ORLANDO, Fla. (August 3, 2015) – Tijuana Flats Holdings, LLC, (“Tijuana Flats”) parent company for Tijuana Flats Tex- Mex restaurants, announces a strategic partnership with AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC (“AUA Equity”) to help further the expansion of the “unchain” chain. AUA Equity, a private equity firm that makes investments in family-owned businesses and companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population, will be making a capital investment into Tijuana Flats and will assist the company through its next phase of growth. In conjunction with the partnership, AUA Equity professionals, Andy Unanue, Steven Flyer and Kyce Chihi, who have significant restaurant experience, will be joining the Board of Directors. In addition, experienced restaurant and real estate investors Barry Goff and Mike Wood will also be joining the board. Brian Wheeler, founder of Tijuana Flats, will remain on the board and Camp Fitch will serve as the Chairman. Brad Kaemmer will continue to lead the company as CEO and no other management changes will be made as a result of the private transaction.
“It’s been incredible watching the growth and the extraordinary loyalty among all of our guests throughout the years,” said Wheeler. “With AUA as a partner and our great management team in place, I look forward to the future and continued success of Tijuana Flats.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with the founders of Tijuana Flats to help accelerate the company’s further growth into Florida and into out-of-state markets,” said Steven Flyer, Partner at AUA Equity. “Tijuana Flats is well positioned to continue its strong and impressive growth in the fast casual segment by leveraging its fresh ingredients, customizable offerings and fast, high-touch service offering.”
Over the past two years, Tijuana Flats has added new executive talent, including Brad Kaemmer as CEO, Todd Chase as Chief Financial Officer and Monique Yeager as Chief Marketing Officer. Brian Wheeler remains closely involved in strategic decisions and is also focused on the continuing development of the Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen concept.
About Tijuana Flats
Established in 1995 in Winter Park, Florida, Tijuana Flats is a unique, fast-casual Tex-Mex dining experience featuring superior guest service and fresh, made-to-order food. Tijuana Flats has 110 locations in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The brand has been named to Fast Casual Magazine’s 2015 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list.
About AUA Equity
AUA Private Equity Partners, LLC is a New York-based, operationally-focused, lower middle-market private equity firm providing strategic capital to companies in the consumer, media, and business services sectors, with a particular focus on family-owned businesses and companies benefiting from the growth of the U.S. Hispanic population in the United States. AUA Equity makes equity investments of $10 to $50 million in companies that generate in excess of $3 million in EBITDA. For more information on AUA Equity, visit www.auaequity.com.