The concept, created by Michael Rosen, started in San Diego in a shack behind Juniper and Ivy, a fine-dining restaurant he founded. The chicken chain has since grown to four open stores, including one on the Las Vegas Strip. Two more are to come in Denver and Utah.
The Growth in sales caught the eye of investors. Savory, a Mercato Partners Fund, launched an inaugural $90 million fund in June 2020 with the goal of fueling growth and injecting capital into up-and-coming brands. In September, the fund announced a controlling investment in The Crack Shack, with a goal of expanding the restaurant by 35 to 50 units in the next four to five years. The growth strategy is to place the chicken brand in secondary and tertiary markets in states like Utah, Arizona, and Idaho. The Savory team doesn’t want to lean too far into digital or lean too far into sit-down–they’d prefer a happy medium. The Crack Shack’s initial boxes were around 6,000 to 6,500 square feet, and Managing Director Andrew Smith said there will be smaller ones with less dine-in capacity, but there’ll also be bigger stores than what people would expect.