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Restaurants on a Roll
US News ^ | November 4, 2009 | Rick Newman

Posted on 11/09/2009 4:38:11 AM PST by iowamark

t might not be good for America's waistline, but froufrou dining off petite plates is out. The recession has made us hungry for family-size piles of comfort food..

Like other segments of the retail economy, the restaurant industry has struggled over the past two years as unemployment has soared and consumers have curtailed spending. The National Restaurant Association's performance index shows that the industry has been shrinking for 23 months in a row. High-end bistros have fared the worst, with sales at fancy restaurants like Ruth's Chris and Morton's Steakhouse off by 20 percent or more, as corporate customers pare expenses and other diners trade down. Casual- and family-dining places have suffered too, as people eat out less, order more takeout, or cook at home. Even fast-food chains like McDonald's and Burger King have lost business, despite dollar meals and other deals meant to keep the fryers sizzling.

Still, as in other whipsawed industries, a few survivors stand to benefit from the widespread pain. To figure out who they are, I analyzed data provided by financial research firm Capital IQ, a unit of Standard & Poor's, to see which publicly owned restaurant companies with at least $250 million in annual sales have gained revenue and market share since the recession began near the end of 2007. Then I researched earnings reports and other sources to separate firms with strong inherent growth from those benefiting from mergers, accounting anomalies, or one-time events.

Of 41 firms on Capital IQ's initial list, only eight made the final cut. All emphasize value, whether it's huge portions or quality for less. And all of these companies are financially healthy, with reasonable debt and the wherewithal to keep expanding despite a credit crunch. Here are the restaurants with the right recipe for lean times:...

(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Food
KEYWORDS: bjsrestaurants; buffalowildwings; chipotle; olivegarden; panera; peetscoffeeandtea; pfchangs; texasroadhouse
Buffalo Wild Wings, BJ's Restaurants, Chipotle, Olive Garden, Panera, Peets Coffee and Tea, P.F. Chang's, Texas Roadhouse,
1 posted on 11/09/2009 4:38:13 AM PST by iowamark
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To: iowamark

Not even a recession can come between me and Cracker Barrel.


2 posted on 11/09/2009 4:45:32 AM PST by Wage Slave (Good fences make good neighbors. -- Robert Frost)
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To: Wage Slave

I agree with you. There is plenty I would cut back on but Cracker Barrel would not be one of them.


3 posted on 11/09/2009 4:48:45 AM PST by napscoordinator
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To: iowamark
I've only heard of two: Olive Garden and Panera. None of the others exist around here.

The one restaurant that does well around here is the Log Cabin. You generally get enough food for two meals at a very reasonable price. I can never finish more than half at a sitting but I often see obese people finish off the two to three thousand calorie meals.

4 posted on 11/09/2009 4:55:39 AM PST by raybbr (It's going to get a lot worse now that the anchor babies are voting!)
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To: iowamark

We also like O’CHARLIES and FAZOLIS.


5 posted on 11/09/2009 5:04:46 AM PST by jazzlite (esat)
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To: iowamark

Value meals without drinks seem to be the deal. Lots of water with lemon ordered.

Mcdonalds dollar meals sell well and their stock seems to be rising accordingly.

Applebees 2 for $20.00 sells well.

McCormick and Schmick also Has regular specials under $20.00 that are ver good.

Rhe chains who have changed are doing better then the ones who didnt.


6 posted on 11/09/2009 5:55:01 AM PST by ncfool (Obama Bare fisted Politican at home. Pantywaist VS. Real thugs abroad.)
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To: Wage Slave

Same here...being Kentuckians stuck in NE Ohio we were pleased to find a Cracker Barrel 4 miles from our house. Apparently the yankees up here like it as well because it’s always packed.


7 posted on 11/09/2009 6:07:56 AM PST by mom4melody
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To: Wage Slave
Not even a recession can come between me and Cracker Barrel

I've eaten there twice. It seems fat and salt were the two things on the menu. Even the kids hated it.

What did I miss?

