The chef sold half of his North America brand to a private equity firm which plans to invest $100 million in new locations.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated July 01, 2019
Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Gordon Ramsay has already taken over U.S. television multiple reality and travel series (including Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted debuting later this month). Now, he’s looking to further expand his American empire by going back to what made him a household name to begin with: The British celebrity chef is reportedly planning to open as many as 100 restaurants across the U.S. in the next five years.

Ramsay has signed a deal with Lion Capital, giving the private equity firm half ownership of Gordon Ramsay North America under the stipulation that they will invest over $100 million to open a chain of restaurants under the brand, according to Forbes. Lion Capital has previously had success in the food world with companies like the Asian restaurant chain Wagamama and the upmarket potato chip maker Kettle Chips.

Ramsay currently has eight restaurants in the United States, all in partnerships with Caesars Entertainment casinos. Three of those brands will reportedly be spun off to more locations across the country: Gordon Ramsay Steak, Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill, and Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips. Additionally, two international concepts are said to be coming to the U.S. for the first time: Gordon Ramsay Street Pizza and Gordon Ramsay Bread Street Kitchen — the latter of which he billed as “a modern Cheesecake Factory.”

Ramsay said it took a year to get the deal together with Lion Capital after he decided he needed help to expand his already popular restaurant group. “I wasn’t ready to pedal this bike up a hill on my own. That would take me another 15 years…. Let’s get this thing done,” he told Forbes. “It may seem aggressive, but we’re not opening up 80 or 90 of the same restaurant. We’re crossing over with a multilayered brand. That’s the bit that I’ve worked hard at. We’ve divided and conquered.”

The whole thing potentially bodes well for expanding Ramsay’s vast fortune. He’s already the only chef on Forbes list of The World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities.