Homestyle Dining Reports 15 Consecutive Months of Positive Comp Sales at Iconic Ponderosa Steakhouse and Successful Launch of Two Concepts
With 15 consecutive months of positive comp sales from 3rd Quarter 2014 to 4th Quarter 2015 at its legacy brand, and successful launches of two new restaurant concepts, HSD continues to reinvent itself around three restaurant brands that deliver modern dining experiences in three different service formats, yet all offering America’s favorite foods with culinary twists in comfortable settings at affordable prices.
Beginning in 2013, Homestyle Dining CEO Tom Sacco staked out a plan to modernize the company’s 50-year-old Ponderosa Steakhouse brand, introduce an entirely new fast-casual concept, Cole’s Backyard Grill, and launch a new full-service concept, called Bonanza Steak & BBQ, borne out of the rich history of the 52-year-old legacy brand, Bonanza Steakhouse.
“For more than 50 years, our guests built so many wonderful memories around our two legacy brands, Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse, but as we look to the future and a changing demographic, we knew the way forward was to prove that we could rebuild sales with our legacy brands while reinventing ourselves,” said Tom Sacco, CEO, Homestyle Dining. “Our guests can now enjoy the best in family buffet dining at our modernized Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants, a heightened dining experience at the new, full-service, licensed Bonanza Steak & BBQ, and a more food focused, fully licensed, fresh new fast-casual option at Cole’s Backyard Grill. The common factor among all three is our focus on offering America’s favorite foods at prices everyone can afford.”
Sacco highlights the noteworthy developments and milestones achieved in 2015 for the three restaurants brands including:
Ponderosa Steakhouse: In 2013, the family dining and buffet brand began to modernize its menu by adding more relevant items on the food bar and across the entire entrée line-up. Healthier options were added as well as more innovative items to appeal to a younger demographic. Additionally, interiors were refreshed and brightened with a new food bar design and color scheme, enhanced lighting, and new signage and menu boards. Today, more than 75 percent of Ponderosa Steakhouses include the enhancements. Internationally, the world’s largest Ponderosa Steakhouse will open in Doha, Qatar, in June and the new domestic prototype building will be unveiled at the new Fort Lauderdale, Fla., opening scheduled for the last quarter of 2016. These enhancements resulted in an increase of 3.1% in sales in 2015 domestically over the same period in 2014, which is more than double Knapp-Track Casual Dining Segment’s 1.2% increase.
Bonanza Steak & BBQ: With the first Bonanza Steak & BBQ opening to positive guest reviews in Eureka, Missouri, in November 2015, it didn’t take long for HSD to announce that its first franchise location will open in Seymour, Indiana, in early summer 2016. Appealing to those who prefer a full-service, casual dining, fully licensed experience, Bonanza Steak & BBQ offers a modern menu at affordable prices featuring steaks, pork, chicken and seafood that are grilled to perfection, authentic, slow-smoked BBQ entrees, and a fresh, farm-to-table salad bar, a robust craft beer selection along with a broad cross-section of select wines. The interiors have been designed around a contemporary butcher shop theme to underscore the restaurant’s focus on fresh and flavorful ingredients.
Cole’s Backyard Grill: Cole’s Backyard Grill is a modern dining experience featuring familiar American fare with innovative culinary twists, a fresh, farm-to-table, made-for-you Salad Bar. The robust menu includes unique appetizers, USDA steaks, Angus burgers, slow-smoked BBQ, select seafood, local poultry and handcrafted sandwiches, local craft Beers, regionally sourced and nationally popular wines. Guests enjoy all this at reasonable prices in a comfortable and eclectic environment reminiscent of backyard gatherings with friends and family. The fast casual restaurant, which is minimizing its carbon footprint with ingenuity, is a local gathering spot, attracting families, couples, young professionals from all backgrounds, but leaning into the Millennial space. Discussions with multiple parties for Cole’s franchise expansion later this year are nearing completion.
Plano, Texas-based Homestyle Dining LLC owns, operates and franchises family-focused restaurants throughout the United States and internationally under the Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse brands, where 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. Homestyle Dining recently introduced Cole’s Backyard Grill, a truly unique experience around a rich, flavorful and creative American menu at fast casual pricing in an eclectic and comfortable environment. The first Cole’s Backyard Grill opened in Lindale, Tex., in 2014, with plans to open up to 250 restaurants in the next five years. The new Bonanza Steak & BBQ, launched in Eureka, Mo. in late 2015, is modern casual dining concept that celebrates Bonanza’s American steakhouse heritage and modernizes it with an updated menu including new authentic, Southern-style BBQ offerings, an interior redesign around a butcher house theme, and full-service dining. Plans call for 100 franchised locations in the next five years.