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Steakhouse Chains Showing Sustained Visit Growth

by 
Bracha Arnold
 on 
March 22, 2022
Steakhouse Chains Showing Sustained Visit Growth

We took a look at some of the leading steakhouse chains in the US to find out how the sector is recovering and what the future might hold.

LongHorn Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse 

Indoor dining was one of the industries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite two years of lockdowns, restrictions, and lingering limits on indoor dining, visits to Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn Steakhouse are on the rise. Even amidst the overall decrease in dining trends nationwide over the past two years, these two chains have maintained their overall growth pattern. 

LongHorn Steakhouse, which began a well-timed menu optimization process in 2019, has seen sustained growth throughout the past two years. The brand finished 2021 with a year over two year (Yo2Y) 11.1% increase in December visits and saw minimal Yo2Y visit dips in January and February in the face of an industry-wide Omicron-downturn. 

Texas Roadhouse, which has maintained its edge as America’s leading steakhouse chain, has seen an even greater Yo2Y visit growth as diners continue to flock to this grillhouse leader. And the increased visits are translating to increased profits, with the chain surpassing analysts’ earning estimates for three out of the four quarters in 2021.   

As the Omicron wave eases, indoor dining continues to recover, and nicer weather creates more possibilities for outdoor seating, we can anticipate more continued growth from the two grillhouse leaders. 

The Capital Grille, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, Colton’s Steak House & Grill

While Texas Roadhouse and LongHorn Steakhouse are seeing success with their massive store fleet of over 500 locations each, smaller chains such as The Capital Grille, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, and Colton’s Steak House and Grill are also showing continued growth. 

In a year-over-year (YoY) comparison between Q4 2021 and Q4 2020 visits, all three chains boasted consistent increases in visitors. Average weekly visits in December 2021 for The Capital Grille, Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, and Colton’s Steak House & Grill boasted 12.4%, 14.4%, and 19.2% more December visits when compared to the same month in 2019. 

Swift Omicron Recovery 

Looking at early 2022 data confirms just how resilient these restaurants have been in the face of serious challenges. While the dining sector saw a major Omicron-induced dip in Yo2Y visits in the beginning of the year, all the steakhouse chains analyzed already returned to growth by mid-February and have posted weekly Yo2Y visit increases for the past four weeks. 

These chains' impressive foot traffic numbers show that despite the difficult circumstances, some sit-down chains have managed to not only weather the storm but maintain impressive growth. 

For more updates on dining and other retail insights, visit our blog

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