Taking a closer look at the 50 top-grossing full-service restaurants within the U.S.

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See the Rankings, by Sales, AUV, Unit Count, and More

Looking back to 2019, it seems a particularly innocent time when few could even conceive of a global pandemic that would turn the world upside down. Of course, restaurants did have their share of challenges: an oversaturated dining landscape, sky-high rents, and tech disruption. For casual-dining chains (which comprise the majority of the FSR 50), such difficulties were further compounded by the ongoing volatility of the segment. Fast-casual players stole business from the bottom while more upscale indies and emerging brands picked off consumers from the top. Though this pressure was a real threat to many restaurants, it also had the potential to transform them into something better.

The chart and financial information included in this report were provided by research and consulting firm FoodserviceResults and are based on U.S. business within fiscal year 2019, the precise dates of which vary from brand to brand. The profiles for each chain, however, lead up to press time and therefore include some updates on the effects of COVID-19. All restaurants have been changed by the pandemic, and this report will undoubtedly look quite different next year.

Olive Garden

Olive Garden

1 Not only did Olive Garden land itself at the top of the FSR 50 as the best-performing full-service brand, but it also managed to post one of the stronger sales growth percentages—an impressive 6.1 percent uptick from 2018. Darden’s flagship was in an enviable position; it had the ability to forfeit marginal foot traffic in favor of longer-term, more sustainable growth. So far, the winning formula of well-timed promotions and evergreen value has proved successful. Still, Olive Garden posted its lowest comp sales in three years for the final quarter of 2019 (credited in part to the build-your-own Lasagna Mia flop). At the same time, Darden CEO Gene Lee was shoring up the company for a forthcoming recession by zeroing in on workforce retention and menu streamlining.

COVID-19: As a staunch opponent to third-party delivery, Darden mostly held to that party line, although Lee noted on an investor call in March that everything was on the table. Instead the company lowered its own delivery minimum from $75 to $40 in most states while also offering curbside and catering pickup. That same month, Darden rolled out sick leave for employees as furloughs began; Lee forfeited his salary, and senior executives cut their earnings in half. Though sales nosedived, especially in the initial weeks of dine-in bans, Olive Garden began recapturing business in May as more dining rooms reopened, albeit at limited capacities.


2 America’s largest neighborhood grill and bar forfeited the No. 1 slot in 2019 after sales fell 3 percent, the most dramatic decrease among the top 10. The drop came as Applebee’s continued working to solidify a value-focused brand direction that harkens back to the old days. The Dine Brands concept may have shuttered several locations, but it also bumped up the remaining stores’ average unit volume. In terms of innovation, Applebee’s remained undaunted, introducing a string of new deals from $9.99 Sizzlin’ Entrées to All You Can Eat Boneless Wings and $7.99 Irresist-A-Bowls. The past year also marked the brand’s entry into fast casual with its first Applebee’s Express unit.

COVID-19: Like many brands, the coronavirus did a number on Applebee’s, ending a 10-week streak of positive same-store sales. But unlike some casual-dining peers, the chain opted to take the hit on the marketing side by cancelling its second-quarter media commitments with the goal of using those dollars to market the reopening of its dining rooms, which began in April. Amid the chaos, the parent company also began its search for a new CEO ahead of Steve Joyce’s contract expiring in February.

Buffalo Wild Wings

3 Sales, AUV, and store counts held mostly steady for Buffalo Wild Wings, but that’s not to say it was a dull year behind the scenes. For one, the chain’s largest franchisee, Diversified Restaurant Holdings, was sold to a private equity firm for $130 million last fall. It also expanded its pop culture scope beyond sports and into the gambling arena through a landmark partnership with MGM Resorts. Similarly, it dipped its toes into the music world when rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony changed its name to Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony following the introduction of BWW’s boneless wings.

COVID-19: As the largest sports grill chain in the U.S., BWW closed its dining rooms at arguably the worst possible time: right before the start of March Madness. The brand quickly pivoted to off-premises with special deals and free delivery. In April it joined the NFL’s annual live draft by offering Draft Day Bundles and a virtual game, Picks and Props, via the BWW app. Seemingly incapable of sitting still even during a pandemic, BWW opened its first to-go-only restaurant in May, which could prove a smooth addition since Inspire Brands’ other concepts are all limited service.


