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Buffalo Wild Wings Invests in Taco and Pizza Concepts

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Buffalo Wild Wings has invested in Dallas-based chain Rusty Taco and Los Angeles-based concept PizzaRev. According to a press release (below), the chicken wing chain is now a majority investor in Rusty Taco, which specializes in "street-style tacos" and has nine locations across Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The wing chain is also a minority investor in PizzaRev, a fast-casual "artisanal" concept with locations in California, Minnesota, and Utah. The create-your-own pizza chain appears to be catering to the health-conscious crowd: The menu features a gluten-free dough and even has a vegan cheese option.

Buffalo Wild Wings' executive vice president Kathy Benning notes in the release that the investment is part of the restaurant's "strategy to partner with emerging restaurant concepts that have the potential for significant growth." It's been a big week for restaurant mergers: Just this morning, Burger King announced that it was acquiring Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons for $11.4 billion dollars. See the release:

Buffalo Wild Wings Announces Majority Investment in Rusty Taco

Today, Buffalo Wild Wings®, Inc. (NASDAQ: BWLD) is excited to announce it has made a majority investment in Rusty Taco, Inc., which owns and operates Rusty Taco restaurants and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. Rusty Taco features a simple menu of tasty tacos prepared fresh in a fun and lively atmosphere. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Rusty Taco's fresh approach to tacos truly sets this concept apart," stated Kathy Benning, Buffalo Wild Wings' executive vice president, chief strategy officer and new business development. "Buffalo Wild Wings' investment is part of our strategy to partner with emerging restaurant concepts that have the potential for significant growth, can work throughout the country and have a highly engaged management team with a passion to grow the business."

Rusty Taco boasts fast, affordable food served in a friendly and fun atmosphere. As a fast-casual restaurant, Rusty Taco specializes in street-style tacos made fresh and from scratch. In 2010, the first restaurant opened its doors in Dallas, Texas. Since then, Rusty Taco has grown to include nine locations: two company-owned restaurants and seven franchised locations in three markets - Dallas, Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Buffalo Wild Wings and believe it can have an immediate impact in helping accelerate our growth," said Steve Dunn, chief executive officer of Rusty Taco. "Our co-founder, Rusty Fenton, always said, 'Tacos are the most important meal of the day™' and we truly live that every day by providing our guests with the freshest ingredients and authentic tasting tacos at an affordable price."

In addition to Rusty Taco, Buffalo Wild Wings also has a minority investment in Los Angeles-based PizzaRev, a growing artisanal pizza concept. "As part of our long-term growth strategy, we are actively looking for additional concepts to invest in to build a portfolio of emerging brands, and continue to build a dynamic restaurant company," said Benning. PizzaRev is a fast-casual pizza chain delivering an interactive dining experience where Guests craft their own pizzas, choosing from a wide variety of premium-quality ingredients, in any amount, for one price.

· Buffalo Wild Wings Announces Majority Investment in Rusty Taco [Buffalo Wild Wings]
· All Buffalo Wild Wings Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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