Buzzworthy Brands is a bi-weekly Restaurant Business podcast and feature highlighting innovative growth brands. Listen to the conversation with Sixty Vines CEO Jeff Carcara here.
Casual dining chain Sixty Vines started in Plano, Texas about four years ago. It now has four units in Texas and Florida, with a couple more planned for 2021. The concept focuses on wine in kegs, which are billed as being good for the environment, having a longer shelf life and always being served at the proper temperature.
Sixty Vines pairs those wines with wine-country food from around the world, from California to Spain, CEO Jeff Carcara said.
The concept is under the umbrella of FB Society, the multi-concept operator formerly known as Front Burner Restaurants.
“It really gets me out of bed running every day,” Carcara, formerly of Bonefish Grill, Barteca and Seasons 52, said. “I think we’re doing something different.”
Here are five more things to know about Sixty Vines:
- Fifteen or 20 years ago, there weren’t too many kegged wine options, Carcara said. But wineries have increasingly gotten on board, especially after realizing that one keg can hold 26 bottles. And consumers like the sustainable aspect of the wine, he said.
- About 60% of the concept’s customers are millennials. The chain offers all of the wines in 5-ounce tasting pours. “They’re less worried about where the wine comes from and more excited about being able to try so many differing things without a huge investment,” he said.
- Sixty Vines units are typically large—to accommodate those 60 taps on the wall. The concept’s largest restaurant is 10,000 square feet, but Carcara said the sweet spot is 7,500- to 8,500-square-foot units.
- Holiday parties are big business for the brand, business that is lacking right now. So, Sixty Vines started running a “wine country drive-thru” package in which the party’s host, say a company’s CEO, greets guests in their cars. The host hands out a 4-pack taster of wine, along with a pizza and appetizers. “We’ve been selling those fairly well,” he said.
- The pandemic has slowed the concept’s growth a bit. The brand decided to scrub a couple of restaurant projects in the works before the crisis, but there’s currently a unit under construction in Nashville and another site in progress in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “To open a restaurant is a huge investment,” Carcara said. “We had to use the cash to stay alive. We opted out of several leases.”