Steakhouse Chain Fogo de Chao Has Grand Plans to Be Everywhere Soon
In search of a classier chain restaurant? Look no further than Fogo de Chao. The Brazilian steakhouse chain may boast over 50 domestic locations and hundreds of millions in revenue, but the dining experience is one of a kind. The good news is more locations are on the way, a lot more if the company ends up expanding as much as it wants to.
Known for a wide variety of steaks and meats cooked churrasco-style on skewers and then carved at the table by chefs, Fogo de Chao has a whole lot of momentum heading into 2023 and a planned IPO. The chain anticipates having at least 300 locations on U.S. soil eventually—that's nearly 6 times its current restaurant count of 53!
Last month the Texas-based brand updated its federal filing documents for 2022, and what a year it was for Fogo de Chao. Overall revenue was $517 million for the 12 months ending in Q3 of 2022, representing a year-over-year increase of just under 43%. Average unit volume (AUV), meanwhile, bumped up to $10.1 million in comparison to $7.9 million last year.
Fogo de Chao's exceptional AUV this year is worth harping on for a moment. Only two other casual dining brands, The Cheesecake Factory and Carmine's, boasted AUVs higher than $10 million last year.
Restaurant traffic also increased 12.3%, while same-store sales grew by 16.4%. Besides 2020, Fogo de Chao has been on an impressive streak of seven straight years showing transaction growth.
When the steakhouse brand first announced plans to go public late last year, it came as somewhat of a surprise considering Fogo de Chao already went public once before in 2015. Back then, the chain failed to attract investors and was ultimately sold to private-equity group Rhone Capital for $560 million in 2018.
It'd be hard to be anything but optimistic about the chain today, however, as 2022 also saw six new corporate restaurants and one international franchised location open—and four more new restaurants are scheduled for Q4. The chain says these new restaurants are exceeding expectations, fueling confidence for ambitious expansion plans moving forward.
There is still no official date for Fogo de Chao's IPO. But, until then, customers can always try up to 16 different meats in an all-you-can-eat format for a fixed price starting at $54.95. Fogo de Chao also introduced a new bar menu earlier this year featuring more "casual" dishes like lobster and shrimp tacos folded in Napa cabbage leaves.