Operators Seize Opportunities to Build More Traffic When Rivals Find Themselves in a Jam

According to a report from Nation’s Restaurant News, “ When the Morton’s Steakhouse location in Minneapolis closed July 3, rival restaurateur Phil Roberts, founder of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, didn’t do a victory dance. He did, however, take action.”

“Saddened that the city’s dining scene had taken a hit but recognizing that one of his company’s nine restaurant concepts in and around the Twin Cities, Manny’s Steakhouse, stood to benefit from that misfortune, Parasole began offering a $100 Parasole Dining Club gift card to any Morton’s customer still possessing a loyalty card or gift certificate to the shuttered location”

“’We didn’t want to look predatory, opportunistic, cheap or low,’ Roberts said. ‘That’s why we said in the ads we ran that we lost a worthy rival, and we have.’

“Parasole is not alone in its efforts to capitalize on a competitor’s hard knocks. Given cutthroat competition for customers and an economy in which misfortune is rampant, many of the industry’s fitter operations are seizing the opportunity to market their survival.Immediately following Metro-media Restaurant Group’s bankruptcy filing last summer, casual-dining peers like Texas Roadhouse and Logan’s Roadhouse began exchanging gift cards to MRG’s dwindling Steak & Ale and Bennigan’s chains for deals of their own. Other chains have gone on the offense against larger competitors, pouncing on every public-relations miscue, as chicken chain El Pollo Loco continues to do with segment leader KFC,” the story said.