Gouge-Laird Will Lead Marketing Efforts as Company Launches Bonanza Steak & BBQ, Ramps Up Franchising Efforts for New Bo’s Steak & Grill, and Continues System-wide Refresh of Ponderosa Steakhouse
Homestyle Dining LLC, which owns, operates and franchises three successful steakhouse brands catering to modern diners who crave high-quality food and attentive service at reasonable prices, has announced that Jill Gouge-Laird has joined the company as vice president of marketing. Gouge-Laird comes to Homestyle Dining after nearly 14 years with Buffet Partners L.P., owners and operators of Furr’s Fresh Buffets, where she most recently served as director of marketing.
Gouge-Laird was tapped by Homestyle Dining’s CEO Tom Sacco to lead all branding, marketing, advertising, and communications programs for the company’s three restaurant brands: Ponderosa Steakhouse, a 50-year old family-dining experience undergoing a brand refresh initiated in 2013; Bonanza Steakhouse, also a legacy brand now being updated to a full-service concept called Bonanza Steak & BBQ; and, Bo’s Steak & Grill, a new, contemporary Fresh Casual concept. Gouge-Laird will report directly to Sacco.
“In a sense, Jill has come home again, since early in her career she managed our business at our advertising firm,” said Tom Sacco, CEO, Homestyle Dining. “Her stellar work then, and during the past 14 years on the restaurant side, makes her uniquely qualified to guide our marketing efforts as we launch and refresh our three steakhouse concepts.”
In late 2013, Sacco announced plans for a comprehensive refresh initiative for the 50-year old Ponderosa Steakhouse concept with expanded menu offerings on the food bar and across their entrée line-up including more relevant and healthier menu items, and updated interiors and signage. To date, more than 30 percent of Ponderosa locations have been upgraded under this program.
In October 2014, Homestyle Dining announced plans to modernize another legacy brand, Bonanza Steakhouse, and rebranding it as Bonanza Steak & BBQ. The new modern casual dining concept celebrates Bonanza’s American steakhouse heritage and updates it with a new menu including new authentic, Southern-style BBQ offerings, an interior redesign around a butcher house theme, and full-service dining. The new Bonanza Steak & BBQ will debut in Eureka, Mo., in early 2015.
Last May, the company launched Bo’s Steak & Grill, the country’s first, fast-casual steakhouse concept, in Lindale, Tex. Bo’s Steak & Grill offers American fare with a culinary twist in a modern steakhouse experience at reasonable prices without sacrificing quality, flavor, atmosphere, value, or service.
Plano, Texas-based Homestyle Dining LLC owns, operates and franchises family-focused restaurants offering the best, affordable steakhouse dining concepts throughout the United States and internationally under the Ponderosa Steakhouse, Bonanza Steak & BBQ and Bo’s Steak & Grill brands. Homestyle Dining now effectively owns, operates and franchises concepts in the casual dining, fast casual and family buffet categories with a focus on high-quality, innovative menus at reasonable prices.