Del Frisco’s Grille

Sister brand of high-end steakhouse taps into growing polished-casual market

Del Frisco’s Grille is operating in a sweet spot in the U.S. economy, appealing to disposable-income-rich, affluent diners, as well as aspirational consumers looking for a more upscale experience.

Capitalizing on the prestigious name of its much pricier sister concept, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, this smaller, polished-casual chain booked $44.1 million in sales at its 11 units open at the end of December 2013, an 83.8-percent jump from the year earlier, when it had five units. Del Frisco’s Grille has opened two more locations so far in 2014, in Burlington, Mass., and Irvine, Calif.

The brand is a bar-centric concept, offering craft cocktails and bar snacks such as cheesesteak egg rolls and ahi tuna tacos, as well as burgers and flatbreads, along with USDA Prime steaks with the usual sides. Mark Mednansky, chief executive of Grille parent company Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group Inc., said the Grille locations in suburban locations handle robust brunch business, too.

“The concept really has proven to have legs in many different cross-sections of the country when it comes to real estate,” he said. He noted that, while Del Frisco’s Grille was planned for urban locations as places where people who entertained corporate clients at the steakhouse could go on their own dime, he has found that it resonates with upscale guests everywhere. In addition, consumers with less of an upscale flair may go to the Grille as a special occasion.

Keys to success:

Multiple dayparts: The brand appeals to consumers throughout the day, as guests frequent the restaurants for brunch, lunch, cocktails, dinner or late-night. “If you just come in for a cocktail, we’re thrilled to death,” Mednansky said.

Local feel: Different designers are used for almost each restaurant to make sure the ambiance appeals to the local community and consumers. Additionally, about 20 percent of the menu is left to local management’s discretion so they may use purveyors in the area or offer dishes they know appeal to locals. Craft beer and local wines are offered, and the wine list is largely left to local management’s discretion.

Great real estate: As part of the larger parent, Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, the Grille brand has the clout and resources to locate and hold on to great locations, including the chain’s flagship restaurant at Rockefeller Center in New York, as well as a location in Santa Monica, Calif., across from the well-known and often-visited pier.

Strong corporate culture: “We empower our general managers to run the business the right way,” Mednansky said. “They’re responsible for every aspect,” he added.

Staff is also retained with benefits including free health insurance — not only for managers but also for hourly workers who work more than 25 hours per week. Hourly employees pay for part of their insurance until they’ve been with the company for two years, when Del Frisco’s picks up the full cost. Del Frisco’s also offers 50-percent matching funds for 401(k) retirement accounts for employees who have been with the company for a year or more.

“The happier our employees are, the happier our guests are,” Mednansky said.

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Recruiters Find You Great Careers

    In working with Patrice & Associates, in particular with Sarah Straniero, I was extremely happy with how quickly Sarah was able to place me with my current employer. Sarah is a true professional and I would recommend using Patrice & Associates if you're looking for a career change.   Best in health, Mark Mueller Recruiters Find You Great Careers
  • Recruitment coaches help you think outside of your comfort zone.

    I was contacted by Joe about the job opportunity and at first I was against it. I was searching for something that was outside of my comfort zone and outside of the food industry. While talking with Joe he was so enthusiastic about the company that I said sure let’s give it a try. Joe was with me every single step of the way. From initial contact to me actually being hired he was there. He called/ texted me the day of my interview and encouraged me along the way. I was surprised and happy for his involvement to help me. I could always count on him for great advise and tips during the process. He shared my excitement each time I was contacted by the new company and followed my journey. He was always professional and was easily contacted when I had butterflies about me making the changes. I recommend Joe to any job seekers out there. He went above and beyond! Marqell Campbell General Manager SPJ Recruitment coaches help you think outside of your comfort zone.
  • Recruitment Coaches are Your Coach for Life!

    All I can say about Mike is he has always been supportive and a great mentor to me over the past 8 years.  First as my Director of Operations with Mimi’s Café he always challenged me to be a better manager and encouraged my growth by having me take on leading weekly kitchen manager calls for his market and trusting me to go into troubled locations and helping to turn them around.  Most recently when my time with Mimi’s was over Mike was able to help me secure the next step in my journey in less than 3 weeks.

    Sincerely,

    Bob Nawa

    Recruitment Coaches are Your Coach for Life!
  • Job Coaches Help Reach YOUR Target!

    Emily was amazing from start to finish. From reaching out in the beginning and making clear my options to scheduling the interviews and making sure that I was equipped with all the information and confidence I needed to impress the interviewer. She was in constant contact and was true to her word when she said she was here for me throughout the process. Thank you all for your help. Brian Smith Job Coaches Help Reach YOUR Target!
  • Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job.

    I was extremely impressed with Sharon's attention to detail and to make me feel comfortable.  She was in my corner the whole time.  I think it is really great that she actually eats at the restaurants that I will be managing so that is encouraging because that means they have a great working relationship!  I felt that she knew exactly how to prepare me for the interview and the resume that was created was very impressive! Michael Talerico

    Hospitality Recruiters Make the Best Match for You in Your Next Job.