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Fast-casual chain Cava files for IPO

A Cava restaurant sign hangs on one of its locations.

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Cava, the Washington, D.C.-based fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant chain, has filed for an IPO, according to an SEC filing.

Why it matters: The frozen IPO market is continuing to crack as the restaurant industry sees a post-pandemic surge in sales.

Details: The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAVA.

By the numbers: Revenue last year grew 12.8% year over year to about $564 million from approximately $500 million.

  • Loss before income tax grew to nearly $59 million, however, from about $37 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA in 2022 was $12.6 million compared to $14.6 million for 2021.
  • It has nearly $23 million in cash and cash equivalents with its liabilities largely consisting of leases.

The latest: Growth has accelerated this year while losses have narrowed.

  • Revenue for the 16 weeks that ended April 16 grew 28% year over year to about $203 million from approximately $159 million.
  • Over that same period this year, losses before income taxes have narrowed to $2 million from nearly $20 million.
  • Cava locations have also generated 28% in comparable sales growth and nearly $17 million in EBITDA so far this year.
  • As of April 16, the company had 263 locations and plans to open another 34 to 44 units by the end of this year.

Catch up fast: Cava acquired rival Zoe's Kitchen in 2018 for an enterprise value of $300 million.

  • The company has been converting Zoe's Kitchen locations to Cava.
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