Del Frisco’s Goes Public

As noted in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, “Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group LLC has filed its S1 today, its first step to listing on a public exchange, seeking to raise $100 million in stock.” And apparently it has good reason to proceed:

The operator of Del Frisco’s, Sullivan’s Steakhouse and the “new concept” Del Frisco’s Grille says it has 31 restaurants and made $9.9 million in the four-quarter ended September 6, 2011, more than double what it made in the same period in 2010.

During that time, it brought in $186.4 million in revenues, 16% growth from the prior year period.

The average check, one of the company’s six measures of performance, at Del Frisco’s was $98, while Sullivan’s was $58, according to the filing.

About that last part, I recently attended a bachelor party in New York, where we dined at the Del Frisco’s on 6th & 49th. Ten guys each owed $212.50. Don’t get me wrong—the steaks were impressive and mostly cooked to order (the thicker cuts had cool centers, even if you ordered medium). I had chosen the locale since I’d been to the original Del Frisco’s in Dallas, a rather understated location. The atmosphere in the midtown Manhattan location was not so understated. And when the waiter learned we were a bachelor party with a few out-of-towners, the hard sell began.

Our waiter resembled the odd fellow who hits Jonah Hill with a car in Super Bad. He began by telling us about meat. “If you like steak, you’ll love our bone-in versions. You see, the bone is where all the flavor is. So that steak with the bone means more flavor. You guys want apps? You like seafood? How ’bout I put together a couple seafood plates for you guys?” And later he tells me, “Those guys ordered just a couple sides but I’d get more. How ’bout onion rings?” As for the wine, as soon as any glass was less than half-full, he’d fill it up, and once the bottle was empty and one person’s glass was low he brought out another bottle, ready to uncork it.

Those seafood “plateaus” killed us. But at the very least an argument was finally settled: Alaska King Crab legs are far more flavorful than Stone Crab claws, even if the latter are fleshier (and cost more).

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