OPINIONEmerging Brands

Long before there was fast casual, there was Tad's, a specialist in $9 steaks served Chipotle-style

Restaurant Rewind: The concept persisted in the fierce New York City market for 63 years, not disappearing there until 2020.

Decades before the phrase “fast casual” was coined, a restaurant concept little noticed outside of New York City was using a self-service format, rapid-fire cooking and a Chipotle-style production line to offer a steak meal for less than $9.

We’re not talking about something from the Roaring '20s. Tad’s Steakhouse was grilling its strip steaks several dozen at a time to offer a bargain-price steak lunch until just a few years ago. There’s still a unit plugging away under that name in San Francisco, though inflation has rendered a $9 price as obsolete as wagon wheels.

What can the industry learn from a brand that persevered for 63 years in the grueling New York market, selling steak at that?

Give a listen to this week’s episode of Restaurant Rewind to learn why the industry should not forget Tad’s Steakhouse.

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