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Posted by on in Restaurant News
Growing Concepts of Multi Unit Operators
 
 
Concepts that have grown by at least 5% (if less than 50 units).

Illinois-based CARSON'S RIBS (founded 1977) has increased by 1 unit, from 2 to 3 (50% growth).  This family/casual bbq restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, with a $10-$30+ per person check average.  Locations have full bar service and seat around 200.  Catering, banquet and online ordering services are available.  All the locations are in IL.

CAFE BRAZIL, LLC of Allen, TX (founded 1991) has increased by 1 unit, from 10 to 11 (10% growth). These are family/casual Brazilian restaurants with seating for around 100.  Meal periods are breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $8-$20+.  Catering and patio seating are offered.  Locations are in TX.

 

Emerging and Re-emerging Concepts

Concepts with 20 units or less who grew by at least 2 units.

Columbia, MD-based BOARDWALK FRESH BURGERS & FRIES (founded 1980) has increased by 2 units, from 16 to 18 (13% growth).  The restaurants are fast casual, open for lunch and dinner.  Per person price range is $4-$12+, with beer and wine service.  Units seat about 70 and offer online ordering.  Trading areas are CA, GA, MD, NJ, OR, TX, and VA.  Franchise opportunities are available.

BLAZE PIZZA based in Pasadena, CA (founded 2011) has increased by 9 units, from 8 to 17 (113% growth).  These are fast casual restaurants with seating for around 70.  Beer is served.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $6-$15+.  Franchising is offered.  Locations are in CA, IL, MI and WI.

MAD PIZZA based in Seattle, WA has increased by 2 units, from 4 to 6 (50% growth).  These are quickserve restaurants with seating for around 50.  Beer and wine are served.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $4-$12+.  Catering, delivery and patio seating are available.  All locations are in WA.

 

Repeat Growers

 
 
Concepts previously written about in the past 18 months.
 

Atlanta, GA-based WILLY'S MEXICANA GRILL (founded 1995) has increased by 2 units, from 21 to 23 (10% growth).  This fast casual Mexican concept is open for lunch and dinner, with a $4-$12+ per person price range.  Locations serve beer and wine, with seating for around 60.  Catering and online ordering services are available.  Trading areas are FL and GA.  We last featured this concept on 5/21/13 (5% growth).

Colorado-based BURGER LOUNGE (founded 2007) has increased by 1 unit, from 11 to 12 (9% growth).  This is a fast casual concept, open for lunch and dinner, with a $4-$12+ per person check average.  Beer and wine are served and seating is for about 40.  Online ordering is available.  All the locations are in CA.  We featured this concept on 6/18/13 (38% growth).

Dallas, TX-based DICKEY'S BBQ PIT (founded 1941) has increased by 71 units, from 348 to 419 (20% growth).  The restaurants are fast casual, open for lunch and dinner, with a $6-$15+ per person check average.  Most locations serve beer wine (some have full bar service).  Average seating is for around 150.  Catering and online ordering services are available.  All units are franchised and trade in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, and WY.  We featured this company on 2/5/13 (29% growth) and on 12/10/13 (13% growth).

CAPITAL GRILLE (Darden Restaurants) based in Orlando, FL (founded 1990) has increased by 7 units, from 49 to 56 (14% growth) and expanded into OH and TN.  These are upscale steakhouses with full bar and seating for around 250.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $15-$50+.  Locations are in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, WA and WI.  We last wrote about this concept on 7/31/13 (7% growth).

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See the brand new list of the fastest growing chains who have 50 units or less. QSR and FAst Casual make up 7 of 10 concepts.

 

http://www.restaurantchains.net/top-10-growing-restaurant-chains

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Posted by on in Restaurant News
Growing Concepts of Multi Unit Operators
 
 
 
Concepts that have grown by at least 5% (if less than 50 units).

Calgary, AB-based MOXIE'S CLASSIC GRILL (founded 1986) has increased by 1 unit for the Moxie’s Classic Grill concept, from 63 to 64 (2% concept growth), 2 units for the Chop concept, from 6 to 8 (33% concept growth) and by 4 units for Shark Club, from 8 to 12 (50% concept growth).  The company has also added a 6-unit concept called Rockford.  Overall company increase was from 77 to 90 (17% company growth) and entered into PQ and NB.  The restaurants are mostly family/casual, open for lunch and dinner, with a $10-$30+ per person check average.  Chop is a more upscale steakhouse concept, with a $15-$50+ per person check average.  The restaurants serve full bar and have an average seating capacity of 225.  Catering is available.  Trading areas are AB, BC, MB, MS, NB, NS, ON, and SK.  

