The parent company of Matchbox and Ted's Bulletin has brought on some Tampa Bay area talent to help prepare for an eventual restaurant expansion beyond the Washington, D.C. area.
The company's newly created board will include Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan, and Bill Allen, former chief executive of OSI Restaurants (now Bloomin' Brands), which oversees several chains including Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba's Italian Grill. Outback Steakhouse got its start in Tampa.
Win Sheridan, co-founder of Richmond Va.-based staffing firm Apex Systems, will also join the board.
All three are now minority investors in the company, although co-owner Ty Neal would not disclose how much money they had contributed, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.
"These are people who have been to the rodeo before," Neal said. "As small mom-and-pop restaurateurs, that's something we can learn from."
Neal co-founded Matchbox, which specializes in pizza and bistro-style dishes, with Mark Neal and Andrew Kim in 2003. The company has grown steadily since then, with locations in Rockville, Capitol Hill, Logan Circle and Merrifield, as well as Palm Springs, Calif.
Each new restaurant costs about $3 million to open, Neal said. He declined to disclose profit or revenue figures. It could be 2016 by the time the company begins looking to expand outside of the Washington market.