Cava information for IPO as income climbs

An individual walks previous a Cava restaurant location in Pasadena, California, February 6, 2023.

Mario Tama | Getty Pictures

Mediterranean restaurant chain Cava noticed its income rise 12.8% in 2022, in accordance with regulatory filings launched Friday because it filed to go public by way of an preliminary public providing.

It plans to commerce on the New York Inventory Alternate utilizing the ticker CAVA.

Cava Group was based in 2006 and opened its first fast-casual location in 2011, modeling its build-your-own Mediterranean meals after the formulation made fashionable by Chipotle Mexican Grill. It acquired Zoes Kitchen in 2018, taking the rival Mediterranean chain non-public for $300 million.

During the last 5 years, it is transformed Zoes’ footprint into new Cava places. The final eight Zoes eating places, which closed as of March, will open by this fall as Cava models.

Final 12 months, the corporate’s internet gross sales climbed to $564.1 million, 12.8% greater than the 12 months earlier. For comparability, rival fast-casual chain Sweetgreen reported 2022 income of $470.1 million. The salad chain went public in November 2021 and has a market worth of $1.06 billion.

However Cava’s regulatory filings confirmed it nonetheless just isn’t worthwhile. Its losses widened from $37.4 million in 2021 to $59 million in 2022.

Nonetheless, the corporate has confirmed indicators of getting nearer to profitability. Its internet loss through the 16 weeks ending April 16 was simply $2.1 million, narrower than its internet lack of $20 million through the year-ago interval. Its gross sales have additionally picked up, rising 27.4% to $196.8 million in the identical time.

Cava’s same-store gross sales soared 28.4% within the first quarter. Its 3.7 million loyalty members accounted for one-quarter of these gross sales, in accordance with the submitting.

The corporate has 263 places open as of April 16 and plans to open 34 to 44 new models by the top of the 12 months. Greater than 80% of Cava’s places are in suburban areas. It anticipates it might have as many as 1,000 U.S. places by 2032 because it branches out into new areas such because the Midwest.

Much like fellow fast-casual chains Chipotle and Sweetgreen, Cava has been leaning into drive-thru pickup lanes for digital orders.

Cava’s market debut would break the lengthy drought of restaurant IPOs, which started final 12 months because the struggle in Ukraine, inflation and rising rates of interest led to rocky market circumstances. Even exterior the restaurant business, firms as soon as desperate to go public, equivalent to Reddit and Unimaginable Meals, have held again, though J&J’s Kenvue spinoff was profitable.

However traders might need an urge for food for Cava inventory regardless of issues a few potential recession this 12 months hitting restaurant demand. Sweetgreen’s shares have risen 10% this 12 months, whereas Chipotle’s have climbed a whopping 51% throughout the identical time.

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