Martin Culver, Fresh Choice’s president, and the company’s board of directors faced a monumental decision that would significantly influence the future of this restaurant chain. In January 1992, after five years of consistently strong growth, Fresh Choice owned and operated 16 restaurants, located primarily in the greater San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. Martin and the Board believed expansion outside Northern California was required to sustain the company’s growth. However, taking the company successfully into new markets called for significant additional financing. To support such a growth and expansion strategy, Fresh Choice identified three viable financing options: private equity, a public offering, or selling the company to a corporate buyer interested in further expanding the concept. Teaching Note available.
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