The Restaurant Investment Group was founded in 2013 by people passionate about new and interesting, chef-driven restaurants in Greater Boston. RIG’s founders have diverse experience in the industry, with leading restaurant consultants Ed Doyle and Michael Staub of Real Food Consulting and Group M Inc.; experienced restaurant-financing counsel Josef Volman of Burns and Levinson, LLP; and real estate and permitting lawyers Dan Dain, Charles Le Ray, Don Wiest, Joe Torpy, and Mike McDermott of Dain, Torpy, Le Ray, Wiest & Garner, P.C.
RIG was formed to address two separate, but related, industry concerns: first, how do new chefs and restaurateurs access capital; and, second, how do young chefs opening chef-driven restaurants manage the risks inherent in the industry. For these up and coming chefs, the challenge of raising the funds necessary to open is a daunting task that can take years. Aspiring chefs find themselves relying primarily on their family and friends to raise several hundred thousand dollars or more. RIG hopes to help manage this process and make it more rational. To do that, we are raising money for an equity fund to invest in these restaurants and providing these start-up chef/owners with access to experienced advisors and service-providers.
The Restaurant Investment Group plans to raise and manage an initial equity fund of between $1.6 million and $3.1 million for substantial investments in two to four independent, chef-driven restaurants. The Board of Advisors will vet applications from chefs and then make recommendations to the Restaurant Investment Group’s Investment Committee. The Advisors’ depth of industry experience positions them to help identify the most promising young chefs, the most innovative concepts, and the most thought-out business plans. The new restaurants’ brands will remain with their chefs. The fund mechanism will be opaque to the dining community, so that the buzz around the new restaurant is focused on the chef.
The equity fund will be managed by the Restaurant Investment Group. RIG’s Board of Advisors consists of restaurant owner Nancy Cushman; restaurant business advisor David Hadden; commercial real estate developer David Greaney; and beverage industry veteran Tom First.
The Restaurant Investment Group is pleased to support three Boston projects in its initial Fund. First open was chef Douglass Williams’ restaurant MIDA, at 782 Tremont Street. Followed by chef Mary Dumont’s restaurant, Cultivar, at the Ames Hotel, at 1 Court Street. And, finally, operator Ian Calhoun opened Mooncusser, with the first floor Moon Bar, at 304 Stuart Street.