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Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Sales: $83.8 million (+1.2%)
Headquarters: Southlake, Texas
Market segment: Casual Dining
No. of units: 19 (–5%)
ESPU: $4.3 million (+3.8%)
Year founded: 1996

Parent Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc., which also operates the high-end Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House and the more casual Del Frisco’s Grille concepts, has been working this year to reposition the 19-unit Sullivan’s Steakhouse concept. Originally designed to evoke a Prohibition-era eatery with live jazz, DFRG recently has been recasting the concept as “an affordable neighborhood steakhouse” by introducing a fixed-price menu.

In the most recent quarter ended June 11, as the company worked toward that goal, Sullivan’s saw traffic increase 1.4 percent but revenues dip about 2.7 percent and the average check slip 4.1 percent. “We’re devoting significant resources to retooling the brand to ensure it is widely viewed as the affordable destination for upscale neighborhood steakhouse dining,” said Mark S. Mednansky, DFRG’s chief executive. The company said it is willing to accept lower checks as it redesigns the dining and bar areas and repositions advertising. That includes promoting a new $39 Sure Thing menu, which is a three-course meal option that includes appetizer, salad and entrée. The brand also replaced 19 items on the menu.
 

Red Mango

Sales: $64 million (+30.6%)
Headquarters: Dallas
Market segment: Beverage-Snack
No. of units: 209 (+40.3%)
ESPU: $357,500 (–9.2%)
Year founded: 2006

Red Mango has carved out an international niche by branding itself as a healthier-for-you frozen yogurt concept with proprietary probiotics and all-natural positioning. In an effort to strengthen its breakfast daypart business, the chain has broadened its smoothie offerings to more than 20 different recipes. The percentage of sales contributed by smoothies “continues to grow significantly,” said Jim Notarnicola, Red Mango’s director of franchising, and the menu item, along with the brand’s parfaits, can serve as more of a meal replacement than the frozen yogurt alone.

Red Mango also offers a flexible store format for franchisees, ranging from self-serve to full-service units that are available in sizes that can be as compact as 450 square feet. The company has grown with licensing partners like Aramark, Compass Group USA and Sodexo on college campuses and in airports, office buildings and health care facilities.

Notarnicola said Red Mango is on track to open about 75 stores this year. At mid-year 2013 the company had about 250 stores, with international growth in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America, and new agreements in Puerto Rico and Canada.