Another Florida Concept with Expansion Plans
With Jacksonville roots (the original opened there in 1992), a large presence in North East Florida, and Tampa-based leadership in place to turbo boost expansion (ConSul Hospitality Group fronted by former Outback Steakhouse CEO Hugh Connerty and Outback co-founder Chris Sullivan), Metro Diner is poised to expand beyond the Sunshine State in 2016.
Positioned as serving up “comfort food with flair,” Metro Diner took off after chef Mark Davoli and family members purchased the restaurant in 2000 and found itself featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Davoli partnered with ConSul Hospitality Group in 2014, and the group purchased the rights to the concept and intellectual property in 2015. Founder Mark Davoli remains a partner in the first 15 restaurants and was recently in St. Petersburg, Florida preparing for the grand opening of the newest store.
ConSul Hospitality, though, has its sights set northward with a goal to grow the 12-unit chain to 20 stores by the end of the year, and they’ll do so while retaining control via an operating-partner model. Operating partners and restaurants are lined up for Georgia (Roswell and Savanah), North Carolina (Fayetteville and Raleigh), Virginia (Richmond), eastern Pennsylvania (Bensalem and York), and Indiana (two Indianapolis and one Greenwood location).
Although ConSul has more than a little past experience in taking a concept national, we can check out what they’re up against in one of these markets using some of that data from Chain Store Guide’s new 2016 Casual Dining Market Share Report.