You didn’t think that Starwood Capital’s 50 percent purchase of B.R. Guest Restaurant Group (a story we broke here, as it happens) was the end of their plans, did you? In business as in evolution, bigness begets bigness, and now word comes, via this week’s issue of Crain’s, that a new group inside Starwood will go on a restaurant-group shopping spree. Hanson is said to already be sending candy and flowers to fellow moguls from coast to coast. But his, and Starwood’s criteria, are very clear: “Any business [Hanson] considers must be a chef-driven operation that owns multiple eateries and brings in revenues of at least $30 million,” the report says. The Craft empire is mentioned in passing as a possible target, and its ruler, Tom Colicchio, says he would listen if Hanson came calling. With the kind of cash Starwood commands, who wouldn’t? Money talks, and independent operations tend to walk.
My, Steve, what big teeth you have!haha Photo: Patrick McMullan