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The new format, featuring a limited menu and sparse seating, will make its debut this week.
A surge in to-go sales has pushed stores close to profitability, executives say.
The Brinker International chain has already rehired 10% of furloughed workers, with recruitment accelerating to handle an expected surge in business from pent-up dine-in demand.
The Darden Restaurants chain is now generating takeout and delivery sales at an annualized rate of $2.8 million per store.
Parent company Darden Restaurants' fine-dining group saw steeper declines as dine-in sales plunged.
Family meals and kits appeal to households sheltering in place.
Per-unit sales are running at about a third of the volume of pre-COVID-19 days, but that's still $3 million in annual per-store revenues. And costs have been aggressively cut.
Delivery and takeout business has more than doubled, but off-premise is generating only about 30%-35% of former sales levels.
The takeout option helped the family chain post a 3.8% comp gain despite an ebb in traffic.
Customers who spend a certain amount in-restaurant can pick off a special $6 menu of heat-and-eat take-home dishes.
These emerging chains are the growth vehicles to watch—the ones poised to be major industry players in the coming years.
Food trends and recipes to keep menus fresh
New restaurants and soon-to-open concepts worth monitoring
RB’s exclusive ranking of the highest-grossing independent restaurants
Peter Romeo highlights the moments restaurateurs miss at their own peril
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