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.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

Saladworks-parent WOWorks is shopping for new brands to buy

The platform company is almost finished assimilating its existing six brands. Now it's time to add to the family, said CEO Kelly Roddy.

Financing

2 more reminders that the restaurant business is risky

The Bottom Line: Franchising is no less risky than opening your own restaurant. Just ask former NFL player David Tyree and the former president of McDonald's Mexico.

Marketing

There's plenty happening at the high end of the pricing barbell, too

Reality Check: Decadent meal choices are also proliferating, for a lot more than $5.

Trending

More from our partners