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Changes at Matchbox Food Group

The company plans slower growth amid leadership shakeups.

Matchbox/Facebook

Changes are happening over at Matchbox Food Group. Washington Business Journal reports that as the top leadership has changed, so have the group’s plans for rapid expansion.

Matchbox’s founders, Ty Neal, Mark Neal and Drew Kim no longer have a controlling stake — Ty Neal is still a member of the board, and is involved with day-to-day operations, though Mark Neal and Kim are not members of the board and are not involved with the group’s day-to-day.

Since raising $35 million dollars in investments from “fans and family” last year, the founders no longer hold a majority stake in the company. Ty Neal has been replaced in his duties at CEO by Peter D’Amelio, of Cheesecake Factory. D’Amelio assures that everything is as it should be, however — these personnel statuses are all part of the company’s long-term plans.

D’Amelio told Washington Business Journal that instead of the group’s previously ambitious opening plan — opening 36 restaurants in five years — the expansion will be going at a much slower clip. “We think what’s best is to take a slow, qualitative approach to growth, and we think we can still hit our long-term goals,” he told WBJ.

In addition to taking a closer look at new openings, the group is also re-evaluating the size of existing locations — like large spots in Northern Virginia and in Texas — and planning to pare down on both size and building materials to save some cash.

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