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Velvet Taco Receives Significant Growth Investment From L Catterton

GREENWICH, Conn. and DALLAS, September 2, 2016-- Velvet Taco, a fast-growing restaurant concept serving premium food in a unique and funky fast casual setting, today announced that it has received a significant strategic growth investment from L Catterton, the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Velvet Taco is redefining the taco experience, bringing a new level of sophistication, taste and versatility to the category. The brand distinguishes itself with a diverse, globally-inspired menu that provides an experience of flavors, textures and spices. Founded in Dallas in 2011, Velvet Taco has grown with locations now in Fort Worth, Houston and Chicago, and will open in Austin this winter. Velvet Taco's bold approach to innovative offerings has enabled it to consistently perform at the highest levels of the fast casual segment.

"Velvet Taco is disrupting the idea of the taco shop, with an inspired response to consumers' increasing desire for premium quality and a fun, authentic dining experience," said Randy DeWitt, CEO of Front Burner, a progressive restaurant conception and operations company specializing in high-quality, innovative spaces, and founder of Velvet Taco. "L Catterton has unparalleled experience building great brands in the fast casual restaurant space and a deep understanding of consumer trends. They have a keen instinct for what the consumer wants, and I'm confident that L Catterton will be an incredibly valuable partner as Velvet Taco continues to grow and attract more converts to the taco revolution."

Jon Owsley, Managing Partner of L Catterton's Growth Fund, said, "Velvet Taco has created a truly unique culinary experience—a diverse, adaptable menu of fine-dining quality food with a lively atmosphere that guests can enjoy from breakfast to late night. With a distinctly broad appeal that takes the taco past Tex-Mex, Velvet Taco has developed a cult-like following across the country and is poised for significant growth in the coming years. We see a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on Velvet Taco's innovative, food-forward approach to fast casual dining and expand its presence in new and existing markets. We look forward to partnering with the Velvet Taco and Front Burner teams, and believe this differentiated brand has an exciting future ahead."

Concurrent with the investment, Mr. Dewitt and the Company have initiated a search process for the next CEO of Velvet Taco so that Mr. Dewitt may maintain his role as CEO of Front Burner. Following the appointment of a new CEO, Velvet Taco will continue to benefit from the support and involvement of Mr. DeWitt and the Front Burner team.

Arlington Capital Advisors, LLC, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Velvet Taco.

About L Catterton

L Catterton, formed in 2016 through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault, is the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world, operating multiple funds out of seventeen offices across five continents. Since its founding in 1989, Catterton has leveraged its category insight, strategic and operating skills, and network of industry contacts to establish one of the strongest private equity investment track records in the middle market. L Catterton builds on this heritage and the strong track record of LVMH and Groupe Arnault's existing European and Asian private equity and real estate operations, conducted under the L Capital and L Real Estate franchises. L Catterton invests in all major consumer segments, including: Food and Beverage, Retail and Restaurants, Beauty and Wellness, Fashion and Accessories, Consumer Products and Services, Consumer Health, and Media and Marketing Services, as well as real estate projects anchored by luxury retail. L Catterton's investments include: Hopdoddy, PIADA Italian Street Food, Mendocino Farms, CHOPT Creative Salad Company, Bruxie, Protein Bar, Snap Kitchen, Peloton, Restoration Hardware, CorePower Yoga, Sweaty Betty, Outback Steakhouse, Plum Organics, Noodles & Company, Vroom, Frederic Fekkai, PIRCH, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Wellness pet food, Nature's Variety pet food, Kettle Foods, Odwalla, P.F. Chang's, Ba&sh, Sandro & Maje, CellularLine, Vicini / Zanotti, Cigierre, Gant, Nutrition and Sante, Pepe Jeans & Hackett, 2XU, Charles & Keith, Marubi, Bateel, Sasseur, Emperor Watch and Jewelry, Miami Design District and G6 in Ginza - Tokyo, to name a few. More information about L Catterton can be found at lcatterton.com.

About Front Burner

Front Burner Restaurants, L.P. is a progressive restaurant conception and operations company that specializes in bringing to fruition innovative spaces, high in both quality and local appeal, that markets don't yet know they need. For over 20 years, Front Burner Restaurants has been creating brands that are uniquely positioned to create exceptional value for its customers and stand out from the competition. Current restaurant concepts under management include The Ranch at Las Colinas, Twin Peaks Restaurant, Whiskey Cake, Mexican Sugar, Velvet Taco, Sixty Vines and Ida Claire. Past concepts include Rockfish Seafood Grill, Ojos Locos Sports Cantina, Red Dog Right, and Half Shells Oyster Bar & Grill.

Contact:
Eric Brielmann / Andi Rose / Caitlin Shaughnessy
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
212-355-4449


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