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Contents At A Glance

Chain LeaderEditorial Archives2006 — January — Contents

January 2006

Cover Story: Making Tracks
Gary Bryant is positioning 38-unit Bear Rock Cafe to become a national chain. To prepare the quick-casual bakery-cafe concept for expansion, CEO, COO and CFO Bryant has spent the last 18 months hiring support staff, fine-tuning back-of-the-house operations, overseeing a new interior and exterior design, and rolling out the chain’s first series of limited-time offers. The company posted an estimated $29 million in systemwide sales in 2005 and has multiunit franchise agreements signed for 177 new stores in 22 states.

Storyboard: Bait and Switch
After using a brand-oriented campaign for several years, Taco Del Mar has shifted its advertising strategy to a new food-focused campaign to market the new shrimp option available for the fresh-Mexican chain’s tacos, burritos and enchiladas. The TV spots play up a misunderstanding when a short customer orders shrimp and thinks the cashier is calling him a shrimp. Same-store sales increased 7 percent to 11 percent while the ads aired.

Restauratour: Class Act
Damon’s Grill opened its first location on a university campus in October at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. The unit incorporates Damon’s traditional decor including multiple TVs, sports photos and arched windows. But the smaller location differs with elements such as banquettes instead of booths and only two big-screen TVs instead of four. The company says the unit, which comprises a full-service restaurant and limited-menu concept with counter service, is posting sales ahead of projections.

Toque Of The Town: Branching Out
Vice President of Food and Beverage Chris Gatto has diversified Uno Chicago Grill’s menu with more adventurous, artisanal fare. He has created more-healthful items like a veggie-goat cheese wrap, a line of flatbread pizzas, and more signature entrees such as barbecue pork sticks, while remaining true to the chain’s popular deep-dish pizzas. Uno hopes the new strategy will build business lunches, attract family dinner guests and woo evening-with-friends crowds. Since launching the new menu in October, sales and check averages are up and traffic is building.

Special Report: How to Grow to 100 Units
Chain Leader gathered nine chain operators from up-and-coming chains and established concepts to share the trials and tribulations of growth at a roundtable discussion called “How to Grow to 100 Units.” Chain Leader's "How to Grow to 100 Units" site is devoted to helping entrepreneurs and young chains get to the next level. We connect you with other young chains and more experienced operators to help accomplish your goal.

Editorial: Higher Calling

The Bernstein Perspective: One Day at a Time

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