead the new combined enterprise under the umbrella of Craftworks Holdings, and I look forward to leveraging our combined capabilities to deliver unique and memorable dining experiences,” said Hazem Ouf, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CraftWorks Holdings. “Our name ‘CraftWorks’ reflects the spirit and high quality of ‘Crafted Signature Food & Beverage’ and our passion for serving our brands, guests, team members and our communities. We believe that our cumulative restaurant industry experience, the company’s extensive infrastructure, and the financial strength of our investors will allow us to drive excellence in service and quality within a scalable full-service dining platform.”
The combination of Craftworks Restaurants and Breweries and Logan’s Roadhouse will encompass a national footprint of 393 restaurants and breweries in 40 states and the District of Columbia. That’s a lot. CraftWorks Holdings mission: “dedicated to providing affordable and unique takes on American fare, offering its customers a differentiated dining experience and compelling value proposition.”
Craftworks portfolio will include Logan’s Roadhouse, a leading mid-scale steakhouse serving mesquite wood-fire grilled steaks; Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, which specializes in hand-crafted signature pizzas and a wide array of craft beer on tap; and the Brewery Division, a collection of restaurant-brewery brands including Rock Bottom Restaurants and Breweries and Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants. Centerbridge Partners, L.P., which, through investment funds affiliated with it, controls CraftWorks Holdings. Centerbridge Partners is a private investment management firm that has about $28 billion in capital under management. Back to the release:
“We are delighted to partner with Hazem Ouf as the Chairman and CEO of CraftWorks Holdings and welcome Logan’s Roadhouse and all of their associates to the CraftWorks family,” said Matt Kabaker, Senior Managing Director of Centerbridge Partners, L.P., which, through investment funds affiliated with it, controls CraftWorks Holdings. “Hazem is an accomplished hospitality industry leader with extensive experience spanning multiple concepts and restaurant segments. He has an impressive track record of driving brand revitalization while delivering strong financial performance, including the recent comprehensive turnaround of Logan’s. Hazem’s unique skill set and passion for the business make him an ideal partner for the next stage of growth and development at CraftWorks.”
Here’s Ouf’s bio
Ouf held the position of CEO for Logan’s Roadhouse since January 2017. Previously, he spent eight years leading American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH) as CEO and its multi-casual and upscale causal brands (O’Charley’s, 99 Restaurant and Pub, Village Inn, Bakers Square, Legendary Baking) which he grew to become the eighth largest full-service restaurant group in the country. Prior to ABRH, Hazem served as President and CEO of restaurant companies including Spectrum Foods, Lyons Restaurants, Constellation Concepts and others. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including Top Business Leaders and was nominated by his peers to the Nation’s Restaurant News 2015 list of “Most Influential Power Players.”