Press Release
August 03, 2023

Fast Casual Restaurant Brand Urban Plates Closes $27 Million Financing with Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital


Press Release

Fast Casual Restaurant Brand Urban Plates Closes $27 Million Financing with Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital

Fast Casual Restaurant Brand Urban Plates Closes $27 Million Financing with Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital

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August 03, 2023


SOLANA BEACH, Calif. –  August 3, 2023

California-based Urban Plates – a chef-driven fast casual restaurant brand with 17 locations – announced today that it has closed a $27 million financing deal from investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. Urban Plates will use the proceeds to fund restaurant expansion and to refinance current debt.

Heightened consumer demand for fresh, craveable made-from-scratch meals at fair prices has allowed Urban Plates to achieve one of the highest average unit volumes in the fast casual dining space. Significant investments in technology over the past three years have allowed Urban Plates to deliver frictionless access for its guests whether they choose to dine-in, take out, or have food delivered. The investments have enabled digital order growth, which now represents 50% of total orders. In the second half of 2023, Urban Plates will open two new locations and anticipates accelerating new openings in 2024 and beyond.

"Our menu and our concept are right for the times," stated Saad Nadhir, Urban Plates’ Co-Founder and CEO. "Wherever you are on your journey to eat better, we will meet you there. We believe that everyone deserves to eat this good. We are very pleased to work with Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital as we continue to expand the brand footprint and to position ourselves for continued future success.”

The company's thoughtful sourcing strategies, which include grass-fed steak, cage-free chicken, sustainable seafood, and the use of organic ingredients, are part of a fundamental philosophy to invest in food quality across its entire menu. Every menu item is prepared from-scratch daily at each of the company's 17 locations serving San Diego County, Orange County, the greater Los Angeles area, and Northern California.

“We’re the best of both worlds,” continued Nadhir. “Whether you are looking to relax with friends and enjoy great food and wine in our dining rooms or you need a quick meal to go, we’ve got you covered.”

Urban Plates’ menu of real meals made-from-scratch is great for dine-in, take out, lunch, dinner, weekdays, and weekends. The brand uniquely fills the need for craveable, wholesome food made from quality ingredients that won’t break the bank. Because all items are made-from-scratch, Urban Plates excels at helping individuals to manage dietary preferences and restrictions. Pricing is very accessible, with 13 items on the current menu offering a price point of $13 or less. In 2021, Urban Plates also introduced Plate Pass, the restaurant industry’s first membership-based food subscription program. For $5 a month, members of the popular program get a 20% discount for themselves and everyone on their entire check (for up to 15 entrees) including desserts, beverages, wine and craft beer, and add-ons including extra protein or sides.

"Urban Plates is a unique and differentiated fast casual concept, providing consumers with incredible quality for value,” stated Nick Nocito, Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital. “We are thrilled to partner with the team to help them execute the next chapter of growth and expansion.”

North Point Mergers and Acquisitions served as the exclusive financial advisor to Urban Plates in connection with the transaction.

For more information regarding Urban Plates, visit

About Urban Plates
Urban Plates began in 2011 when founders Saad Nadhir and John Zagara opened a single restaurant in Del Mar, CA. It has grown to 17 locations with future expansion plans underway. Headquartered in Solana Beach, CA, the restaurant brand has locations throughout San Diego, Orange County, the greater Los Angeles area, and Northern California. Urban Plates' expansive selection of menu items are made fresh in-house, from scratch, every day using clean, organic all the time ingredients. Recipes feature exclusively GMO-, antibiotic-, and hormone-free, grass-fed, and finished steak; wild line-caught ahi tuna; sustainably raised salmon; and humanely raised and sourced, cage-free, hormone-free chicken. Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or a straight-up carnivore, Urban Plates has a plate you will love and feel good about eating. Follow Urban Plates on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook at @urbanplates or visit Urban Plates at

About Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital
Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital is the growth-focused private investment platform within Morgan Stanley Investment Management. Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital targets growth equity and credit investments within consumer, technology, healthcare, and other high-growth sectors. For over three decades, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital has successfully pursued growth investment opportunities and has completed investments in over 200 companies, leveraging the global brand and network of Morgan Stanley.

The Expansion Capital team manages a private equity platform targeting later-stage investments in technology, healthcare, consumer, digital media and other high-growth sectors.

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