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These Two Upscale Steakhouse Chains Are Now Surging in Popularity

Now also serving brunch!

As more and more pandemic restrictions are lifted, Americans are returning to restaurants in droves. And it seems they're particularly eager to enjoy a top-notch steak. Steakhouse chains of different price points and sizes are reporting a tremendous increase in sales this year. And Manny Hilario, the CEO of The ONE Group Hospitality which owns the upscale dine-in franchises STK and Kona Grill, is seeing a similar skyrocketing demand for the two restaurant chains under his leadership.

"Consumers more than ever as they become fully vaccinated are looking for a fun and differentiated social time outside of their homes and our concepts featuring vibe dining are well-positioned to deliver," Hilario said during a conference call, according to FSR Magazine. "Our teams are effectively delivering on all operational marketing and culinary strategies. The results are truly remarkable and I couldn't be prouder of our teams."

RELATED: America's Largest Steakhouse Chain Just Increased Its Prices

And there's much to be proud of. STK, the chic steakhouse with 13 locations in major cities like New York and Los Angeles, has set a new record in weekly sales this April. The chain's sales rose 47% compared to its best quarter in 2019. The 24-unit Kona Grill has reported a similar upward trajectory, with sales in April rising over 18% compared to the same period two years ago.

The one problem plaguing the super popular Kona Grill? Its patios are usually booked up on the weekends. Hilario says the company is looking to expand its patio capacities this year to accommodate the surge in date nights and social events taking place at their locations.

But the chains aren't just seeing traffic during dinnertime. There's also a significant demand for their new daypart: brunch. STK and Kona Grill now serve weekend menu items like Smoked Pork Belly Benedict and an egg and avocado toast, complete with an offer of bottomless mimosas or bloody marys.

"Even for a fine dining type of business like STK, where in the past, we would have looked at maybe brunch as a non-core business, we now look at brunch as a core business, because now it allows us to use less seats on a Sunday and on a Saturday, which are very high demand days," Hilario says. "So, I think that brunch now is playing a key role in kind of how we think of the business long-term."

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a senior news editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more