Company Snapshot: Frisch’s Restaurants Inc.
2800 Gilbert Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45206
Total Current Locations:
149 (95 company, 25 franchised to, 29 licensed from)
IN, KY, OH, PA, WV
CEO, President: Craig F. Maier
CFO: Mark R. Lanning
COO: Rinzy Nocero
Frisch’s Restaurants currently operates 95 Frisch’s Big Boy, franchises 25 Frisch’s Big Boys to others, and is a licensee of 29 Golden Corral restaurants. Samuel Frisch opened Frisch’s Café in 1905, and in 1939 one of his sons opened the first year-round drive-in restaurant in Cincinnati. The company was incorporated in OH in 1947, and in 1948 the first Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant opened. In 1998, Frisch’s became a licensee of Golden Corral to develop restaurants in select OH and KY markets. The agreement was later expanded to additional OH areas plus Pittsburgh, PA. It has been publicly traded since 1960 and has reported a profit every year since.
Big Boy restaurants are full-service family-style restaurants that also offer drive-through service. The menu is moderately priced American food, featuring the “Big Boy” double-deck hamburger and its signature hot fudge cake. The Big Boy operations are vertically integrated with a commissary and food manufacturing plant located near its Cincinnati headquarters. The company renovates approximately one-fifth of its restaurants each year, helping to ensure that all of the locations remain fresh and upgraded to the current prototype.
Golden Corral is a grill-buffet style family restaurant concept offering a wide variety of buffet items. The buffet line features a large charbroil grill that is placed directly on the buffet line, allowing customers to be served grilled-to-order steaks directly from the buffet line as part of the regular buffet price. The buffet also features many other varieties of meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, other hot and cold buffet foods, a salad bar, desserts, and an in-store display bakery offers made-from-scratch bakery goods. Frisch’s renovates its Golden Corral locations every seven years but carpet is replaced every 42 months.
All of the Company’s restaurants are freestanding. Older Big Boy restaurants are generally located in urban or heavily populated suburban neighborhoods that cater to local trade rather than highway travel. Big Boy restaurants opened since the early 1990’s have generally been located near interstate highways. A typical Big Boy restaurant built before 2001 contains on average approximately 5,600 square feet with seating capacity for 156 guests. The prototype introduced in 2001 has generally contained 5,700 square feet with seating for 172 guests. An adaptation of the 2001 prototype was introduced in 2010 for use in smaller trade areas. Its footprint approximates 5,000 square feet and has 148 dining room seats. Golden Corral restaurants constructed through 2002 contained 9,952 square feet with seating for 348 guests, while Golden Corral restaurants opened since 2003 have 10,300 square feet with 372 seats.
In October 2011, Frisch’s announced the hiring of a banking firm to assist in developing strategic alternatives for its Golden Corral operations. On March 13, 2012, Frisch’s reported that it had entered into an asset purchase agreement with NRD Holdings, LLC for the sale of its Golden Corral business. However, on March 22, 2012, Frisch’s announced that Golden Corral Franchising Systems, Inc. has exercised its right of first refusal to purchase substantially all of Frisch’s Golden Corral operations and real estate, upon the same terms of the contract previously announced with NRD Holdings, LLC. The sale is subject to customary financing, due diligence and closing contingencies and is expected to conclude by the end of the company’s fiscal year in May.