Thirsty Lion makes the FSR Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Brands for 2018!  

The Top 50 Emerging Restaurant Brands

Performance and potential earned restaurants a spot among this year’s FSR 50—that, and the fact that each has a portfolio of fewer than 50 units. We’re talking emergent chains, those that have a growing presence and a penchant for progress, be it defined as menu innovation, sales growth, brand expansion, or community support. You’ll discover regional brands that have been around for decades, like Elmer’s, which opened in 1960 in Portland, Oregon, and has given birth to a new concept that it plans to develop in the Southwest. Along with brands like Snooze, which got its start just 11 years ago but has already awakened the Denver region to a heightened appreciation for polished breakfast service and exceptionally sustainable processes. For performance metrics, look to the chart on Pages 48 to 49, which details total company sales, average unit volume, number of units, and areas of operation for each of the FSR 50 brands.



12 of the Most Successful Emerging Restaurant Chains

January 23, 2018, FSR Magazine
View the original article and full list here.

You can measure the financial health of a restaurant in a lot of different ways. Average unit volume is one of those figures that investors and franchisees (especially) gravitate toward because it’s difficult to cloud. It’s simple enough—divide the total company-operated sales by the total company-operated units and you have a pulse of your restaurant’s performance. AUV is a result of traffic and ticket, two essential vital points. Given that, it allows growing brands to understand how new units are performing. For example, if your AUV growth is greater than your same-store sale growth, you (most likely) can deduce that new stores are more profitable than existing ones. Of course, it’s far from an end-all statistic and many things can affect it. Same-store sales, often measured at units open at least a year, is probably the best definition of current and future success since it’s expressed as a percentage that indicates the relative amount of revenue increase or decrease and is compared to the prior-year period. It’s a reflection of the total dollar amount of sales. This is best to understand what portion of a restaurant’s current sales revenues are a result of sales growth in existing locations and what portion is accounted for by the opening of new stores. Simply, same-store sales are a great way to see if a restaurant is growing revenue from its current assets.

With that in mind, here are 12 restaurants, ranked by AUV, poised for big things in 2018 and beyond. Pictured is Cameron Mitchell's Ocean Prime.





Opening Summer 2019 in The Colony, TX
Slated to open in Summer 2019, Thirsty Lion will join a variety of unique restaurants, an outdoor amphitheater, a convention center, a hotel and spa, and more. When completed, Grandscape will stretch across 400 acres, and will boast 3.9 million square feet of retail, entertainment, dining and attractions.



Opening Fall of 2019 in Phoenix, AZ
Set in a striking outdoor setting, Thirsty Lion will open at Desert Ridge Marketplace featuring premier shopping, chef driven restaurants, health and fitness inspired options and entertainment for every occasion.


Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill Announces Texas Expansion
June 2016, FSR Magazine

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill announced its plan of expansion into the Texas market over the next three years. The emerging regional gastropub based in Portland, Oregon, will open its first Lone Star State location in the Dallas/Forth Worth market in 2017. Plans to expand with an additional eight locations through 2018 and 2019 in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio are also in the works.

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Thirsty Lion Opens Second Colorado Location in Cherry Creek
May 2016, Dining Out Denver

Thirsty Lion is just what Cherry Creek has been missing. Its dark interior, open kitchen, and long, beautiful bar are a dream for anyone seeking something a little different in the CC area, or just a great place to watch the game. And premium finishings like all-wood-everything and plush seating make it feel grand without losing its casual edge.

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Portland's Thirsty Lion empire continues to roll with 2nd Arizona opening
September 2014, Portland Business Journal

The Thirsty Lion Gastropub and Grill franchise, which counts Portland as its launching base, continues to expand in the West.  Thirsty Lion is opening a second Arizona spot, in the Scottsdale Fashion Square.

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Vimeo Channel

View cooking segments featuring Thirsty Lion chefs making seasonal dishes on local NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates.   

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