Chili's Burgers In A Lineup

4 The larger concept of the Brinker International pair, Chili’s trimmed a few stores in 2019, yielding a gentle increase in overall revenues and AUV. At the same time, corporate also bought back 116 stores from ERJ Dining, the brand’s largest franchisee stateside. Such moves are all part of a multi-year turnaround plan that encompasses everything from technological updates and a stronger rewards program to a renewed focus on classic menu items at lower costs, such as the 3 for $10 deal that includes a nonalcoholic beverage, appetizer, and entrée. The chain has also embraced third-party delivery and sped up throughput.

COVID-19: Even if sales have yet to increase by leaps and bounds, the turnaround strategy has proved its mettle during the coronavirus. Chili’s began reopening dining rooms in late April, and by June more than 80 percent of its restaurants were offering on-site dining. But even when stores were closed, employees didn’t lose access to their health account or other employee benefits. In June, Brinker International also claimed that its average comp sales were 20 percent higher than its casual-dining competitors.


5 IHOP has managed to do what few legacy, casual-dining brands have yet to achieve: curry favor with young consumers. In recent years the brand has started and maintained conversations on social media (to wit, the buzz around its brief IHOb name change); introduced new, permanent and limited-time menu additions (the Ultimate Steakburger, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken, holiday-themed pancakes); and streamlined its back-of-house operations. Last fall, IHOP partnered with TravelCenters of America to open nearly 100 new stores over the next five years—the deal was the largest in the brand’s 60-plus-year history.

COVID-19: Like a few of its casual-dining peers, IHOP had already experimented with off-premises before the pandemic hit. Although the its plans to introduce a fast-casual spin-off, Flip’D by IHOP, in Atlanta this year were disrupted, the R&D behind it served as a helpful guide when its full-service counterparts pivoted to off-premises-only. In May, 49-unit franchisee CFRA Holdings declared bankruptcy, citing the coronavirus as the primary cause. Despite this and other setbacks, parent company Dine Brands expects IHOP to eventually increase its market share following the closure of many independent competitors.

Texas Roadhouse

6 Of the top 10 full-service brands, Texas Roadhouse took the cake both in terms of sales and unit count growth. Meanwhile, its average unit volume within the same group was bested only by The Cheesecake Factory, which regularly pumps out numbers so high that the brand is in a league of its own. Like all restaurants, the chain has grappled with rising labor costs, which it addressed through higher menu prices, more deliberate staffing levels at peak hours, and more efficient systems in place. All the while it’s doubled down on company culture with a mission to hire and retain “all the cool people.”

COVID-19: Texas Roadhouse’s response to the coronavirus could serve as a whitepaper for many brands. In March, founder Kent Taylor was one of the first chief executives of a major restaurant company to forgo his salary as a means of paying hourly employees; the brand’s COO, CMO, and CFO followed suit a month later. Although the coronavirus may have halted growth plans for its spin-off concept, Bubba’s 33, Texas Roadhouse has aggressively pursued off-premises in its own operation, transforming a somewhat paltry $8,400 per week in to-go sales in January to $56,000 by the end of April.


7 Like just about every other casual-dining chain, Denny’s has been navigating something of an identity crisis. Menu changes over the past few years have affected some 80 percent of dishes. At the same time, the chain is retooling its real estate strategy, menu, and store design with most locations already sporting the Heritage model just in time for a newer, 2.0 iteration to be rolled out. Thanks to a refranchising strategy started in 2018, Denny’s was able to sell more than a 100 units to franchisees. With cash on hand, it briefly flirted with the idea of acquiring another concept.

COVID-19: On paper, Denny’s seemed better prepared for off-premises-only than the average restaurant. Even before the coronavirus, it had promoted family-style meals for carryout and leaned into online ordering and delivery through the Denny’s On Demand platform. Though off-premises surged, the company still posted a 76 percent same-store sales drop in April compared with the previous year. Conditions began to improve in May as more than 500 stores reopened and early comps ticked up about 20 percentage points.

Outback Steakhouse

8 Last year has been anything but uneventful for Bloomin’ Brands’ flagship concept. Highlights include a mega deal with DoorDash, making it the largest steakhouse on the third-party delivery platform; its parent company considering a sale; and the executive chairwoman of the board, Liz Smith, stepping down. All the while, Outback has been working its way back to a more solvent future after kicking the “drug of discounting,” as CEO David Deno said on an earnings call.

