Description

Buffalo Grill is the leading casual dining chain in France with approximately 600 restaurants (including c. 190 franchised) across the Buffalo Grill and the Courtepaille estates. Buffalo Grill was founded in 1980 and has grown to be one of the most recognised restaurant brands in France employing over 11,000 people and serving 30 million meals per annum.

Buffalo Grill has a loyal customer base attracted by a varied and affordable menu centred around beef dishes. Its restaurants are primarily based in retail parks and in medium-sized city outskirt locations and are frequented for a wide variety of occasions.

In October 2020, Buffalo Grill acquired Courtepaille, the number two casual dining operator in France, with a network of approximately 240 restaurants and a complementary food offering to that of Buffalo Grill serving beef dishes and traditional French recipes, as well as a similar real estate strategy operating in edge of town retail parks and close to major road networks.

Transaction

We had been actively monitoring the casual dining space in Europe following TDR Capital’s successful investment in Pizza Express. In 2013, we identified Buffalo Grill as the preferred acquisition platform in France given its scale, brand recognition, product offering and performance relative to its peers.

Due to our insight into the business, our experience in the sector and the relationship built with the company, we were able to engage in bilateral negotiations to acquire Buffalo Grill and completed in January 2018.

What we've done

Since the investment in the business, we have been focused on a number of initiatives to transform the Buffalo Grill estate. We have put in place a new management team and together launched an operational improvement programme, enhancement of the menu and food on offer, improved staff training/retention programme as well as the creation of a new Home Delivery and Click & Collect offering which now forms a steady revenue stream for the business. We have also commenced a major capital investment programme to refurbish the estate with a new design concept.

In October 2020, we supported Buffalo Grill in acquiring the number two brand in the French casual dining market, Courtepaille. The acquisition represents a significant transformational opportunity leveraging Buffalo Grill’s platform.