April 3, 2024
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Habit founders to sell remaining restaurants, including original Goleta spot


After 45 years as legendary Santa Barbara restaurateurs, the Reichard brothers are kicking The Habit.

Their wildly successful chain, The Habit Burger Grill, was sold years ago and is now under the Yum Brands umbrella, along with Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. But Brent and Bruce Reichard kept eight Habit restaurants in Santa Barbara County, including the original location in downtown Goleta.

According to a Dec. 14 news release, Yum will take over the eight Santa Barbara County locations on March 1, and the Reichard brothers will be “hanging up the spatula and retiring from the burger business.”

“My retirement signals the end of an era,” Brent Reichard said in a statement. He began working at the original Hamburger Habit in Goleta at age 16 and bought out the owners in 1976.

The Habit built a huge following from its Goleta roots and won a number of “best burger” awards, locally and nationally. The second location was in Ventura, and the family quickly expanded to 24 outposts. They sold a majority interest in The Habit in 2007 to a private equity group; the company went public in 2014 and was acquired by Yum Brands in 2020.  

Guideboat Advisors served as exclusive financial advisor and  Rimon PC was legal advisor to the sellers on Yum’s purchase of the final eight locations. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.