Scottsdale, AZ-based PF CHANG'S CHINA BISTRO (founded 1993) has increased by 5 units for the PF Chang’s concept, from 233 to 238 (2% concept growth) and by 11 units for the Pei Wei Asian Diner concept, from 193 to 204 (6% concept growth).  Overall company increase was from 426 to 442 (4% company growth).  The restaurants are family/casual, serving Chinese cuisine.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner, with a $10-$30+ per person check average.  The restaurants have full bar service and seating for around 250.  Private party facilities are available.  

WOK BOX of Surrey, BC (founded 2004) has increased by 2 units, from 50 to 52 (4% growth) and expanded into CO and TX.  These are fast casual restaurants with seating for around 60.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $4-$12+.  Catering is offered.  Locations are franchised and are in AB, AZ, BC, CO, MB, NB, NL, NS, ON, OR, SK and TX.

 

Emerging and Re-emerging Concepts

Concepts with 20 units or less who grew by at least 2 units.

Seattle, WA-based HOMEGROWN SUSTAINABLE SANDWICH SHOP (founded 2009) has increased by 2 units, from 3 to 5 (67% growth).  This fast casual sandwich shop is open for breakfast and lunch, with a $4-$12+ per person price range.  Beer and wine are served and seating is for about 50.  Catering, delivery, online ordering and private party services are all available.  All stores are in WA.

OREGANO'S PIZZA BISTRO of Scottsdale, AZ has increased by 2 units, from 12 to 14 (17% growth).  These are family/casual restaurants with seating for around 150.  Beer and wine are served.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $6-$15+.  Catering is offered.  Locations are in AZ.

MOD SUPER FAST PIZZA of Seattle, WA (founded 2008) has increased by 12 units, from 8 to 20 (150% growth).  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $4-$12+.  Beer and wine are served.  All locations are in WA.    

WHIT'S FROZEN CUSTARD of Johnstown, OH (founded 2003) has increased by 2 units, from 16 to 18 (13% growth) and expanded into FL and NC.  These are quick serve shops with seating for around 20.  Per person check average is around $4-$12+.  Locations are in FL, NC and OH.

 

Repeat Growers

 
 
 
Concepts previously written about in the past 18 months.
 

Englewood, CO-based TOKYO JOE'S (founded 1996) has increased by 4 units, from 25 to 29 (16% growth) and entered into AZ.  This fast casual Japanese concept is open for lunch and dinner, with a $4-$12+ per person price range.  Locations serve beer.  Seating is for around 125.  Catering is available.  Trading areas are AZ and CO.  We last featured this concept on 5/21/13 (18% growth).

Sharon, PA-based QUAKER STEAK & LUBE (founded 1974) has increased by 7 units, from 61 to 68 (11% growth) and entered into LA, NE, SD, and TX.  The restaurants are family/casual, serving American cuisine.  Per person check average is $8-$20+, with full bar service.  Units seat about 350.  Catering, banquet, online ordering and drive-thru services are all available.  The restaurants are franchised and trade in CO, FL, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NY, OH, ON, PA, SC, SD, TX, VA, WI, and WV.  We last wrote about this company on 8/20/13 (17% growth).

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Posted by on in Data and information

Inside the Restaurantdata.com database there are some interesting counts and numbers:

 

130,679 locations with FULL Bar service in the US.

210,032 with some type of alcohol whether beer, wine and/or full bar.

24,733 Upscale locations with an average check of $30-$50 plus per person, per meal.

24,205 are the highest check average locations (At least $50 per person for dinner meal period).

44,550 are sports bars.

8,761 are buffet restaurants.

466,615 are independent locations.

239,090 are multi-unit locations.

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Stop by our booth and review our special packages and check out our engines! Our restaurant databases of new openings, existing locations of independents and multi-units as well as chain HQ's will be on display at the NRA in Chicago next week. Please stop by and say hello! Booth # 6765

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Posted by on in Data and information

Review a fresh sample of restaurant chain contacts along with restaurant chain companies along with recent changes. We have removed email addressess. Check out real -time counts at restaurantdatabases.com.

 

Check out our new pricing plans starting at $49 per month for Restaurant chain multi-unit access.

