Viva Chicken

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Viva Chicken History

The first Viva Chicken restaurant was opened on Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina. Gerald Pulsinelli was appointed the chief executive officer in 2018. In 2015, Tyler Michael Studios worked with Viva Chicken to create digital marketing materials, menus, and business cards.

Original Locations

  • Randy Garcia and Bruno Macchiavello opened their first Viva Chicken restaurant on Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • The second restaurant opened at Ballantyne, Charlotte, North Carolina in 2014.
  • In 2015, the third restaurant opened in Huntersville, Charlotte, North Carolina.

Changes in Executive Team

Former Agency Partner

  • Tyler Michael Studios has listed Viva Chicken as one of its clients.
  • Based on the samples published on Tyler Michael Studios’ website, the agency has developed digital marketing materials, menus, and business cards for Viva Chicken.
  • It is assumed that Viva Chicken worked with Tyler Michael Studios in 2015 as the samples featured the locations Elizabeth Avenue (Street), Ballantyne, and Huntersville only.
Part
02
of three
Part
02

Viva Chicken Investors

Viva chicken has received investment from San-Francisco based private equity firm Main Post Partners. Details on the investment firm has been provided below.

Viva Chicken Investors

Main Post Partners

Research Strategy

To identify a list of investors who have invested in Viva Chicken, we commenced our research on Crunchbase, which is a business information website. This decision was based on the fact that Crunchbase usually provides detailed information on the investments received by companies, as well as the investors who made those investments. We discovered during our research that Viva Chicken does not have a Crunchbase page and as such this method did not provide the required information.

Seeing that the first method failed to return results, our next move was to search through industry-focused publications such as The Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek, as well as interviews with company executives discussing relevant topics related to their companies like investments. Our aim of using this method was to identify any information and gain insight into investments received by Viva Chicken, that may have been captured during an interview with any of the company's executives or in an article. With this method, we did not discover any information on investors who have invested in Viva Chicken.

We took our research a step further, to search through another industry-focused publication, Angel List, which is known for publishing venture investment news. Our aim was also to identify any information on investments made into Viva Chicken, and the investors behind it. Unfortunately, this strategy also failed to return the desired results.

As a last resort, we proceeded to research notable news websites such as PRNewswire and Business Insider, for news stories with information on any investments that Viva Chicken has received. We decided to adopt this method because most news websites publish articles/news stories on investments made into companies by private equity, venture capital or other investment firms. Using this method, we were able to identify Main Post Partners as one investor that has invested in Viva Chicken.

Further research, including checking the right-hand side of the about section of Viva Chicken's LinkedIn page, which usually holds information on funding amounts, investors, and latest funding rounds for companies, did not contain the required information. After employing the strategies mentioned above, to identify a list of investors who have invested in Viva Chicken, and only finding one, it led to the assumption that Main Post Partners is the only investor who has invested in Viva Chicken, at the time of our research.

At the end of our research, we were unable to determine the amount invested into Viva Chicken by Main Post Partners, even after checking through their website, Crunchbase page, and company news/press releases. Although our research found several mentions of Main Post's investment into Viva chicken, no information on the amount invested was provided.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Viva Chicken Growth Plans

In 2020, two new stores of Viva Chicken are planned to be opened and three to five more in 2021. The company is trying to expand in a measured way to make sure they keep the quality. Below are details of Viva Chicken's future growth plans.

