Chuy’s plans to double down on its marketing and off-premise initiatives this year.
The chain revealed in an earnings call this week that it’s reinvesting in those two areas using $1.5 million of the savings it received from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The chain will focus on boosting brand awareness through updating local store marketing and social media campaigns. Also, president and CEO Steve Hislop says the chain is in search of a full-time marketing firm, which it hopes to hire by the second half of the year.
On the off-premise front, Chuy’s will continue to add catering to additional markets and is working to develop an online ordering app with an eye toward introducing a new loyalty program. Hislop says the app is in test and should be fully rolled out by the third quarter of this year.
The chain’s same-store sales increased 1.3% during the fourth quarter, which ended Dec. 31. Hislop credits the increase in part to the chain staying open an extra day on Christmas.
Along with growing its marketing and off-premise programs, Chuy’s also expects to open eight to 12 new restaurants this year.
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