What is in this article?:
The Palm, Saint Louis Bread Co.
Sales: $120.2 million (+4.4%)
Market segment: Casual Dining
No. of units: 26 (flat)
ESPU: $4.6 million (+4.4%)
Year founded: 1926
Founded in New York by immigrants John Ganzi and Pio Bozzi, The Palm has been owned by the same two families for its 87 years, but has nevertheless retained its contemporary edge in the highly competitive upscale steakhouse niche. Operated today by third-generation owners Wally Ganzi and Bruce Bozzi, The Palm counts 26 branches in the United States as well as one in Mexico and one in London.
Originally opened as an Italian restaurant, The Palm became famous for its Prime aged steaks and jumbo lobsters. The chain has grown steadily but methodically over the years, opening only company-owned locations. While the steakhouse chain did not open a new restaurant in 2012, it remodeled its 35-year-old Houston location, which is expected to serve as a prototype as the brand moves forward. The Houston design includes a new entrance; a “feature wall” that showcases The Palm’s famous caricatures; a lounge with a hammered tin ceiling, leather upholstered booths and two 55-inch flat-screen TVs; and a dining room lit by streetlamp-inspired chandeliers and sconces.
Saint Louis Bread Co.
Sales: $118.5 million (+8.5%)
Headquarters: Richmond Heights, Mo.
Market segment: Bakery-Cafe
No. of units: 48 (flat)
ESPU: $2.5 million (+8.5%)
Year founded: 1993
Saint Louis Bread Co. is the brand name under which Panera Bread Inc. continues to operate in the company’s home market of St. Louis. While the number of Saint Louis Bread locations has remained flat at 48, the concept’s 8.5-percent increase in estimated sales per unit to $2.5 million has tracked closely with parent Panera Bread’s rate of growth for average unit sales.
As with sibling concept Paradise Bakery & Café, Saint Louis Bread benefits from sales- and traffic-driving initiatives developed by Panera, like its programs to increase its catering business and step up marketing spending. At the same time, however, the chain likely will encounter the same headwinds to its same-store sales growth momentum that Panera has cited previously. In particular, softer sales and traffic at the breakfast daypart have offset growth in the evening, which the fast-casual chain plans to remedy in the second half of the year by mixing in more product-specific advertising aimed at breakfast items with the “Live consciously, eat deliciously” campaign.