8 posted on 11/09/2009 6:24:39 AM PST by FatherofFive (Islam is an EVIL like no other, and must be ERADICATED. Barack OBORTION is a close second.)
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To: jazzlite

Here in the Northeast we don’t have O’Charlies but I have eaten at their restaurants in Tenn. & Miss.; very good. They now own the ‘99’ chain in New England and NY (which goes back to the 60s or 70s). I eat at ‘99’ a lot; they’ve had stuff like chicken and sausage al forno (with cheese and ziti) for $10—portion was huge (and they threw in soup or salad and a small dessert for $3 more. The portion size and quality has always been pretty good there.


9 posted on 11/09/2009 6:42:30 AM PST by raccoonradio
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To: iowamark

Aside from Panera, all of the above s-ck.


10 posted on 11/09/2009 6:50:07 AM PST by Clemenza (Remember our Korean War Veterans)
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To: iowamark

I try to eat at local places rather than chains wherever possible, my only exception being Famous Dave’s BBQ.


11 posted on 11/09/2009 7:05:34 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: FatherofFive

If you think that Cracker Barrel is salty, you should try Texas Roadhouse (mentioned in the linked article). Everything on the menu tastes like it was soaked in brine for a week, and that includes the desserts.


12 posted on 11/09/2009 7:10:36 AM PST by Notary Sojac ("Goldman Sachs" is to "US economy" as "lamprey" is to "lake trout")
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To: iowamark

Texas Roadhouse salts the beef down to an incredible degree.
It might even be kashered.

Give me the family run one of a kind place anytime.


13 posted on 11/09/2009 7:12:15 AM PST by rahbert
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To: iowamark
Even fast-food chains like McDonald's....have lost business

Interesting that McDonalds is down in the US but up worldwide.

http://online.wsj.com/article SB10001424052748704402404574525294199176128.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_business

I think this time, under the yoke of the Baraqqis, the US is the economic laggard. But plenty of opportunities elsewhere for investors.

14 posted on 11/09/2009 7:13:19 AM PST by nascarnation
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To: rahbert

Don’t tell the Rebbe that your eating there!


15 posted on 11/09/2009 7:17:32 AM PST by ncfool (Obama Bare fisted Politican at home. Pantywaist VS. Real thugs abroad.)
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To: FatherofFive

You missed being herded in and out of the restaurant through a ultra-tacky gift shop disguised as a historic, turn of the century General Store....snark.

Sorry folks, Cracker Barrel is just GROSS!

flame away....


16 posted on 11/09/2009 10:53:38 AM PST by Mister Muggles (Seattle: a city full of liberal men with vaginas.)
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To: ncfool
Mcdonalds dollar meals sell well and their stock seems to be rising accordingly.

McDonald's always does well in bad economic times and worse in good times. Their service also improves during bad times, as they have a better pool of possible employees to choose from.

17 posted on 11/09/2009 10:57:07 AM PST by Bubba Ho-Tep ("More weight!"--Giles Corey)
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To: FatherofFive

RE: Cracker Barrel — “I’ve eaten there twice. It seems fat and salt were the two things on the menu. Even the kids hated it.

What did I miss?”

*************

CB is not in my area, but several of the fattest people I know in the NE love the place in their locale and if there’s one on their vacation routes they are in hog heaven.

Sounds like you feel about CB the way I feel about Claim Jumper. The WORST!!


18 posted on 11/09/2009 11:18:49 AM PST by CaliforniaCon
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To: Mister Muggles

The same people who love Cracker Barrel seem to love that stupid souvenir store they’ve got on-site. Not to my taste, thanks... :)


19 posted on 11/09/2009 11:20:47 AM PST by CaliforniaCon
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To: raccoonradio

RE ‘99’ restaurants up in New England — I knew there had to be a reason my huge relatives never miss a chance to stop at ‘99’ when on a road trip. PORTIONS!


20 posted on 11/09/2009 11:22:40 AM PST by CaliforniaCon
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To: iowamark

HOOTERS!!!!


21 posted on 11/09/2009 11:52:31 AM PST by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: CaliforniaCon

When I stay in Akron, OH area there’s one conveniently next to the motel (Cracker Barrel, that is). And I am from the NE.
Of course back home there are lots of non-chain places that do a half decent breakfast (sausage and cheese omellete for example)


22 posted on 11/10/2009 12:12:26 AM PST by raccoonradio
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