Eight years after he founded Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, John Kunkel is ready to let his baby go.
Kunkel will close Wednesday on a $24 million cash deal to sell the homegrown South Beach fast-casual chain to Ruby Tuesday.
The deal came after Kunkel examined various alternatives to raise capital in order to speed up growth of the brand he started in 2004. Ruby Tuesday had first entered into a licensing agreement with Kunkel about a year and a half ago, which gave them the rights to expand the Lime nationally.
“As a small operator there was no way I could roll out 50 new stores in the next year,” Kunkel said. “This was the best of both worlds. They have the capital to grow the brand and the infrastructure to support the growth.”