Future Growth Plans: New Location/Expansion

  • In 2020, two new stores are planned to be opened and three to five more in 2021. They are targeting Southeast, including the Richmond, Virginia markets for their expansion.
  • Viva Chicken's success has attracted outside investors, including longtime restaurant developer Dennis Thompson, to support further growth. It costs roughly $1 million to open a location. The Elizabeth store went up to $150,000 for its cost just to start.
  • Randy Garcia, Viva Chicken's co-founder, said that he definitely sees additional opportunity in the Triangle if the North Hills location does well. He envisions to see Viva Chicken nationwide but will focus on the Southeast first because all the resources are there.
  • Garcia said that because of them having the talent and resources, they see a big opportunity for growth.
  • Garcia also stated that in their future growth, they want it to become as big as they can make it without the concept of getting watered down. They do not want to lose any of the touches that have made them so successful.
  • Brenda Tanus, the company’s social media and marketing coordinator, said that though the company is in expansion mode, it is trying to expand in a measured way. They are not going to try to open twenty or forty more locations at any time. The reason behind this is that they want to make sure they keep the quality.
  • In an interview with Dennis Thompson, Viva Chicken's partner and investor, he commented that companies should say yes to the acquisition proposal when someone comes with a great offer. He further added to "Take the money and run". Though his comments do not directly refer to Viva Chicken's plans, it shows his take with regard to acquisitions.
  • Main Post Partners is one of the investors of Viva Chicken. Last November 2018, Main Post received $700 million additional capital. Though it wasn't explicitly stated which companies will benefit from it, Main Post commented that it will be used to deliver their commitments to their portfolio of disruptive and dynamic businesses and brands.

Research Strategy:

We initially searched for the data on company reports and on its official website as well as its social media pages for any expansion or growth plans. However, the company is still private and we could not find any annual report. The About Us section of its website, Facebook page, and LinkedIn page did not contain any future growth plans. Thus, most of the researched information was taken from reliable and reputable news sites such as PR Newswire, Midtown Magazine, and Charlotte Business Journal. We also looked for interviews from their co-founders, leaders, and investors for insights regarding their future expansion and growth plans. We also included statements and views of their leaders such as Dennis Thompson with regard to acquisitions and funding though it didn't directly refer to Viva Chicken's plans as insights.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03
Quotes
  • "“We love Viva Chicken,” Garcia says. “We believe in it so much. We’ve really seen the brand grow more than we ever thought it would.” "
  • "Two new stores are planned in 2020 and between three and five more in 2021. The Southeast, including the Richmond, Virginia, market, is the focus for expansion."
  • "Viva’s success has attracted outside investors, including longtime restaurant developer Dennis Thompson, to support further growth. It costs roughly $1 million to open a location — up from the $150,000 it cost to start the Elizabeth store. "
  • "There’s now a 50-50 split between dine-in and take out. Grab-and-go packaging and presentation have been fine-tuned. That includes making sure little details — such as Macchiavello’s signature sauces — are included with every meal. "
  • "A revamp of Viva’s catering program is in the works and Macchiavello continues to test new menu items such as a pork sandwich. “We did it the Viva way,” Garcia says. “We see that as a big opportunity because we have the talent and resources.”"
Quotes
  • "But Garcia says he definitely sees additional opportunity in the Triangle if the North Hills location does well. “Of course I’d love to see it nationwide, but we’re going to focus on growing in the Southeast first because all of the resources are here,” he says. “Whenever anyone asks me how big I want Viva Chicken to get, I say, ‘As big as we can make it without the concept getting watered down.’ I don’t want to lose any of the touches that have made us so successful.”"
Quotes
  • "A lot of people are reluctant to sell what they’ve built. That’s fine. I admire them for that. But if you’re building something and someone comes in with a great offer, I would say yes. "
  • "Take a look at it and go on to your next thing. Don’t hang on. There’s lots of opportunities outside of the same one you’re in. Over time all restaurants get old. The bigger you grow a chain the more the odds are it’s going to slowly start failing. There’s just a point if there’s a really good offer you should take it while you can and enjoy it. Take the money and run."
Quotes
  • "Tanus said that though the company is in expansion mode, it is trying to expand in a measured way. “We’re not going to try to open 20 or 40 more any time. We want to make sure we keep the quality.”"
Quotes
  • "The Fund was oversubscribed and closed at its hard cap less than three months after the official launch. Main Post completed its inaugural fundraise in 2016 with $400 million of limited partner capital commitments, well in excess of its initial target of $250 million."
  • "We have partnered with enthusiast experience brands KUIU and EagleRider, value chain platforms Fortis Solutions Group and ARCH Global Precision, and passionate consumer brands, including Chuze Fitness, Milk Makeup, Nulo Pet Food and Viva Chicken. With our new Fund we will continue to be highly focused on building our team and capabilities to deliver on our commitments to our managers and investors.""