What is in this article?:
Yogurtland, Il Fornaio
Sales: $112.2 million (+10.8%)
Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
Market segment: Beverage-Snack
No. of units: 184 (+8.9%)
ESPU: $635,700 (–13.1%)
Year founded: 2006
Pinkberry may have sparked the revival of frozen yogurt in the past decade, but it was Yogurtland that pioneered the self-service model in which guests pay by the ounce — a format most frozen yogurt players have imitated. In the crowded froyo space, Yogurtland has strived to differentiate by focusing on offering “real ingredients” sourced from original locations. The Madagascar vanilla beans come from Madagascar, the Belgian chocolate is from Belgium, and the maqui berries are from Patagonia.
The chain boasts a team of “flavorologists” who develop custom yogurt flavors, from Sticky Toffee Pudding to Guava Grapefruit Sorbet, and more than 60 premium toppings and fresh fruits are available for guests to pile on. Most locations offer 16 flavors at any one time.
This year, Yogurtland is moving into new markets, like Rhode Island, as well as filling in existing markets in California, Boston, Chicago and New York, with about 50 units in the pipeline for the second half of the year.
Internationally, the brand is growing in Australia, Guam, Mexico and Venezuela.
Sales: $107.1 million (–0.5%)
Headquarters: Corte Madera, Calif.
Market segment: Casual Dining
No. of units: 19 (–5%)
ESPU: $5.5 million (+2.1%)
Year founded: 1981
Originally a baking school and bakery chain, Il Fornaio branched out into the full-service restaurant business, eventually going public in 1997. The chain went private again in a management buyout in 2001. Six years later, Il Fornaio bought Corner Bakery Cafe from Brinker International Inc. Roark Capital Group acquired both brands in 2011.
Since then, Il Fornaio closed a few underperforming units and sold two bakery facilities. The buyer, Zurich-based bread company Aryzta, however, is producing bread under the Il Fornaio brand. Some restaurants have bakery facilities where bread is still baked in-house.
Il Fornaio is looking to grow its restaurants again for the first time in five years, and a new prototype is in the works. Some of the new elements will be seen in the remodel of the chain’s Las Vegas location.
The chain also is building its bar business, with a popular happy hour and artisan cocktails. Though many locations are three daypart, officials said the new Il Fornaio will move away from less profitable breakfast to focus more on evening bar business.