Johnny Rockets, Twin Peaks, Round Table Pizza, Fazoli’s – and now – Nestlé Toll House Café.
FAT Brands has embarked on a restaurant acquisition spree over the past year, adding nine new brands to its dossier, and this week, the iconic cookie stores.
"This business has grown by 600% over the last year and a half, really during the pandemic, starting with Johnny Rockets," CEO Andy Wiederhorn told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo Thursday ahead of the deal.
"This year, 2022, is really just about integration and swallowing and digesting everything that we acquired last year," he continued, "but we're growing like crazy."
On "Mornings with Maria," Wiederhorn detailed the company’s plan to transform Nestlé’s nearly 85 stores into "Great American Cookies" locations.
"It's just a great opportunity for us to add them to our portfolio and cross-sell different brands to our franchise partners," the CEO said, noting the cookie brand’s sales have gone up 7 to 8% quarter-over-quarter.
FAT Brands is expected to build 860 new franchise locations nationwide in the coming years, according to Wiederhorn.
"That's showing how strong the demand is for people to own their own businesses and grow the restaurant business coming back from such an awful 2020," he said.
Despite an inflationary environment, Wiederhorn added that sales and customer demand have been up anywhere from seven to 20% at franchise stores.
"Very, very strong demand for customers to get out into restaurants and not be stuck at home whenever they can," the CEO explained. "Plus, there's all kinds of increases in delivery and to-go."
The business leader expressed how restaurant operators have worked hard to take on rising prices and maintain their margin to keep their doors open.
"I'm hopeful that we'll see things calm down here as we get into Q3 and Q4," Wiederhorn said, "and maybe there'll be a pause in this rate shock that we're going through."