FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: 07/7/2011 Contact: Holly Smith
Phone: (904) 514-4490
Salt Life Food Shack Makes Waves in Restaurant Industry
Jacksonville Beach, Fla. June 29, 2011 – Salt Life Food Shack, a natural extension of the Salt Life brand, announced today that a master area development agreement has been signed between Salt Life Restaurant Group, LLC, and Salty Ventures, LLC, that will include the opening of 20 restaurants in the South and West Coast territories of Florida.
Salt Life Restaurant Group was formed in 2009 and consists of four principle members, each with over 20 years of industry experience. “With the combining of forces, we feel confident there is a great cultural fit among our team – both personally and professionally. We all love what we do and share a common interest in operational and brand strategy, which is key to the success of this endeavor,” said Greg Saig, Managing Partner of Salt Life Restaurant Group.
At the helm of Salty Ventures are Bill Leahy and Ben Novello – each well known and respected in the restaurant industry. Bennigan’s Restaurants hired Bill Leahy out of college. He quickly moved through the ranks from Manager, General Manager to Area Director. In 1995, Bill joined Outback Steakhouse as a Managing Partner. He was promoted to Joint Venture Partner of the South Florida market. In 2003, he became the Regional Vice President of the North East and Midwest regions. He supervised all aspects of business for 215 Outback locations in 17 states. In 2008, Bill left Outback and became the Chief Operating Officer of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. He grew the young company from 11 locations to 27 in two years.
A friend and long-time colleague, Ben Novello, a 25-year industry veteran and former president of Outback Steakhouse, has been directly responsible for every aspect of a multi-billion dollar brand. He planned and developed several hundred successful restaurant locations around the country while with Outback/OSI. In 2010 Ben acquired a controlling interest in World of Beer Franchising, Inc., the franchisor of World of Beer craft beer taverns. With 13 units open and an additional 114 committed in the franchise system, World of Beer looks to be one of the fastest growing franchise organizations in the nation.
Salt Life Food Shack has experienced great success in an otherwise less than ideal economy since its grand opening in January 2010. Its alpha location is in Jacksonville Beach, home to the “mother brand” – Salt Life, Inc. Salt Life, a national apparel supplier, also announced big plans in the past year aligning with two leaders in the sports and apparel industry – IMG Licensing and Delta Apparel. IMG Licensing, a division of IMG Worldwide, entered a multi-year agreement with Salt Life to exclusively manage its global licensing program. With nearly 50 years of experience and a global reach, the partnership will extend Salt Life’s exposure well past Florida’s sandy beaches.
The first of many strategic partnerships, IMG connected Salt Life with Delta Apparel. Delta Apparel, an international design, marketing, manufacturing, and sourcing company, specializes in selling a variety of casual and athletic products across many distribution channels. Delta Apparel, and its subsidiaries, maintain extensive license agreements including most major colleges and universities, motor sports properties, NASCAR and more. The agreement between Salt Life and Delta Apparel includes exclusive rights for apparel, headwear, decals and bags as well as operating Salt Life’s e-commerce store.
The phrase “Salt Life” originally used among friends to describe the preferred lifestyle of an avid beach lover has now grown into a largely recognized brand and subculture. Once limited to stickers and decals in local surf shops, Salt Life offers a wide range of merchandise and is now distributed in over 4,000 stores, mostly concentrated on the East Coast. Merchandise includes men, women and children’s clothing, stickers and other various Salt Life accessories. The line, still infamous in beachside surf shops and hang outs, can also be found in well-known large retail stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bealls, West Marine and Gander Mountain.
Salt Life Food Shack is a natural extension of the Salt Life brand. It provides a destination for all those who love and appreciate the culture and attitude surrounding the “Salt Life” – whether an avid diver, surfer, fishermen or simply a family that enjoys a day at the beach or on the sea. “The response to the restaurant has been great and everyone is anxious to get a taste of the ‘Salt Life,’” said Saig. “We all understand the effect the brand Salt Life lends to our concept and the readily accessible target market it feeds. We were happy to launch the concept in 2010 and are elated to move forward with Salty Ventures in what is sure to be an exciting partnership in South Florida.”
In addition to the plans for South Florida, Salt Life Restaurant Group plans to open additional company stores in the next two years. They are currently reviewing locations in the St. Augustine, Orlando and Cocoa Beach markets.
About Salt Life Food Shack (www.SaltLifeFoodShack.com) Salt Life Food Shack was developed with the commitment to provide a community driven restaurant that compliments the brand where "living the Salt Life" is a part of everyday life. We offer a carefully crafted eclectic menu to cater to all tastes and personalities. Salt Life Food Shack of Jacksonville Beach is just the first of many destinations to provide the perfect locale for patrons to enjoy great dishes, cool drinks and the opportunity to catch up with family and friends. Located just three blocks off the beach, our casual yet trendy open-air space accommodates all types – from the avid seaman to land lovers looking for a taste of the Salt Life. It’s your choice of flops over loafers... and now your ideal choice for lunch or dinner! So bask in "the life" and pull up a stool... Eat, Drink and be Salty.