Location/Operation Information Owner/Contact/Alerts Multi Rest. Trading Areas
AMERICA'S TACO SHOP
9311 E Via De Ventura
#
Scottsdale, AZ 85258-3423
County: Maricopa

Phone: 480-362-4800
Fax: (480) 362-4812
Website: www.americastacoshop.net
Year Opened: 2008

Notes: Kahala Corp is parent co.
Office Only
Unique Brand Company
Last Verified: 2/4/2014
Type: Restaurant, Multi-Unit

Sales: 7.7 mil
Avg Unit Volume: 0.7 mil
Alcoho: Beer/Wine
Service: Fast Casual
Meals: B/L/D
Check Avg: $4-12+
Seats: 50 Sq Feet: 1500
Cuisine: Mexican/Latin

Patio
Catering
Takeout
Online Ordering

POS Eq: Focus
Pri Dist: Restaurant Depot
Owner: America Corrales (480) 362-4800
Partner: Terry Bortin
CEO: Kevin A. Blackwell
Food Purchasing: John Brunn (480) 362-4828
Human Resources: Emily Mackin (480) 362-4164
CFO: Walt Schultz (480) 362-4157
Beverage: John Brunn
President: David Guarino (480) 362-4140
Chairman: Kevin A. Blackwell
Operations: Kevin Burnett (480) 362-4639
Equipment Purchasing: Lisa Hurley (480) 362-4707
Finance: (Accounting) Emily Mackin
Purchasing: (Manager) Lynda Miller (480) 362-4701
R&D: (Product Development) Julie Rogers (480) 362-4638
COO: (Kahala) Jeff Smit (480) 362-4603
IT: Danielle Fontenot (480) 362-4455

Alerts:
2/4/2014 - Added CEO.
2/4/2014 - Added human resources.
2/4/2014 - Added CFO.
2/4/2014 - Increased 5 units, from 6 to 11 (83% growth).
2/4/2014 - Added IT.
2/4/2014 - Changed address and phone number.
2/4/2014 - Added COO.
2/4/2014 - Added purchasing.
2/4/2014 - Added trading area (MD) due to expansion.
2/4/2014 - Added equipment purchasing.
2/4/2014 - Added finance.
2/4/2014 - Added operations.
2/4/2014 - Added food purchasing.
2/4/2014 - Added chairman.
2/4/2014 - Added president.
2/4/2014 - Added beverage.
2/4/2014 - Increased 5 units, from 6 to 11.
2/4/2014 - Changed COO.
3/11/2014 - New location to open in Mesa, AZ, 2014.
4/24/2014 - New location open in Lake Forest, CA, 2014.

 
# of Units: 11
 
AZ, MD, TX
BD'S MONGOLIAN BBQ
12281 Nicollet Ave
#
Burnsville, MN 55337-1649
County: Dakota

Phone: 952-288-2300
Website: www.bdsmongolianbarbeque.com
Year Opened: 1992

Office Only
Unique Brand Company
Last Verified: 2/4/2014
Type: Restaurant, Multi-Unit

Sales: 80 mil
Avg Unit Volume: 2.5 mil
Alcohol: Full Bar
Service: Fast Casual
Meals: L/D

Check Avg: $8-20+
Seats: 225 Sq Feet: 6000
Cuisine: Asian

Patio
Catering
Franchise
Takeout
InternetTransactions
GiftCertificates

POS Eq: Micros
Pri Dist: Dodson's Foods
% Franchised: 61-70
CFO: Becky Moldenhauer (952) 288-2300
Human Resources: Estelle Wright
President: Joe Phraner
Franchising: (BD's Mongolian Grill) Tom Ragan (952) 288-2370
COO: Joe Phraner
Marketing: Brad Russell
# of Units: 32
 
CO, FL, IL, IN
KS, KY, MD, MI
MN, MO, OH, PA
VA, WI
BUFFALO'S SOUTHWEST CAFE
785 Seaboard Dr
# 105
Dallas, GA 30132-5552
County: Paulding

Phone: 770-420-1800
Fax: (770) 420-1810
Website: www.buffaloscafe.com
Year Opened: 1985

Notes: Location in Qatar.
Office Only
Unique Brand Company
Last Verified: 2/24/2014
Type: Restaurant, Multi-Unit

Sales: 24 mil
Avg Unit Volume: 1.4 mil
Alcohol: Full Bar
Service: Family Style
Meals: L/D

Check Avg: $8-20+
Seats: 150 Sq Feet: 3500
Cuisine: American

Catering
Banquet
Franchise
Delivery
Takeout
GiftCertificates

POS Eq: Aloha
Pri Dist: Institutional Jobbers
% Franchised: 91-100
COO: Shaun Curtis (770) 420-1800
IT: Michael Johnson
Marketing: Sara Fletcher

Alerts:
2/24/2014 - Changed address.
2/24/2014 - No longer trading in NC.
2/24/2014 - No longer trading in TX.
2/24/2014 - No longer trading in IN.
2/24/2014 - Added trading area (CA).
2/24/2014 - Decreased 8 units, from 25 to 17.
2/24/2014 - Removed human resources.
2/24/2014 - Removed controller.
2/24/2014 - Added marketing.
2/24/2014 - Removed training.
2/24/2014 - New location to open in Kennesaw, GA, 2014.
2/24/2014 - Removed operations.
2/24/2014 - Removed franchising.

 
# of Units: 17
 
CA, FL, GA
CHANTICLEER HOLDINGS INC.
11220 Elm Ln
# 203
Charlotte, NC 28277-0450
County: Mecklenburg

Phone: 704-366-5122
Website: www.chanticleerholdings.com
Year Opened: 1993

Notes: Chanticleer Holdings USA
Office Only
Unique Brand Company
Last Verified: 2/3/2014
Type: Restaurant, Multi-Concept

Sales: 6.6 mil
Avg Unit Volume: 0.6 mil
Alcohol: Beer/Wine
Service: Fast Casual
Meals: B/L

Check Avg: $4-12+
Seats: 50 Sq Feet: 1500
Cuisine: Bakery Café

Catering
Franchise
Delivery
Takeout
GiftCertificates

POS Eq: Panasonic
Pri Dist: US Foodservice
% Franchised: 10-20
CEO: Mike Pruitt (704) 366-5122
President: (President) Mike Pruitt

Alerts:
2/3/2014 - Changed CEO.
2/3/2014 - Added Roadside Burgers (5 units) and Spoon Bar & Kitchen (1 unit). Overall company increase from 5 to 11 (120% growth).
2/3/2014 - Acquired by Chanticleer Holdings Inc. Dec, 2013.
2/3/2014 - Added Roadside Burgers (5 units) and Spoon Bar & Kitchen (1 unit). Overall company increase from 5 to 11.
2/3/2014 - Added president.
2/3/2014 - Removed email.
2/3/2014 - Removed fax.
2/3/2014 - Changed website.
2/3/2014 - Added trading area (TX).
2/3/2014 - Added trading area (SC).
2/3/2014 - Changed address and phone number.
2/3/2014 - Added trading area (NY).

 
# of Units: 11

Other Concept Names:
American Roadside Burgers (5)
Just Fresh Bakery Café (5)
Spoon Bar & Kitchen (1)
NC, NY, SC, TX
CHICK-FIL-A
5200 Buffington Rd
#
Atlanta, GA 30349-2945
County: Fulton

Phone: 404-765-8000
Fax: (404) 765-8971
Website: www.chick-fil-a.com
Year Opened: 1967

Office Only
Unique Brand Company
Main Franchisor HQ
Last Verified: 2/19/2014
Type: Restaurant, Multi-Unit

Sales: 3038 mil
Avg Unit Volume: 1.7 mil
Alcohol: None
Service: Fast Casual
Meals: B/L/D

Check Avg: $4-12+
Seats: 50 Sq Feet: 1250
Cuisine: Chicken

Drive-Thru
Patio
Catering
Banquet
Franchise
Takeout
Online Ordering
Merchandise
InternetTransactions
GiftCertificates

POS Eq: Remac, PAR, TEC
Pri Dist: MBM
% Franchised: 91-100
Chairman: (Founder) Dan T. Cathy (404) 765-8000
Vice Pres: Donald M. Cathy (404) 765-8000
Marketing: (Public Relations) Carrie Kurlander
Training: T. Mark Miller
Purchasing: (Sr. Director) C. Steve Hester
Food Purchasing: Jeannie R. Haralson
R&D: (Menu Development) Thomas E. Childers
Finance: Philip A. Barrett
Human Resources: Jodee W. Morgan
Construction: Perry Ragsdale
Marketing: (CMO) Steve A. Robinson
Real Estate: (Sr. Director) Alex Dominguez
CFO: James B. Mc Cabe
Operations: (VP) Timothy P. Tassopoulos
CEO: Dan T. Cathy
Legal: (General Counsel) B. Lynn Chastain
Real Estate: (VP) Erwin C. Reid
Legal: (Director) Kelly D. Ludwick
Administrative: (Administration) Tim Boggs
Construction: (Facilities) Brian T. Grady
Purchasing: (Supply Chain) Rob Dugas
Real Estate: (Director) Don Crocker
Developer: Gregg Lollis
Construction: (Facilities) Tom A. Nolan
Field Operations/Store Management: (VP) Clifford T. Robinson
Chef: Shona Jonson
Vice Pres: (Logistics) W. Timothy Yancey
IT: Michael E. Erbrick
Real Estate: (Dir-Strategy & Research) Steve Devane
Equipment Purchasing: Brian T. Grady
President: Dan T. Cathy

Alerts:
1/8/2014 - New location to open in Rockford, IL, 2013.
1/8/2014 - New location to open in Elmhurst, IL, 2014.
1/9/2014 - New location to open in Laguna Niguel, 2014.
1/20/2014 - New location open in Jefferson City, MO, 2014.
1/27/2014 - New location to open in Voorhees, NJ, 2014
1/27/2014 - New location to open in Centerville, UT, 2014.
1/29/2014 - New location to open in Webster, TX, 2014.
1/29/2014 - New location to open in Lansdale, PA, 2014.
2/9/2014 - New location to open in Riverside, IL, 2014.
2/19/2014 - Added trading area (SD) due to expansion.
2/19/2014 - New location to open in Westborough, MA, 2014.
2/19/2014 - Increased 104 units, from 1683 to 1787.
2/19/2014 - Changed marketing (Public Relations).
2/19/2014 - Changed VP (Logistics).
2/24/2014 - New location to open in Middleburg, FL, 2014.
3/2/2014 - New location to open in Lakewood, CO, 2014.
3/2/2014 - New location to open in San Jose, CA, 2014.
3/17/2014 - New location to open in Spartanburg, LA, 2014.
3/17/2014 - New location to open in Baton Rouge, LA, 2014.


 # of Units: 1787
 AL, AR,

This is real live random sample file from 05/01/2014.

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Posted by on in Growing Restaurant Chains
Dining is back! Restaurant chains are seeing a rebirth of sit down restaurants. They had been losing restaurant diners share in continuum for the past 8 years. Evidencing the most recent Top 10, 6 are sit down restaurants. 4 are family/ casual and 2 upscale. New market entries like Bareburger with smaller footprints, full bar and less than 100 seats are burgeoning.
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Today we are debuting our brand new Restaurant Data Portal and restaurant unit locator.

Restaurant sales & marketing pros will have a new tool for prospecting and targeting.Contacts, emails, alcohol, service style, employee count, square feet, etc.

We are also speaking to real estate pros who will have one repository to see not only chain locations, but independent operators as well delineated by dozens of criteria and filters. Ad hoc, regional  and monthly pay subscriptions allow users  a cost effective method to access.

Click and start searching!

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We went live on our new portal, www.restaurantdata.com. The site helps aggregate our multiple database products and services under one umbrella.

Please stop by booth #6860 at the NRA show in Chicago, May 18th-21st and see our new big, bold database products and services.

 

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I spent a day at the NY Restaurant show at the Javits center in New York City.

The show had a usual display of food, equipment and services. It was rocking busy the entire day. A successful expansion was in the local food/farm to table sort of supplier. There were all types of organic products and freshness was in the air.

Most noticeable was the traffic and deal making that was going on. I left with the sense the "fresh and healthy" movement is big. And it's big now.

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Annual roundup summary of restaurant chains regarding state expansions and pull outs. Also published is the 4th quarter of 2012. Interestingly in the annual roundup, NY was the number one state for chain expansions and VA, number two.  See here....

In recent years for the most part NY wouldn't even be in the top 10.  This could be a sign of concept saturation for many. NY, typically known for it's high labor costs and finicky customers along with larger than normal real estate and service costs, used to be one of the last places companies chose for expansion.

 

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Posted by on in Data and information

Our office was destroyed as well as most others who are on the waterfront in our area of NY. Data is not that hard to re-assemble and work elsewhere rather quickly, the restaurants on the river front have not yet re-opened.

December is closing strong with continued new openings of single unit independents as well as multi-units. Hurricane Sandy took a bite out of the action for 2-3 weeks. We are back to a steady 100+ new multi-unit openings per week.

 

We are seeing more casual restaurants in recent months that we had in past years. QSR still rules, but the sit down restaurant is coming back.

 

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Our 1st ever release of real new restaurant business activity. We have been tracking and publishing vetted location data for more than 15 years. This chart displays more than 5 years.

 

5 year new opening restaurant

 

 

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The 2011 summary of Top Ten growers with less than 50 units is now available.

The story has been evolving. In 2008 most growth was led by Quick Service chains. This past year Fast Casual has taken a firm hold.

Special notes:

In past years Fast Casual was called Quick Service.

We have noticed a change in terminology of many companies that like to use the moniker fast casual. Not all fast casual chains are decipherable and well manifested in terms of menu and execution. Fast casual seems to mean different things to different people.

Some say McDonald's with its updated menu and earth tones image is (becoming) close to fast casual.

Our research perspective is that fast casual is not hinged solely on a food runner delivering your order to the table at times. It might be fashion forward decor, customer flow at point of order through point of sale, hip menus, or simply attitudes of the staff and uniform.

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It's time to sound the alarm to red alert status regarding service and I have found the evil culprits. The problem is bad and it's getting worse. We love chefs and we need them, but I would like to point out the following specific examples as to what customers are seeing, feeling and actually doing followed by an explanation:

1) A recent article in the NY times regarding the challenges of casual restaurant chains (they used Olive Garden and Applebees as examples) and they don't even mention service.

2) High end restaurants are chef focused and not customer focused.

3) The proliferation of chef driven television shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, Top Chef, Kitchen Nightmares, etc.

4) Disposable income is at or near a generational low and people in general are more value focused and seeking high quality on occasion for a fair price.

As editors, publishers, chefs and foodies pontificate what makes a restaurant spin on the correct axis, there is a lot of fiddling going on in Rome!  It's as if some of the "fix up the restaurant shows" just tell the FOH staff to fix their attitude and smile as the total recipe for change and success.

The point is missed again and again. It seems everyone has an opinion on great restaurants and the quality of food that drives it, the reason restaurants either succeed or just get by (or fail) is the service. I have heavy conversations with many a foodie and chefs who (including my father who was a restaurateur) swore the only reason they go out is because of what comes out of the kitchen. How wrong they are.

Very few diners expect the service level you might receive at a restaurant like Aureole or Le Cirque. However when you dissect their service you will find that yes, they spend more $$ on FOH personnel but so many of their touches and empowerment come at little or no cost to the operator. How do they do it? Here is the mystery unraveled:

They understand that the FOH, the folks who touch the customers are the most important decision makers within the walls of the restaurant. Specifically if the customer has a request the wait person should be able to make a decision on how to handle the request.


How is that result achieved?


1) By empowering the wait staff to make decisions.

2) Daily training on menu itmes and daily specials (if any).

3) Making them the final decision makers on food presented at the window.

4) Establishing a sense of pride and honor to FOH staffers similar to what is given to the chef and his staff.

5) The overall displaying of genuine concern to the customer.

6) Establishing tight service points.

7) No excuses on the above while instituting the same laser focus by management on the FOH staff as well as the BOH staff in terms of training, knowledge, respect and culture.

8) Lay on the love for the FOH. Feed the FOH. Besides fully knowing and tasting all menu items, they should be fed shift meals of some sort. There is nothing worse than feeding your BOH staff and not the FOH on the same level.

So many will disagree with my words and swear that if the food isn't good they won't go to a certain restaurant. Whereas that is true, if the food is phenomenal but it comes out in poor timing, by un-informed servers with an attitude, they will never return either (you can't assume anything is a given when it comes to service).

The proliferation of all the chef driven T.V. shows has hurt the landscape for casual and upscale restaurants. Folks believe in today's times, if they go out at all it better be great and you can't do that with just the BOH. Folks say they want phenomenal food but actually go to locations which provide it all. The numbers tell the story. Upscale restaurants are struggling and casual chains are finding new directions.

And with all the struggle to stay alive in today's environment, chef driven restaurants are not waking up fast enough. Myself and countless others have denoted countless visits with great food, but mediocre service. Why return for $20-$100 or more per person? It's no longer good enough, and frankly it never was.

During the past 5 years as there has been an explosion of T.V. chef/kitchen driven shows, there has been an avalanche of failures in chef/kitchen driven restaurants.

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