Skip to comments.Restaurants on a Roll
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 ...
Not even a recession can come between me and Cracker Barrel.
I agree with you. There is plenty I would cut back on but Cracker Barrel would not be one of them.
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.
We also like O’CHARLIES and FAZOLIS.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Aside from Panera, all of the above s-ck.
I try to eat at local places rather than chains wherever possible, my only exception being Famous Dave’s BBQ.
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.
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.
Interesting that McDonalds is down in the US but up worldwide.
I think this time, under the yoke of the Baraqqis, the US is the economic laggard. But plenty of opportunities elsewhere for investors.
Don’t tell the Rebbe that your eating there!
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!
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.
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!!
The same people who love Cracker Barrel seem to love that stupid souvenir store they’ve got on-site. Not to my taste, thanks... :)
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!
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)
But aside from that, their food is bland and unappetizing, served by waitresses that remind me of Church Lady from SNL.
On top of that, you got the hokey "front porch" with the chairs and swinging benches (all with price tags) that are the exact same whether you are in Tennessee or Massachusetts.
Worst of all, you got the ticky-tacky gift shop with the "They'll Do It Every Time" glasses, the Duck Dynasty calendars and the "Now That's What They Call Music" CDs.
This thread id from 2009, but.....ok. Glad to know yankees are still superior to us Southern rubes.
Actually I would not be so hasty to state that. Nobody north of Mason-Dixie line can make sweet tea and cornbread like they do down South.
Our last few Cracker Barrel visits (2 or 3 different states while traveling) were really disappointing in terms of both food and service, to the point I don’t know if we’ll continue to patronize them.
I am laughing because this thread is from 2009, because I am defending the South, and because I am drinking vodka with diet ginger ale, not necessarily in that order.
Yeah, I see that (2009, I mean). Hate when I get caught like that.
But hey — I stand by my remarks — CB used to be a travel standard, now... ehhhh... not so much.
I hope your vodka outweighs your ginger ale. It’s Saturday night, after all! ;-)
Yeah, I agree Cracker Barrel aint what it used to be. They opened a new one in St. Mary’s County and it stinks. Have a good evening.
Living in the past seems to be a specialty all your own.
Continue on grasshopper.
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