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.

Cuts and Losses

Four former placeholders on the Little Rock list didn't make the cut this year. The Capitol Café at Arkansas Children's Hospital, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Sonic and Sam's Club Café all dropped from the top 30.

Their successors? Chick-fil-A, Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Franke's Cafeteria.

Only one restaurant fell from the list of the 30 highest-grossing restaurants in North Little Rock. Fire Mountain on East McCain filed for bankruptcy early last year and closed in May 2008.

Whole Hog Café on Warden Road, after its first full calendar year in business, claimed the vacated spot on the North Little Rock list.

The Dixie Café was the only restaurant on the North Little Rock list to experience a revenue decline of at least 10 percent. However, several of Little Rock's most popular restaurants were down by double digits. Red Lobster, Chili's, Romano's Macaroni Grill, Jason's Deli and Cajun's Wharf all experienced declines roughly between 10 percent and 15 percent. Outback Steakhouse and Mimi's Café flirted with revenue attrition of nearly 20 percent.

Market Performance

The Little Rock Advertising & Promotion Commission collected tax on a total of about $365.9 million in receipts from 549 restaurants for the 12 months ended November 2008, up 3.1 percent from the 12 months that ended in November 2007.

For the same periods, North Little Rock – with 227 restaurants – collected tax on total food receipts of $158.8 million, up 0.4 percent from 2007. 

The total combined revenue of the 30 highest-grossing restaurants in Little Rock climbed to $86.3 million, a 13.3 percent increase from 2007. Total combined revenue for the top 30 North Little Rock eateries rose 3.6 percent in 2008 to about $76.8 million.

Of the 30 on the Little Rock list, 16 restaurants enjoyed increased sales from 2007 to 2008 while 14 restaurants saw declining revenue.

Of the 30 spots on the North Little Rock list, 21 restaurants grew while only nine experienced lagging sales.



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