by Kate Knable
Posted 5/6/2013 12:00 am
If you noticed that Lone Star Steakhouse at 10901 Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock closed last month, you may also have spotted fliers at the empty restaurant advertising that Cheddar’s Casual Cafe is hiring.
Those fliers do not mean a second Cheddar’s is imminent for the Little Rock market, said Joe Mutti, senior vice president of development at Cheddar’s corporate office in Irving, Texas.
“We’re not going into the Lone Star,” Mutti said. Cheddar’s has “never done a conversion” of an existing building, he said.
Cheddar’s leadership plans to open a second restaurant in central Arkansas in a couple of years, Mutti said, but the company would be looking toward North Little Rock for a location.
According to Cheddars.com, few of Cheddar’s 138 restaurants are franchises. All of the Arkansas locations are corporately owned, Mutti said.
The Little Rock Cheddar’s, at 400 S. University Ave., sold $4.8 million in food in 2012, making it one of the top-selling restaurants in the city. Lone Star’s gross receipts in 2012 totaled about $1.1 million. Lone Star representatives did not return phone calls.
A corporate spokeswoman from Cheddar’s confirmed the fliers were posted at the Lone Star site, saying Cheddar’s is looking for the “best possible employees.” It’s likely the Little Rock Cheddar’s restaurant was recruiting former Lone Star servers, cooks or other staffers, she said.
Cheddar’s currently has two other Arkansas locations, one in Jonesboro and one in Fort Smith.