facebook pixal

BJ’s founders launch new category-bending concept

The management of BJ’s Restaurants often uses descriptors like “premium” and “polished” to peg the casual-dining echelon it’s claimed as a niche.  Now the co-founders of the high-flying brand are giving a similar upscale nudge to their new entrant in the fast-casual market, a spec-your-own concept called Stacked.

Using tabletop iPads, guests will be invited to custom-build one of Stacked’s specialties, which include burgers, pizzas, salads and sausage sandwiches. If their inner chef is mute that day, they can scout the off-the-shelf choices, using the device’s graphics and touch-screen interface.

Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, who stepped out of BJ’s day-to-day operations several years ago, say they’ll use foods of full-service quality. Among the bread options, for instance, will be a brioche bun, and condiments will include a sundried tomato aioli.

Orders placed via the iPad will be delivered to the table, bypassing the fast-casual signature of having patrons queue up at a counter.

“Stacked defies existing categories and will elevate fast-casual dining to a new experience that we are calling ‘fast-casual plus,’” Motenko said in the announcement of the venture.

Menu prices were not disclosed.

The 160-seat, 6,300-sq.-ft. prototype is slated to open in May in Torrance, Calif.  Motenko and Hennessy say they have two additional locations already lined up.

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Get today’s need-to-know restaurant industry intelligence. Sign up to receive texts from Restaurant Business on news and insights that matter to your brand.


More from our partners