Industry Magazine recently published a list of the Top 100 Independent Restaurants in America for 2008 based on dollar volume of sales for food and beverage.
It’s an interesting list and here are a few of the stats that caught my eye.
The #1 restaurant, for the 3rd year in a row, was TAO-an Asian Bistro located in the Shops at the Canal, in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. They did an amazing 64 million dollars in business in 2008. The #2 restaurant, New York City’s famous Tavern on the Green did 34 million. Ironically, Tavern on the Green served their final meals at a New Year’s Eve party on December 31st, 2009, just a few weeks ago. It seems their long term lease was up and they were outbid for the lease by another restaurant group. Tavern on the Green has since filed for bankruptcy. The new owners would like to keep the same name but rumor has it the current holders of the name want $19 million dollars for it.
Most of the places listed in the Top 100 are in Las Vegas (24) or New York City (31). The only two local entries were Carmines (Atlantic City) at #51 and The Lobster House in Cape May, NJ at #40.
The highest average check in the group was a whopping $144.00 per person at The Four Seasons in New York. The lowest check of the group was a restaurant that I actually ate at in the town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The $14.00 per person average check at Zehender’s (#48) is for the many, many chicken dinners they serve in this German-American town that bills itself as the “Christmas Capital of America”.
The complete list can be found here then click on RI Research at top of page.