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Thompson Hospitality Is Now in Charge of Matchbox Food Group

New plans for the pizza chain include slower growth and smaller restaurants

A pizza at Matchbox.

Matchbox Restaurant Group has a new owner: Thompson Hospitality, the force behind several other area restaurants, reports Washingtonian.

Thompson, which backs D.C. restaurants like Hen Quarter and American Tap Room, has pledged at least $11 million to grow the Matchbox brand.

The plan for Matchbox is a slower expansion (think, two or three new restaurants opening in a year, not five), and smaller future restaurants. The existing restaurants will likely get a refresh, in keeping with modern decor trends.

In her report, Jessica Sidman notes that Thompson has plenty of experience with “non-traditional locations,” like airports and college and corporate campuses, which may be something Matchbox gets into in future.

Matchbox’s past few years certainly haven’t been the group’s best. Last May, workers at the Matchbox’s 14th Street NW location accused the restaurant of retaliatory firings (they were fired within weeks of taking off work to participate in the Day Without Immigrants demonstration.) And in 2016, a leadership shakeup ousted the group’s founders; things got particularly rough during a lawsuit over the changes in 2017.