Golden Corral Beats Red Lobster in Highest-Grossing Restaurant List

by Jamie Walden  on Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 12:00 am  

Montine McNulty says that controlling costs is important to consumers.

Staats said he cut budgets and personnel hours. But, to his surprise, business began to boom.

"Then the next thing you know we're having to give [employees] their hours back. It's a good problem to have."

Roger Schmidt, district manager of Golden Partners, credited the management team, unchanged for about 12 years.

Staats said the location diversified into catering several years ago, a venture that has since developed into a self-sufficient business unit that accounted for about 10 percent of the location's revenue in 2008.

Big Deals in Little Rock

Meanwhile, in the capital city, the Little Rock National Airport's restaurant Host International swooped into the top spot. Host's revenue grew 10 percent from 2007 to nearly $4.6 million, while the revenue of Little Rock's Red Lobster declined nearly 12 percent to $3.9 million.

Nipping at the heels of the ebbing Red Lobster at 8407 W. Markham St. is the young Chick-fil-A at 6201 W. Markham. During the restaurant's first full calendar year of business, Chick-fil-A grossed nearly $3.7 million, catapulting it to third place on the Little Rock list.

The McDonald's on West Markham leapfrogged over seven restaurants to claim fourth place on the Little Rock list. The fast food industry's golden boy grew revenue by 12.4 percent.

In fact, all of the McDonald's locations in Little Rock experienced revenue growth that was at or near double digits.

"McDonald's, nationwide, is up significantly in this economy, and I think that those stores are just following the trend," McNulty said. "McDonald's is certainly benefiting from the down economy."

Revenue for the McDonald's on Broadway in downtown Little Rock surged 14 percent, the highest of all locations.

"It may be that the business community, where they might not normally in a robust economy be patronizing McDonald's, you may see more business people driving through or going there for lunch," McNulty said.



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