Shauna Smith named CEO of Mercato Partners’ Savory Management Group
Salt Lake City— Savory Management Group announced Shauna Smith’s promotion to CEO. Smith previously served as president and will continue to utilize her deep background and expertise to grow Savory’s portfolio of thriving restaurant brands. The unique, $100 million fund invests in compelling, up-and-coming restaurant concepts, and provides access to capital along with a team of experienced industry professionals to propel growth and operations.
With over a decade of executive management experience in the food and beverage industry, Smith leads Savory’s team of industry veterans and supports all Savory portfolio companies in their pursuit for brand efficiency, revenue growth, and site replication. Prior to Savory, she co-founded Four Foods Group, a multi-brand restaurant operations and investment company that built and operated 170 restaurants across the US, and surpassed $1.2B in food and beverage sales. Under her guidance, Four Foods was also an 8-time honoree of the Inc. 500 program.
“Shauna is an incredibly talented and respected leader with a proven track record of success across a variety of restaurant brands and businesses,” said Greg Warnock, cofounder and managing director of Mercato Partners Savory Fund. “She has continued that success at Savory as the fund has closed new deals and substantially grown the footprint and revenue of its current portfolio companies, even amidst the pandemic. We’re thrilled to have her leading the Savory Management value add team into its extraordinarily bright future.”
Smith was a recipient of Utah Business’ 30 Women to Watch in 2019, and Executive of the Year in the 2020 spring edition of BusinessQ Magazine. She was recently awarded CXO of the Year in 2020 by Utah Business Magazine.
“I am beyond excited to continue to lead and grow Savory’s unmatched team of industry experts and brands from this new position,” said Smith. “Our brands continue to innovate and thrive despite the challenges that the restaurant industry is facing across the country, and I owe that success to my team’s determination and expertise. We’ve got major plans on the horizon and are just getting started here at Savory.”
By pairing its team of award-winning industry veterans with access to growth capital, Savory fills a major gap in the food and beverage industry. Savory’s current portfolio of highly popular restaurant concepts includes Via 313 (Austin, TX), The Crack Shack (San Diego, CA), Mo’ Bettahs (Bountiful, UT), R&R BBQ (SLC, UT), and Swig (St. George, UT). The fund’s portfolio of brands has seen incredible growth since its inception in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding 16 new locations in 2020 alone. Pursuing an aggressive growth plan, Savory brands plan to add more than 45 locations in 4 new markets throughout the western US in 2021.
Savory, a Mercato Partners Fund, is focused on delivering outsized returns through strategic investments in the food and beverage industry. Savory partners with high-potential, profitable, emerging restaurant brands, to deliver financial capital, industry expertise, revenue opportunities, profitability enhancements, and new location development. The Savory team contributes directly to all aspects of growth and replication by using a proven playbook and methodology. Founder involvement in the expansion of a brand is a central theme of the Savory approach as founders carry the tribal knowledge around the uniqueness that has energized early success and is essential to future growth.