Restaurant Chain Growth Report 6/4/13



Growing Concepts
Concepts that have grown by at least 5% (if less than 50 units).

Columbia, SC-based LIZARD’S THICKET (founded 1977) has increased by 1 unit, from 14 to 15 (7% growth).  These family/casual restaurants serve American cuisine, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is $6-$15+.  Seating is for around 175.  Catering, delivery, and private party services are all available.  All locations are in SC.

West Conshohocken, PA-based GYPSY SALOON (founded 2004) has increased by 1 unit, from 2 to 3 (50% company growth), with the addition of a new concept called Southern Cross Kitchen.  The restaurants have full bar service and seating for around 100.  The company also operates a concept called Stella Blu.  The concepts serve American and Italian cuisines.  Per person check average is $10-$30, open for lunch and dinner.  The restaurants have full bar and seat around 100.  Catering and private party services are available.  All the restaurants are located in PA.

Houston, TX-based WILLIE’S GRILL & ICEHOUSE (founded 1982) has increased by 1 unit for the Willie’s Grill concept, from 12 to 13 (8% concept growth).  The company also operates Fajita Willie’s (2).  Overall company increase was from 14 to 15 (7% company growth).  The restaurants are family/casual, open for lunch and dinner, with a $6-$15+ per person check average.  Locations have full bar service and seat about 200.  Willie’s Grill offers American food, while Fajita Willie’s serves Mexican fare.  Catering and banquet services are available.  All locations are in TX.

Winter Park, FL-based RUTH’S CHRIS STEAKHOUSE (NASDAQ: RUTH; founded 1965) has increased by 7 units for the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse concept, from 131 to 138 (5% concept growth) and entered into NV.  The company also operates Cameron’s Steakhouse (1), Columbus Fish Market (2), Mitchell’s Fish Market (17), and Mitchell’s Steakhouse (2).  Overall company increase was from 153 to 160 (5% company growth).  These are upscale steakhouse concepts, open for lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is $15-$50+, with full bar service and seating for around 250.  Banquet services are available.  Between 50% and 60% of Ruth’s Chris locations are franchised.  Trading areas are AB, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, ON, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, and 8 other countries worldwide.

ICEBERG DRIVE-INN based in Draper, UT (founded 1960) has increased by 1 unit, from 15 to 16 (7% growth).  These are quick serve restaurants with seating for around 70.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $3-$8.  Franchising is offered.  Locations are in AZ, CA and UT.

BAJA FRESH MEXICAN GRILL based in Irvine, CA (founded 1990) has increased by 3 units for Baja Fresh, from 250 to 253 (1% concept growth).  These are fast casual restaurants with seating for around 100.  Beer and wine are served.  Meal periods are lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $4-$10.  Catering and franchising are offered.  Other company concepts are Canyons Burger Co (5) and La Salsa (77).  Overall company increase is from 332 to 335 (1% company growth).  Locations are in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, LA, MD, MI, MO, MT, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA and WA.

Emerging and Re-emerging Concepts
Concepts with 20 units or less who grew by at least 2 units.

Miami, FL-based SUSHI SAKE has increased by 2 units, from 5 to 7 (40% growth).  This is a family/casual sushi concept, open for lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is $10-$30, serving beer and wine.  Seating is for about 100.  Catering and private party services are available.  All locations are in FL.

IZZO’S ILLEGAL BURRITOS based in Baton Rouge, LA has increased by 4 units, from 9 to 13 (44% growth) and expanded into MS.  These are fast casual Mexican restaurants with seating for around 200.  Beer and wine are served.  Catering and franchising are available.  Per person check average is around $6-$12.  Locations are in AL, LA and MS

Honolulu, HI-based TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS (founded 1998) has increased by 5 units, from 8 to 13 (63% growth).  This is a quick serve burger concept, open for lunch and dinner, with a $3-$8 per person price range.  Units seat about 70.  Trading areas are HI and WA.  About 50% of units are franchised.

Repeat Growers
Concepts previously written about in the past 18 months.

Scottsdale, AZ-based GRIMALDI’S COAL BRICK-OVEN PIZZERIA (founded 1931) has increased by 3 units, from 35 to 38 (9% growth).  The restaurants are family/casual, with a $6-$12 per person check average.  Most locations have full bar and seating for about 125.  Select locations serve beer and wine, have closer to 70 seats.  Catering, delivery and private party services are available.  Trading areas are AZ, FL, NJ, NV, NY, SC, and TX.  We wrote about this company on 1/3/12 (57% growth) and on 6/26/12 (6% growth).

WHICH WICH headquartered in Dallas, TX (founded 2003) has increased by 61 units for Which Wich, from 170 to 231 (36% concept growth growth).  These are fast casual sandwich restaurants with seating for around 50.  Meal periods are breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Per person check average is around $3-$8.  There is a second 2 unit company concept called Burguesa Burger.  Overall company increase is from 172 to 233 (35% growth).  Locations are more than 90% franchised and are in AR, AZ, CA, CO, GA, IA, IL, IN, LA, MO, MS, NC, NM, NV, NY, OK, SC, TN, TX and WA.  We last reported on this concept on 4/24/12 when they had 14% growth.

Dublin, OH-based CITY BARBEQUE (founded 1999) has increased by 2 units, from 21 to 23 (10% growth).  The restaurants are family/casual, open for lunch and dinner, with a $6-$15+ per person check average.  Locations serve beer and wine and seat about 100.  Catering, banquet, and online ordering services are offered.  Trading areas are IN, KY, and OH.  Between 10% and 20% of units are franchised.  We last featured this concept on 2/7/12 (17% growth).

Nashville, TN-based BRICKTOPS (founded 2006) has increased by 1 unit, from 6 to 7 (17% growth).  This is an upscale concept, serving American cuisine.  Per person check average is $15-$50+, open for lunch and dinner.  The restaurants have full bar service and seating for about 200.  Trading areas are FL, GA, MO, NC, and TN.  We wrote about this concept on 10/2/12 (50% growth).

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