Del Frisco's plans rapid expansion of Grille concept
Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group sees big possibilities for its Grille concept.
During a conference call with analysts Tuesday, CEO Mark Mednansky said a report from consultant Tango Analytics indicates that the company could build out more than 170 Del Frisco’s Grilles nationwide.
Del Frisco’s operates 11 Grilles, including locations in Sundance Square and Southlake Town Square, which are less formal than its Double Eagle Steak Houses and serve lunch.
The executive team is keeping a close eye on the two Tarrant County restaurants, which opened late last year, and so far they like what they see.
Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey F. Carcara told analysts that both restaurants are off to a strong start and that the downtown site has not had any discernible impact on business at its Double Eagle Steak House, a few blocks away on Main Street.
Del Frisco’s plans to open five more Grilles this year — in Burlington, Mass.; Irvine, Calif.; Tampa, Fla.; Rockville, Md.; and Pasadena, Calif. — plus a Double Eagle Steak House in Washington, D.C.
The Grille expansion could boost profits, as its costs are lower in proportion to sales than its traditional steakhouses, the executives said. On Tuesday, Del Frisco’s reported that first-quarter net income rose 25 percent to $4.5 million as comparable-store sales increased by 5.5 percent. Since going public in July 2012, its stock price has more than doubled.
— Steve Kaskovich