What is in this article?:
The brands comprising The Next 20 reflect a variety of menu types, service styles and growth trajectories. They range in age from 5 to 87 years, have U.S. systemwide sales from $38.2 million to $126.6 million, and Latest-Year sales trends that include both a 3.3-percent decline and an 89.7-percent increase. More than half are Casual-Dining chains, but the group also includes frozen yogurt, burrito and breakfast specialists. Get a closer look at The Next 20 chains, listed here in descending order by U.S. systemwide sales. All sales and unit figures are for the Latest Year.
La Madeleine Country French Café
Sales: $126.6 million (+3.4%)
Market segment: Bakery-Cafe
No. of units: 60 (+1.7%)
ESPU: $2.1 million (+3.4%)
Year founded: 1983
This bakery-cafe concept, whose parent company is the North American division of Rennes, France-based Groupe Le Duff S.A., has been moving away from its short-line cafeteria model to a more modular store, which is allowing the chain to expand more readily into nontraditional locations and malls. With a menu squarely positioned in the increasingly popular niche that includes Panera Bread and Corner Bakery Cafe, Le Duff is looking to broaden the types of locations into which its concept can fit.
A franchise program launched in 2011 has been infused with new life with the addition of sister concepts Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery and Brioche Dorée. A new franchised location is expected to open in Lubbock, Texas, later this year. Paul Carolan, Le Duff America’s chief development officer, said La Madeleine is exploring more airport locations, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Dallas Love Field. A Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport store is expected to open in 2014. The most recent prototypes showcase the concept’s bakery and in-store pastry chefs.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House
Sales: $124.7 million (+11.9%)
Headquarters: Southlake, Texas
Market segment: Casual Dining
No. of units: 10 (+11.1%)
ESPU: $13.1 million (+0.2%)
Year founded: 1982
The 10-unit Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House remains the finer-dining expansion vehicle in the Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc. portfolio, which also includes Sullivan’s Steakhouse and Del Frisco’s Grille. The restaurants tend to be large — last year, a 23,000-square-foot branch opened on three floors of the Esquire Theater in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood — and sales have been solid in the segment.
For the latest second quarter, ended in June, the Double Eagle brand’s same-store sales rose 5.9 percent, with most of that increase being generated by positive guest counts. Mark S. Mednansky, DFRG’s chief executive, said, “We have pricing capacity at this concept.” The chain has spurred guest traffic with such recent offerings as a $49 fixed-price menu and a Sunday promotion of a $99 three-course dinner for two called Power Couple Sundays.
The company has announced plans to add private dining seats to some restaurants and remodel others to, in Mednansky’s words, “keep our existing locations fresh and relevant.”