Texas Roadhouse, Inc. ("Texas Roadhouse" or the "Company") was incorporated under the laws of the state of Delaware in 2004. From April 1, 1997 through October 8, 2004, the business of the Company was conducted by Texas Roadhouse Holdings LLC ("Holdings") and its affiliates. On October 8, 2004, Holdings and its wholly-owned and majority-owned affiliates completed a reorganization and initial public offering. In connection with the reorganization and public offering, Holdings became a subsidiary of the Company. The principal executive office is located in Louisville, Kentucky.
General Development of Business
Texas Roadhouse is a growing, moderately priced, full-service, casual dining restaurant chain. Our founder and chairman, W. Kent Taylor, started the business in 1993. Our mission statement is "Legendary Food, Legendary Service®." Our operating strategy is designed to position each of our restaurants as the local hometown destination for a broad segment of consumers seeking high quality, affordable meals served with friendly, attentive service. As of December 29, 2009, we owned and operated 261 restaurants in 43 states and franchised and licensed an additional 70 restaurants in 24 states. Of the 261 restaurants we owned and operated at the end of 2009, 260 operated as Texas Roadhouse restaurants, while one operated under the name of Aspen Creek. The majority of our restaurant growth in 2010 will be Texas Roadhouse restaurants; however, we plan to open two to three additional Aspen Creek restaurants as we continue testing the viability of the concept.
Over the past five years, the total number of company and franchise restaurants increased from 193 restaurants as of the end of 2004 to 331 restaurants as of the end of 2009, representing an 11.4% compounded annual growth rate. Over the same period, our revenue increased from $363.0 million to $942.3 million, our income from operations increased from $38.7 million to $75.9 million, and our net income increased from $21.7 million to $47.5 million, representing compounded annual growth rates of 21.0%, 14.4% and 17.0%, respectively.
Financial Information about Operating Segments
As of December 29, 2009, we operated 261 restaurants, each as a single operating segment, and franchised and licensed an additional 70 restaurants. The restaurants operate exclusively in the U.S. within the casual dining segment of the restaurant industry, providing similar products to similar customers. The restaurants also possess similar pricing structures, resulting in similar long-term expected financial performance characteristics. We consider our restaurant and franchising operations as similar and have aggregated them into a single reportable segment.
Narrative Description of Business
Texas Roadhouse is a full-service, casual dining restaurant chain. We offer an assortment of specially seasoned and aged steaks hand-cut daily on the premises and cooked to order over open gas-fired grills. In addition to steaks, we also offer our guests a selection of ribs, fish, seafood, chicken, pork chops, pulled pork and vegetable plates, and an assortment of hamburgers, salads and sandwiches. The majority of our entrées include two made-from-scratch side items, and we offer all our guests a free unlimited supply of roasted in-shell peanuts and made-from-scratch yeast rolls.
The operating strategy that underlies the growth of our concept is built on the following key components: Offering high quality, freshly prepared food. We place a great deal of emphasis on ensuring our guests receive high quality, freshly prepared food. We have developed proprietary recipes to provide consistency in quality and taste throughout all restaurants. We expect a management level employee to inspect every entrée before it leaves the kitchen to confirm it matches the guest's order and meets our standards for quality, appearance and presentation.
In addition, we employ a team of product coaches whose function is to provide continual, hands-on training and education to our kitchen staff for the purpose of assuring uniform adherence to recipes, food preparation procedures, food safety standards, food appearance, freshness and portion size.
Offering performance-based manager compensation. We offer a performance-based compensation program to our restaurant managers and area managers, who are called "managing partners" and "market partners," respectively. Each of these partners earns a base salary plus a performance bonus, which represents a percentage of their respective restaurant's pre-tax net income. By providing our partners with a significant stake in the success of our restaurants, we believe that we are able to attract and retain talented, experienced and highly motivated managing and market partners. Focusing on dinner. In a high percentage of our restaurants, we limit our operating hours to dinner only during the weekdays. By focusing on dinner, our restaurant teams have to prepare for and manage only one shift per day during the week. We believe this allows our restaurant teams to offer higher quality, more consistent food and service to our guests. We believe the dinner focus provides a better "quality-of-life" for our management teams and, therefore, is a key ingredient in attracting and retaining talented and experienced management personnel. We also focus on keeping our table-to-server ratios low to allow our servers to truly focus on their guests and serve their needs in a personal, individualized manner.
