“Sometimes I wonder if we’ve been willing to try and fail too much, but it’s this relentless experimentation that has gotten us to where we are today,” Dig Inn founder Adam Eskin wrote in a blog post yesterday.
He and his company will have many more chances for this relentless experimentation, thanks to a $15 million investment from Enlightened Hospitality investment, the growth equity fund from Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Eskin announced the news in the same blog post on Tuesday. The funding is part of a $20 million round that brings Dig Inn’s total capital raised to $71.5 million.
Dig Inn’s made a name for itself with its fast-casual concept that focuses on fresh, locally sourced food in its 21 different locations in the Northeast. According to Eskin’s post, the new funds will go towards opening more of these locations in New York and Boston, as well as a first one in Philadelphia.
Dig Inn will also expand Room Service, its ghost-kitchen-meets-food-delivery concept it rolled out earlier this year in Lower Manhattan. Speaking about this concept earlier this year, Scott Landers, Dig Inn’s Director of Offsite, noted that one of the big differentiators of Room Service is the food itself, which is chosen and cooked to “get better with delivery” instead of the other way around. Eskin confirms as much in his post, describing Room Service as “same ethos, same people, same vegetables — but a menu specifically designed for food that travels.”
And in another move that’s inside-out from what most of the rest of the industry does, Dig Inn will use the new funds to open a full-service restaurant in Manhattan’s West Village. As Skift points out, most restaurants do it the other way around, going from full-service to fast-casual. “We have a particular point of view: casual and approachable,” Eskin told Skift. “[The full service concept] is just another way to deliver our perspective on food to more and more people.”
Lastly, in a move that’s giving a little back, Dig Inn will also allocate some of the new funds to hire and train 300 men and women who’ve never before set foot in the kitchen, creating potential careers for these individuals.
The post didn’t say whether any kind of national expansion is in the works for any or all of these initiatives, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that happened down the line. Eskin noted that “our plans over the next decade are ambitious,” so we’ll be on the lookout for that.