At 50 Years Young, Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurants Look to a Rebranded Future

At 50 Years Young, Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurants Look to a Rebranded Future

Rebranding Plans For Bonanza and Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurants Include Culinary Revitalization, Refreshed Look and a Focus on Franchise Growth

As Bonanza Steakhouse celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and with sister-concept Ponderosa Steakhouse nearing its Golden Anniversary in 2015, parent company Homestyle Dining LLC has unveiled plans for a brand refresh and culinary revitalization, and a renewed emphasis on franchise growth in the United States and internationally.

Under the stewardship of Homestyle Dining CEO Tom Sacco, the rebranding initiative will begin in early 2014 with both Bonanza and Ponderosa offering expanded menu offerings on the food bar and across their entrée line-up in addition to updated interiors.  A completely new menu board coupled with digital displays will meet the changing needs of today’s guests, who crave longtime favorites and who also want to explore updated, relevant food offerings and even some healthier options.

“It’s an exciting time for both Bonanza and Ponderosa as we celebrate 50 years and as we grow and adapt for the next half-century,” said Sacco. “We look toward the future but will not sacrifice our authenticity. With a refocused attention to quality food, friendly service in a comfortable and inviting environment, the guests have been responding amazingly well to the changes we have made.”

Enhanced Menu with New Flavored Steaks and Seafood, Appetizer Section and Healthier Fare

Several new entrée menu items are now in test while some existing menu items have been upgraded for flavor and freshness. Beginning in early 2014, guests will enjoy a new line of flavored steaks, with toppings such as blue cheese and butter, garlic, cumin, and coffee. New seafood offerings will also reflect more global tastes including a fruit salsa topping or a Caribbean-flavored option, and the reintroduction of reformulated legacy products like Country Fried Steak and Country Fried Chicken.

A completely new appetizer section will appeal to a much broader range of guests. Appetizers and snacks will include savory Brisket Nachos, Cheese Fries and Chili Cheese Fries, Giant Stuffed Baked Potatoes, scratch-made soups and Specialty Pizza.

Both Bonanza and Ponderosa will also feature the addition of “Light ‘N Healthy” menu items that are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates, and some that are gluten-free. The new healthier menu section includes items such as Citrus Bean Salad with Edamame, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, and Healthy Crunchy Salad with Kale.

Interior Refresh

In addition to the menu enhancements, both Bonanza and Ponderosa will enjoy refreshed interiors, including brighter and fresher graphics with vibrant informational signage. The refurbished and redesigned food bar area will feature new eco-friendly plate ware.  Additionally, server uniforms will be updated with more vibrant colors reflecting the two brands’ focus on “Fresh, Quality, Flavors.”

Franchising Ramp-Up

In conjunction with the brand refresh, Homestyle Dining is ramping up franchising efforts in 2014 to expand their two iconic brands in the United States, Canada and internationally.  Currently, the two restaurant concepts include 223 units in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, and Taiwan. Ponderosa Steakhouse will expand into Egypt with the first location opening in suburban Cairo in early 2014.

According to Sacco, Homestyle Dining will look to both single-unit and multi-unit franchisees to fill in core markets in partnership with their Area Developers.  Also targeted are new markets in smaller suburban and rural areas that are consistent with the chains’ target of working-class and middle-income families and individuals, who desire downhome goodness, relevant meal options and value.

Homestyle Dining also recently partnered with the International Franchise Association to support efforts to provide franchising opportunities to veterans, minorities and women.

“During the past two years, we have looked hard and deep at our brands and have begun to implement structural changes that are already resonating with our guests,” said Sacco. “We fully anticipate that as we ramp up our brand refresh next year, we’ll continue to see dramatic improvements in guest feedback and traffic.  We welcome the opportunity to partner with like-minded restaurateurs and entrepreneurs who want to grow with us.”

Plano, Texas-based Homestyle Dining LLC owns, operates and franchises 223 family-focused restaurants throughout the United States and internationally under the Ponderosa Steakhouse ( and Bonanza Steakhouse ( brands. Guests enjoy flame-grilled steaks and entrees along with a high-quality buffet featuring an endless selection of salads, soups, appetizers, vegetables, and desserts at affordable prices.