COVID-19: Deno opted to forgo his salary until further notice, and the board of directors agreed to halt any cash retainer, the funds of which were put toward employees. During the months of dine-in bans, Bloomin’ did not furlough or lay off any employees at the corporate level—a decision that later accelerated the reopening process. In early June, when half of all Outback locations were offering dine-in, the brand had recaptured about 90 percent of its pre-crisis business, even with capacity limitations in place. By the end of the month, Bloomin’ had reopened most domestic locations across its four brands.

Cracker Barrel

Creative Uses Of Walnuts Can Help Restaurants Appeal To Diners

9 It was a fruitful year for Cracker Barrel, with revenues up 3.5 percent and AUVs enjoying a 2 percent boost. The comfort food chain was also busy at work diversifying its portfolio. Last fall, it acquired 33-unit Maple Street Biscuit Company with the intention of converting its seven Holler & Dash stores to the more established fast casual. Just before that deal, it had entered into a strategic partnership with up-and-coming Punch Bowl Social under a vision of scaling it beyond 100 domestic locations.

COVID-19: Cracker Barrel’s promising relationship with Punch Bowl Social turned sour in the early days of the coronavirus. When the eatertainment concept defaulted on its loan following the closure of all 19 locations, Cracker Barrel demurred the option to cover the company’s debt. Instead it partnered with DoorDash to bolster off-premises and also launched a program to donate meals to front-line healthcare workers. With a large volume of stores across the Southeast, Cracker Barrel benefited from those states’ early reopenings though that good fortune could prove short-lived as new COVID-19 cases surge across the region.

Red Lobster

10 The full-service seafood leader is nothing if not dogged in its efforts to evolve with the times. Unlike others in the category, it had embraced third-party delivery prior to COVID-19. It emphasized value with a seemingly bottomless barrel of promotions and specials (from Endless Shrimp to Create Your Own Ultimate Feast) but still took care to create a differentiated dine-in experience. Despite these efforts, Red Lobster struggled to woo younger consumers, as evidenced by declines in systemwide sales, AUV, and store count.

COVID-19: Calling upon the power of promos, Red Lobster has doubled down on the deals, offering competitively priced to-go specials tailored for family meals and date nights. It’s also added an interactive element to at-home dining, thanks to recipe cards for variations on its Cheddar Bay Biscuits. As for giving back, the company partnered with the Napa Seafood Foundation to get meals to healthcare workers.

The Cheesecake Factory

11 The Cheesecake Factory puts all other FSR 50 brands to shame with an AUV surpassing $10 million—that’s a $1.5 million buffer between the next most lucrative-per-unit restaurant. In 2019, it not only welcomed dozens of new Cheesecake Factory units into the fold, but it also acquired Fox Restaurant Concepts, with plans to aggressively grow North Italia and Flower Child. On the operational side, The Cheesecake Factory pursued on- and off-premises improvements through delivery and limited dine-in reservations, respectively.

COVID-19: The brand made headlines early in the pandemic when CEO David Overton wrote a letter explaining that its restaurants would not be paying rent. Shortly thereafter, it furloughed 41,000 employees. In June, as reopenings were under way, the chain temporarily shuttered 87 restaurants amid protests surrounding the murder of George Floyd.

LongHorn Steakhouse

12 Darden’s second-largest concept may pull in less than half the revenue of Olive Garden, but LongHorn Steakhouse’s star is on the rise with revenue and AUV growth that bests its big sister. The upward momentum has been largely credited to a simplified operating model that trimmed the menu, pushed offerings toward more premium cuts, and promoted upsell items. Looking ahead, disrupted meat supply chains due to COVID-19 could be an obstacle for it and other steakhouse concepts.

Red Robin

13 The largest burger restaurant in full service has undergone some soul searching, infusing the brand with fresh blood—including CEO Paul Murphy and new members to the board of directors—while also getting back to its values by trimming the menu and accelerating a new hospitality model called the Total Guest Experience. In a strange way, the coronavirus presented an opportunity for Red Robin to go head-to-head with the better-burger fast-casual segment that has been swiping business away for nearly a decade.

Golden Corral

14 Things weren’t going so well for the buffet-centric Southeast chain even before the pandemic; systemwide sales, AUV, and unit count slipped in 2019. But now as competitors like Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes go under, Golden Corral is considering how it could reopen without the buffet element.

