"Legendary Food, Legendary Service" has always been the mantra at America's largest steakhouse chain. But lately, the Texas Roadhouse has also been about some legendary gains.
The beloved chain, which boasts as many as 610 units nationwide, has been experiencing a major uptick in business for a while. In some ways, its success is a reflection of an industry-wide trend that was spurred in part by the pandemic—steakhouses are sought after, with most brands seeing a bump in business in the last year.
For more, check out 4 Dine-In Chains Falling Out of Favor With Customers.
But in recent weeks, Texas Roadhouse has stood out ahead of the pack, thanks to astronomic popularity during a time when most of its competitors struggled. While the surge in the Omicron variant negatively affected business at all other major steakhouse chains, the number of customer visits stayed consistently above 2020 levels at Texas Roadhouse, according to Restaurant Business.
The chain's numbers were up 15% compared to 2019 this past December, and even while Omicron reared its head at the beginning of 2022, they continued to outpace 2020 numbers every week but one. The upward trajectory at Texas Roadhouse peaked last July when sales grew 33.4% compared to 2019. And it's worth noting, this is all continuing despite the fact that the Roadhouse raised menu prices several times since 2020.
Perhaps the fact that customers continue to flock, even with price increases, is a testament to just how badly Americans want a nice steak dinner these days. There's some data to back this hypothesis, too: last year, three of America's top five dining chains were steakhouses. Even in 2020, when going out to eat became a foreign concept, a steakhouse took the top spot as America's favorite full-service chain.
While Texas Roadhouse seems to have everyone's attention, they're planning to take full advantage of it. Recently, they began rolling out a new Roadhouse Pay system, which enables customers to pay their tab directly from a tablet at their table. And their off-premise business continues to thrive as well. Despite never making up even close to the bulk of their sales, our editor recently tried a Roadhouse mail-order steak and delivered a rave review.
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