CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.—Five Star Food Service announced the acquisition of Refreshment Solutions, a Canteen Franchise based in Louisiana, covering New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Biloxi.
The deal is part of Five Star’s plan to create a continuous operational geography from Pensacola, Florida, to Lake Charles, Louisiana.
“When we extend outside of our existing footprint, we do so deliberately with an intent on creating operational density. We have achieved that in Louisiana with two of our most recent acquisitions. The addition of the teams from M&M and Refreshment Solutions gives us a very solid footing in the state around which we can further grow. It also puts us well over 3,000 micro-markets which is a milestone we have had an eye on for the past year,” said Richard Kennedy, president and CEO, Five Star.
“Five Star is excited to further expand our retail operations within Louisiana and Mississippi. We are proud to welcome the Refreshment Solutions team to the Five Star family and look forward to introducing our unique and innovative retail programs into these new territories,” said Mark Stephanos, executive vice president of retail operations at Five Star.
Earlier this month, Five Star completed the acquisition of metro Atlanta’s Elite Vending Company, an independent operation that services Fulton, Cobb, Douglas and Clayton counties in Georgia. The acquisition adds to the company’s existing base of business in the Atlanta region. This is not the first transaction between the two companies. In 2015, Five Star acquired routes from Elite that, at the time, were based in competing geographic areas.
“Our growth into the Atlanta region in 2018 made way for this opportunity to partner with Elite on another transaction. We are thrilled to add multiple routes to our business in northwest Atlanta. Josh and the team at Elite have done a great job serving their clients, and Five Star is excited for the opportunity to continue to serve them,” said Kennedy.
Elite Vending Company was founded by Josh Matthews in 2002. Prior to starting Elite, Matthews worked as an operations manager for Eagle Vending, now Five Star, for nearly a decade.
Five Star Food Service was founded in 1993. Since then, the company has grown to one of the largest privately held convenience services operators in the United States and is the largest franchise of Canteen, a Compass Group company. Five Star serves 10 states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee.