The FSR 50 salutes top performers whose 2012 revenues led the industry across five segments of the full-service restaurant industry: Casual Dining; Family Dining; Upscale Dining; Restaurant Groups; and Independent Operators.
In the restaurant game, there is no singular path to high revenues. This emerged as the one prevailing truth when FSR began its quest to highlight 10 of America's highest-performing, stand-alone restaurants.
Casual dining, where checks average $12 to $50 and there is some alcohol service, is still clawing out of a deep hole that saw customers trading down to quick service and fast casual. However, in 2012 this sector captured sales and unit growth, and continues to reassert itself in the American consumers' consciousness.
The nation's top 10 restaurant groups collectively managed more than $33 billion in 2012 revenues and more than 12,000 restaurants .From DineEquity's completed push to franchise 99 percent of the Applebee's system to the retirement of venerable Ruby Tuesday executive Sandy Beall, America's highest-performing restaurant groups made waves of strategic plays to bolster relevancy, heighten profitability, and attract guests.
Upscale dining, characterized primarily by dinner-focused concepts with extensive beverage programs and check averages above $50, was battered by the recession's money-saving realities. But things are finally looking up for the restaurant industry's upscale-dining stalwarts—with sales growth and unit growth in 2012 among most of the segment's major players.
Family dining—typically defined by check averages below $12 and with very limited or no alcohol service—faces an all-out battle for relevancy amid sharpening competition and shifting consumer-dining habits.
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) named John C. Metz, Jr., CEO, executive chef, and co-founder of Sterling Hospitality, the winner of its coveted Gold Plate award. In its 59th year, IFMA’s Gold & Silver Plate awards recognize leading foodservice operators who have contributed to the advancement of their individual segments and to the foodservice industry as a whole.
“How do you go from $113 per head at Morton’s Steak House to $18 per head at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill?” That’s the question Christopher J. Artinian—who became president and CEO of Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill last summer after serving in the same capacity at Morton’s Restaurant Group—hears frequently.
Schedulefly, a company that provides web-based restaurant staff scheduling software for independent restaurants, has launched a video series in 2012 featuring interviews with successful restaurant owners.
Gender inequality has rarely been a personal soapbox for me—I grew up with four brothers and learned early on to ignore the odds and just assert myself.But sometimes statistics give me pause. A newscast last month noted the national gap in gender pay is roughly 23 percent; so I went digging for details.
Long before any foodservice trend goes mainstream, visionary chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists are crafting unique offerings to entice, energize, and entertain American diners. At the point of inception, foodservice trends often gain traction at fine-dining establishments or in authentic ethnic eateries—environments where convention is more easily challenged and imagination can flourish independent of systemized operations.
Dining at its finest is found in dramatic outdoor settings that simply cannot be replicated within the confines of a walled and roofed structure. Even the most opulent interior design fails to achieve the splendor of a desert sunset, and no amount of indoor originality can compare to the liberating rooftop view of a cityscape or the simple pleasures of dining alongside a gently lapping river.
On February 20th, the Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) brought more than 30 women executives from the foodservice industry to the White House to forge a strategic alliance between key business leaders and the White House.
The cliché that too many cooks may spoil the soup ironically doesn’t always apply to restaurant operations. A lot of cooks—and in this business those cooks can be restaurant operators, investors, or indeed the chefs—can make the restaurant run more smoothly, have greater financial backing, and lead to expansion.