Seattle-based Dué Cucina, a fast casual Italian brand that competed in the 2019 Perfect Pitch at the Fast Casual Executive Summit, has landed a $2.5 million investment from Mac Haik Restaurant Group, a Houston-based restaurant investment company, according to a company press release.

The funding, which allows Dué Cucina to open three locations in Texas within the next two years, is part of joint venture to add 10 units by 2031.

“This partnership with MHRG is a significant milestone that signals the start of Dué Cucina’s expansion into new markets across the country,” Davide Macchi, CEO, and co-founder of Dué Cucina, said in the release. “We’re looking forward to leveraging MHRG’s deep expertise in the restaurant space to rapidly accelerate our growth and continue proving our concept in Texas and beyond.”

Macchi and Filippo Fiori, Dué Cucina’s co-founder and executive chef, opened the restaurant’s first location in 2016 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The company opened another location in Kirkland, Washington, along with two more in Seattle’s Roosevelt and West Seattle neighborhoods. As it expands its footprint in Texas, the brand will continue expanding in the Seattle area with a fifth location opening in Redmond.

“Dué Cucina is meeting demand for high-quality Italian favorites available in a casual setting and we’re thrilled to be part of supporting its expansion into new territory,” Brandon Poynter, president for Mac Haik Enterprises LTD, said in the release. “The Texas market shares a lot of similarities to Seattle and offers a significant opportunity to deliver authentic Italian cuisine in an affordable and accessible way.”

Nominations for the 2023 Fast Casual Executive Summit’s Perfect Pitch will open next month. Register here for the summit, which will be held Oct. 8-10 in Louisville. Five brands will be chosen to make pitches..

About Networld Media Group

Founded in 2000, Networld Media Group is a leading business-to-business (B2B) media communications company specializing in digital media, associations and events in the tech, banking, retail and food service industries. Online properties include,,,,,,,, and Annual events include the Fast Casual Executive Summit, the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit, the Bank Customer Experience Summit (BCX), the Interactive Customer Experience Summit (ICX) and the Self-Service Innovation Summit.

Read the full story