The Fogo de Chao Brazilian steakhouse chain is tweaking its signature pay-one-price format during the week in a bid for consumers who might want a lighter, less expensive lunch.
A new option called the Gaucho Lunch is already available in 14 stores, and will likely be introduced in all U.S. branches by the end of the second quarter, President Barry McGowan told financial analysts earlier this week.
The lunch provides guests with an a-la-carte alternative to Fogo’s churrasco format, where patrons pay one price for as much meat as they’d like. The roasted meat is served tableside off big skewers that servers lug from table to table.
With the new program, customers can opt just for the chain’s Market Table salad bar, which also includes a soup and feijoida, a Brazilian stew with Portuguese roots. Or, they can have access to the buffet and unlimited servings of one meat for an upcharge of $8 to $10, McGowan said. It “gives our guests price options rather than just one full-price churrasco experience,” he said.
“Gaucho Lunch is designed to drive frequency and expand our lunch-daypart traffic Monday through Friday,” McGowan explained. “We’ve been very pleased with the results.”
He said a Fogo unit is currently averaging 80 lunches per day, compared with a steakhouse mean of about 60.
The company operates 31 restaurants in the United States, 10 in its native Brazil, and one in Mexico.