If you’re dressed to the nines and sitting next to someone in jeans and T-shirt, everybody is going to feel at home.”
Bob Hartnett, Houlihan’s chief executive officer
Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc., flush with $68 million to spend, is embarking on the next phase of a national expansion that will add 12 new locations by year end.
Already, Houlihan’s has 30 company-owned restaurants in some phase of development. Some of those are in markets new to the Leawood-based casual dining chain, including San Antonio, Dallas, Charlotte, N.C., and Denver.
In addition to expanding its portfolio of corporate-owned stores, Houlihan’s is focusing on developers that can build out entire markets. By year end, the company, which is expected to do $350 million in sales this year, will have 115 locations.
“Really, we want to grow two ways, and we’re excited about what we’re building,” said Bob Hartnett, Houlihan’s chief executive officer. “We think we’ll get really good returns on our invested capital.Houlihan’s has recently received a two-part equity infusion. It got $28 million in private equity from Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, a Minneapolis-based investment firm, and a new $40 million senior credit facility from Wells Fargo Foothill Restaurant Finance, which Goldner Hawn helped place.