Members of the public could soon get their own bite of The Habit, as the restaurant chain — which got its first (now award-winning) patty grilled in Goleta before expanding across the country — announced this week plans to go public. The company hopes that going the IPO route will yield $86.2 million in earnings, according to the document it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ticker symbol “HABT” will denote the shares, but how many and on which exchange they’ll be listed remains unclear.
The Irvine-headquartered company, which went the private equity partnership path in 2007, has grown quickly in the last several years, moving from 26 California-only locations in 2009 to 98 locations spanning four states as of this summer. In its filing, the company stated plans for up to 28 new restaurants in 2015. Last year, the company brought in $120 million in revenue.
The revenue generated by the five restaurants on the South Coast goes solely to founding brothers Brent and Bruce Reichard, who operate the Santa Barbara locations after working at the Goleta stand as teenagers. In July, Consumer Reports deemed The Habit burgers the best in the country, trumping those sold at In-N-Out and Five Guys.