Waffle House

15 Like Subway on the quick-service side, Waffle House makes its fortunes not through steep checks but rather ubiquity. Though the chain closed a few odd stores in 2019, its system of 1,900 stores remains vast. Waffle House has long prided itself on keeping the doors open during adverse conditions, like natural disasters, but in April it chose Postmates as its first delivery partner.

BJ’s Restaurant

16 Last year was relatively uneventful yet overall positive for BJ’s Restaurant, however, since the coronavirus it’s been nothing short of a rollercoaster. Even though off-premises orders increased, overall sales declined, prompting the brand to lay off 16,000 workers, furlough 200 managers and 40 support center employees, and, like The Cheesecake Factory, not pay rent. Help came in the form of a $70 million investment from Panera founder Ron Shaich in May. Reopened restaurants further brightened the business without dampening off-premises sales.

TGI Fridays

17 Despite a less-than-stellar 2019, TGI Fridays kicked off the new year with a bombshell revelation. Under a $380 million deal with Allegro Merger Corp., the company would go public at a time when many chains were retreating to the private sector. But the deal was not to be; in April, citing the weak market and uncertain conditions brought on by the coronavirus, both parties opted to drop the planned merger.


18 Following the lead of BWW, Hooters entered the sports-betting arena earlier this year through a partnership with KonekTV in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. During COVID-19 dine-in restrictions, the brand introduced curbside pickup service nationwide.

P.F. Chang’s

19 It was a solid year for the Pan-Asian cuisine leader with steady, positive growth. In February, it introduced P.F. Chang’s To Go in Chicago, which, while not the original intent, became something of a dry run for the greater brand as its expansive dine-in operations were forced to pivot to off-premises just a month later.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans

20 Last year, Bob Evans recommitted to its “America’s Farm Fresh” ethos after spending years (like many casual-dining chains) chasing the golden goose that is the millennial customer. The shift in messaging has yet to yield quantifiable results, and the effects of the coronavirus could further compound existing challenges.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

21 The upscale steakhouse experienced modest growth in 2019 before being chucked into chaos in March. As a concept that prides itself on the dine-in experience, Ruth’s Chris watched its sales plummet. In May, weekly sales averaged $30,600 at its reopened corporate stores compared to $106,400 the previous year.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen

22 In the three years since Darden purchased the Texas-based chain, the parent company has worked to bring Cheddar’s labor management up to the portfolio standard and boost brand awareness. The investment seems to be paying off with new stores coming down the pipeline and systemwide sales up a healthy 3.6 percent.

Ruby Tuesday

23 Hard times have long been the order of business for Ruby Tuesday. NRD Capital Management brought the restaurant back into the private sector and installed turnaround pro Ray Blanchette as CEO in 2018. But his tenure didn’t even last the year, and in 2019 the downward motion remained unabated with sales down and some 40-odd store closures.

Carrabba’s Italian Grill

Carrabba's Italian Grill

24 Like sister concept Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s forfeited some traffic this year in favor of building a healthier guest base through less deep discounting. As an Italian concept, it walks a precarious line, competing against fellow casual-dining chains and beloved independents. Lying somewhere in between the ubiquity of Olive Garden and the more upscale atmosphere of Maggiano’s, Carrabba’s continues to search for its sweet spot.

California Pizza Kitchen

25 California Pizza Kitchen remains the top full-service pizza brand, but that speaks to its existing pipeline and lack of competition, rather than growth. Things turned bleaker this spring when it retained the services of two financial advisory firms to facilitate discussions with the brand’s lenders and avoid bankruptcy. Still, the brand is working to get into the lucrative off-premises pizza game with special meal kits.

Yard House

26 Yard House’s AUV dipped last year, bringing it below personal records that once eclipsed $8 million per store. Nevertheless, 2019 was prosperous overall for the beer-plus-bites brand, which capitalized on the elevated pub model and ratcheted system-wide sales up 7 percent while opening a handful of new stores.


27 Strictly in terms of financials, Perkins fared the worst of any brand on the FSR 50, with double-digit losses, nearly 70 locations shuttering, systemwide sales nosediving $75 million, and bankruptcy in August 2019. It’s a grim picture but not one without hope: Last fall, Huddle House purchased the chain, and now the pair can pool resources across their combined 700 units.

Bonefish Grill

28 Bloomin’s seafood concept slipped in 2019, with overall sales and AUVs down; in February, it also lost brand president Jeff Carcara after only a year on the job. Bonefish Grill’s slightly elevated atmosphere combined with seafood’s to-go challenges meant it was harder hit by dine-in bans than Outback and Carrabba’s. Nevertheless, the brand did what it could to innovate, creating special family bundles for off-premises dining.

