How Hilltop Steak House would draw 3 million guests a year

Restaurant Rewind: The 1,500-seat, $30 million-a-year landmark may have been the restaurant industry’s greatest value story.

For roughly 15 years, no other restaurant in the country could match the sales volumes of Hilltop Steak House, a kitschy mega-restaurant perched atop a hill outside Boston. It wasn’t unusual for the local favorite’s annual revenues to top $25 million, even surpassing $30 million for at least one year.

Even more amazing was how the place did it. Though Hilltop specialized in doormat-sized steaks, its prices were a bargain. Its superpower was providing the sort of value that kept customers lining up, waiting to hear their name called for a table in one of the establishment’s five dining rooms.

Not familiar with the story of how a local butcher turned a small local joint into a money mill that somehow defied duplication? Join us as we look back at an operation that has largely been forgotten since its closing in 2013.

Our bet is it’s worth remembering. But see for yourself.


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.


Exclusive Content


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.


Reassessing McDonald's tech deals from 2019

The Bottom Line: The fast-food giant’s decision to end its drive-thru AI test with IBM is the latest pullback away from a pair of technology acquisitions it made five years ago.


Trend or fad? These restaurant currents could go either way

Reality Check: A number of ripples were evident in the business during the first half of the year. The question is, do they have staying power?


More from our partners