Fat Bastard Burrito Co. was acquired by MBI Brands in July, joining fellow Canadian brand, Mary Brown’s Chicken, under one umbrella company.
Sean Bell, formerly the CFO of Mary Brown’s Chicken, was instrumental in closing the Fat Bastard acquisition and brings his outstanding record of achievement at Mary Brown’s to this role – having led Finance, IT, Risk Management, People & Culture, Procurement and Culinary functions. He was a key contributor to Mary Brown’s recent record-breaking results, having added team members and implemented processes to help facilitate continued expansion, as well as being one of the lead contacts for the brand’s franchisee advisory committee.
What was at the heart of MBI Brands’ decision to acquire Fat Bastard Burrito?
“The two brands are quite complementary,” states Bell, “They are both 100 per cent Canadian owned and operated franchise businesses, both serve premium quality made-fresh food, and both have exceptional growth potential in the QSR space.” “What’s also notable,” he emphasizes, “is that they can coexist in close proximity without fear of cannibalizing each other as they appeal to different demographic groups and are strong in different day parts.”
“Today, Fat Bastard Burrito is just in Ontario, but we have the talent, the infrastructure and the vendor partnerships to go coast-to-coast,” he continues. “The brand has many strengths. We have already started the process of building on those strengths, actively engaging with franchisees to make enhancements where needed. In short, we’re ready to do business and seeking qualified franchisees to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”
The burrito space is in the growth phase and while there are already several key players, Fat Bastard Burrito is unique.
“It starts with the name,” says Bell with a smile, “it’s memorable and impactful. But behind the name is delicious product, excellent menu variety, premium ingredients, and Canadian passion – and we’ve seen with Mary Brown’s that those things really matter to Canadians.”
There’s no doubt that Sean Bell knows the food business. His career has been exclusively in the food & beverage industry, including Tier 1 CPG brands like Coca-Cola, Coors Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and Mars. In addition, he led the finance function for Montana’s Cookhouse and Kelsey’s Roadhouse at Recipe Unlimited. He was also a successful entrepreneur, as Co-Owner and CFO for The Works Gourmet Burger Bistro and helped facilitate an eventual sale to MTY Food Group.
How does Bell envision the future for Fat Bastard Burrito?
“Category Leadership is our plan. We have the team, resources, and Mary Brown’s systems in place – coupled with industry-leading levels of support and training – to scale Fat Bastard Burrito into Canada’s largest and most respected burrito concept.”
He concludes, “Our team is excited. Our franchisees are engaged. We’re all thrilled to begin working our magic on Fat Bastard Burrito.”