Dave & Buster’s

29 Eatertainment pioneer Dave & Buster’s added a dozen-odd locations and kicked sales up by more than 10 percent. Any celebration quickly halted as COVID-19 decimated the broader segment. As for the brand, it lost $43.5 million in the quarter ending May 3.

Logan’s Roadhouse

30 The largest concept in the CraftWorks Holdings portfolio, Logan’s Roadhouse had a relatively calm year; sales dipped, but AUV grew. In March, underlying issues within the parent company quickly became apparent as CraftWorks shuttered 37 underperforming stores and filed for Chapter 11—and that was before COVID-19 struck. The pandemic disrupted its initial plans and, in the end, CraftWorks was sold to Fortress Investment Group in May for $45 million less than the original, agreed upon price.

First Watch

31 Breakfast is big, and First Watch is the darling of the segment; 2019 was a blockbuster year for the Florida-based chain. In terms of sales and unit count growth, it was bested only by Cooper’s Hawk Winery—and by less than a percentage point in the former category. It’s an even more impressive feat when considering the low check averages and limited hours of breakfast concepts. While those numbers may not be as high next year because of the coronavirus, the brand is poised to emerge from the pandemic even stronger. During a temporary, system-wide shutdown in April, First Watch not only mastered online ordering in a matter of days, but it also tripled its off-premises business and upgraded its waitlist-management system.

The Capital Grille

32 Thanks to its upscale nature and high AUV, The Capital Grille can post positive numbers without reinventing the wheel or charging toward market saturation. But Darden’s poshest concept, like most fine-dining establishments, has faced an uphill battle amid coronavirus regulations.

Miller’s Ale House

33 Florida-based Miller’s Ale House had a strong year, lifting sales by more than 8 percent and opening several new locations. But like other sports bar/grill restaurants, it was hit hard by the pandemic. In March, the company furloughed thousands of employees, and the ensuing months brought more bad news when it shuttered its two Nevada outposts and lone New England store for the foreseeable future.


34 In recent years Chuy’s has grappled with rising labor costs, though its 2019 financials reveal no such struggle when sales climbed $35 million. Because of its prior investment in off-premises options and in-store technology, Chuy’s business has started to regain lost ground with most locations offering (limited) dine-in service as of June.


35 The struggles of the casual-dining segment are especially apparent at O’Charley’s, which closed more than two dozen stores and experienced a significant loss of revenue. During the pandemic, it launched family-style meals for larger crowds and $5-$6-$7 Lunch Meals for budget-minded customers. The brand also introduced a Hometown Heroes initiative to help feed healthcare workers.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

36 It was a relatively calm year for the smaller of Brinker International’s two brands. Foot traffic that fell below projections led to a slightly disappointing final quarter and also hampered AUV, though the brand still managed to reach the same annual sales as 2018. The upscale Italian chain entered an exclusive delivery partnership with DoorDash while also integrating ordering capability into the restaurant’s website.

Mellow Mushroom

37 The psychedelic pizza slinger lost an estimated $40 million in revenue and 25 units in 2019. While there is no smoking gun for the marked downturn, competition from the glut of fast-casual pizza concepts and a growing demand for convenience undoubtedly came into play.

Fogo de Chão

38 Thanks to a high AUV and steady unit count growth, Fogo de Chão clinched top honors among the handful of Brazilian churrascaria chains in the states. The only thing that might slow such momentum? COVID-19. Fogo’s experiential dine-in nature does not translate well beyond the restaurant’s four walls. Plus, its popular Market Table could be a thing of the past as buffet dining comes under scrutiny.

Texas de Brazil Churrascaria

39 Texas de Brazil Churrascaria could soon eclipse Fogo de Chão as the No. 1 Brazilian steakhouse chain. Locations do about $3 million less on average, but Texas de Brazil makes up for it with a larger system and faster growth rate. That said, the pair were neck and neck on the FSR 50 five years ago, so there’s a good chance the dance will continue into the future.

Twin Peaks

40 With about a quarter of the units of competitor Hooters, Twin Peaks has more whitespace to fill in. Plus, the Texas-based chain does about 1.5 times the average-unit volume thanks to menu innovation in the form of smoked-in-house dishes and elevated beverages.

