Market Overview

RealMex and Zoës Kitchen Sign with SpenDifference


With economic uncertainty continuing to challenge the restaurant industry, two more restaurant chains, RealMex Restaurants and Zoës Kitchen, are turning to SpenDifference for strategic supply chain support. These two companies join a growing client roster that includes restaurant concepts ranging from Smashburger to HuHot Mongolian Grill.

As a co-op, SpenDifference works hand-in-hand with its clients' purchasing departments, providing purchasing and distribution strategy and support that extends beyond each chain's internal capabilities. It offers a unique combination of buying power and expertise while maintaining each chain's individual specifications. SpenDifference also has a strategic partnership with entegra Procurement Services to offer clients greater cost savings on a broader array of contracted products. Entegra is a $5.8 billion subsidiary of Sodexo that serves multi-unit clients in the hospitality and non-commercial industries.

RealMex, with 140 restaurants in 15 states, is the largest full-service Mexican restaurant company in the United States. Its portfolio of concepts includes El Torito, El Torito Grill, Chevys Fresh Mex and Acapulco Restaurants. The company, headquartered in Cypress, Calif., also owns RealMex Foods distribution division.

“Having worked with SpenDifference while running another concept, I was extremely impressed with their support and ability to deliver results,” said RealMex CEO Chris Thomas. “SpenDifference provides expertise and leverage that mid-size chains cannot afford on their own.”

Zoës Kitchen operates more than 50 Mediterranean-inspired comfort food fast-casual restaurants across the South. Founded in 1995 in Birmingham, Ala., Zoës specializes in fresh salads, wraps, pita sandwiches, kebabs and other dishes that stem from the owner's family recipes.

“By all accounts, 2013 is expected to present operators with a variety of purchase challenges,” said Maryanne Rose, SpenDifference president and CEO. “We are delighted that RealMex and Zoës Kitchen have turned to SpenDifference for help in making this year successful.”

Denver-based SpenDifference, LLC, partners with small- and mid-sized restaurant companies, providing full-service supply chain support. SpenDifference delivers significant cost-savings, generated by a unique combination of leverage from scale and deep category expertise, while ensuring that clients' product specifications are maintained. It currently works with both national and regional clients that represent more than $750 million dollars annually in purchasing.

Brad Ritter Communications
Brad Ritter, 866-284-2170

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