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant

41 In terms of growth, no one, not even “it” brand First Watch, could keep up with Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. Founded 16 years ago in a small Chicago suburb, the restaurant/winery boosted systemwide revenue by more than 25 percent while expanding its footprint by a dozen units. Its success is due in part to an unconventional operating model that marries upscale, New American eats to a wine tasting room; it doesn’t hurt, too, that AUV clocks in around $8.5 million. During the pandemic, the chain not only offered takeout and delivery, but it also served meals to furloughed employees.

On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina

42 In addition to shuttering about a dozen locations, On the Border closed 2019 with a security breach. Though the chain is relatively unchallenged by fellow Tex-Mex brands, it is at odds with a number of independent and regional concepts. The downward trajectory prompted a shakeup; in June, it brought in a new CEO and CFO, both alums of Krystal.

Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen

43 Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen may garner less buzz than larger chains like Red Lobster and Bonefish Grill, but the family-owned enterprise is beloved by many—as reflected in its steadily growing revenues. Though the chain had declined third-party delivery in the past, it partnered up amid the flurry of dine-in bans.

Village Inn

44 Last year was a rough one for Village Inn, which cited cutthroat competition in the family-dining sector and the rise of grocerants. In January, parent company American Blue Ribbon Holdings, which also owns Bakers Square, declared bankruptcy and closed 33 Village Inn units in hopes of resetting the beleaguered brand.

Black Bear Diner

Black Bear Diner

45 Black Bear Diner has been hard at work expanding far beyond its California roots. In 2019 alone, it added nearly 20 new units to the system while also elevating its dinner service through offerings like carving stations. Behind the scenes, the C-suite has welcomed new blood into the mix, including Farmer Boys’ Tammy Johns as chief people officer, O’Charley’s Steve Sparks as CFO, industry veteran Joe Adney as CMO, and American Blue Ribbons Holdings’ Jeff Guido. President and former CFO Anita Adams also ascended to the role of chief executive.

Famous Dave’s

46 The largest full-service barbecue chain may be down, but it is most certainly not out. Over the last couple of years, Famous Dave’s has bought back stores from franchisees to foster a nimbler brand in the ever-changing restaurant landscape. That approach has proved downright prescient; in the earliest days of COVID-19, the brand was able to ferry its business off-premises, with traffic on its proprietary app leaping 200 percent year over year.

Brio Tuscan Grille

47 In mid-2018, plans were underway to lean into the Italian-Mediterranean ethos of Brio Tuscan Grille and sister concept Bravo Cucina, though that positioning has yet to yield fruit. In April, parent group FoodFirst Global Restaurants declared bankruptcy, citing the negative effects of the coronavirus, but was rescued along with Bravo Cucina soon after by Earl Enterprises, parent of Planet Hollywood among other concepts.

Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

48 Though Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub shares a parent (Fidelity Newport Holdings) with ill-fated American Blue Ribbon Holdings, the former was unaffected by the latter’s bankruptcy. In fact, the casual-dining chain fared well in 2019, adding  new stores and pushing system-wide sales over the $300 million mark.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse

49 Bloomin’s smallest concept has, arguably, the greatest potential for future growth. To that end, Fleming’s has been actively pursuing the fine-dining sector. Revenues and store count remained mostly unchanged in 2019, but it’s safe to assume those financials could decrease as COVID-19 decimates dine-in business.

Saltgrass Steakhouse

50 Saltgrass Steakhouse may not have the flamboyance of Bubba Gump and Rainforest Café nor the storied past of Chart House, but it is the only brand within the Landry’s family to land a spot on the FSR 50. The Texas-born steakhouse had a good 2019, but its parent company embroiled itself in a bit of controversy in March when owner Tilman Fertitta urged the government to lift social-distance restrictions.


FSR partnered with FoodserviceResults for this year’s FSR 50 report. Confirmation of U.S. sales, units, and average-unit volumes (AUV) were requested from all leading chain restaurant operators corporate headquarters. Filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Franchise Disclosure Documents (FDD), transactional data, and statistics from other sources were amalgamated, reviewed, and analyzed to yield domestic sales, unit count, and average-unit volumes. When necessary, estimates were made for fiscal year 2019 in order to more accurately report on restaurant industry leaders. Founded by industry veteran Darren Tristano, FoodserviceResults is a research and consulting firm specializing in consumer research, data analysis, and insights to the foodservice industry.

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