Offering attractive price points. We offer our food and beverages at moderate price points that are as low as or lower than those offered by many of our competitors. Within each menu category, we offer a choice of several price points with the goal of fulfilling each guest's budget and value expectations. For example, our steak entrées, which include the choice of two side items, generally range from $8.99 for our 6-ounce sirloin to $20.99 for our 18-ounce T-bone. The per guest average check for the restaurants we owned and operated in 2009 was approximately $14.64. Per guest average check represents restaurant sales divided by the number of guests served. We considered each sale of an entrée to be a single guest served. Our per guest average check is highly influenced by our weekday dinner only focus.
Creating a fun and comfortable atmosphere. We believe the atmosphere we establish in our restaurants is a key component for fostering repeat business. Our restaurants feature a rustic southwestern lodge décor accentuated with hand-painted murals, neon signs, and southwestern prints, rugs and artifacts. Additionally, we offer jukeboxes, which continuously play upbeat country hits, and in-house entertainment such as line dancing and birthday celebrations.
Unit Prototype and Economics
We design our restaurant prototypes to provide a relaxed atmosphere and maximize restaurant sales. Our current prototypical restaurants consist of a freestanding building with approximately 6,700 to 7,200 square feet of space constructed on sites of approximately 1.7 to 2.0 acres or retail pad sites, with seating at approximately 56 to 60 tables for a total of 235 to 275 guests, including 15 bar seats, and parking for approximately 1Site Selection
We continue to develop and refine our site selection process. In analyzing each prospective site, management devotes significant time and resources to the evaluation of local market demographics, population density, household income levels and site-specific characteristics such as visibility, accessibility, traffic generators, proximity of other retail activities, traffic counts and parking. Our management works actively with real estate brokers in target markets to select high quality sites and to maintain and regularly update our database of potential sites. Management typically requires three to six months to locate, approve and control a restaurant site and typically four to eight additional months to obtain necessary permits. Upon receipt of permits, it requires approximately four months to construct, equip and open a restaurant.
50 vehicles. Our current prototypes are adaptable to in-line and end cap locations such as spaces within an enclosed mall or a shopping center.
We continue to develop and refine our site selection process. In analyzing each prospective site, management devotes significant time and resources to the evaluation of local market demographics, population density, household income levels and site-specific characteristics such as visibility, accessibility, traffic generators, proximity of other retail activities, traffic counts and parking. Our management works actively with real estate brokers in target markets to select high quality sites and to maintain and regularly update our database of potential sites. Management typically requires three to six months to locate, approve and control a restaurant site and typically four to eight additional months to obtain necessary permits. Upon receipt of permits, it requires approximately four months to construct, equip and open a restaurant.to prepare monthly profit and loss statements, which provides a detailed analysis of sales and costs, and which are compared both to the restaurant-prepared reports and to prior periods. We have satellite technology at the restaurant level, which serves as a high-speed, secure communication link between the restaurants and our Support Center as well as our credit and gift card processor.
Texas Roadhouse restaurants offer a wide variety of menu items at attractive prices that are designed to appeal to a broad range of consumer tastes. Our dinner entrée prices generally range from $8.99 to $20.99, with at least 15 dinners priced under $10.00. We offer a broad assortment of specially seasoned and aged steaks, including 6, 8, 11 and 16 oz. Sirloins; 10, 12 and 16 oz. Rib-eyes; 6 and 8 oz. Filets; Prime Rib; and T-Bones, most of which are hand-cut daily on the premises and cooked over open gas-fired grills. We also offer our guests a selection of fish, seafood, chicken, pork chops, ribs, pulled pork and vegetable plates, and an assortment of hamburgers, salads and sandwiches. Entrée prices include made-from-scratch yeast rolls and most include two of the following made-from-scratch sides: baked potato, sweet potato, steak fries, mashed potatoes, house or Caesar salad, green beans, chili, seasoned rice, baked beans and steamed vegetables.
Our menu allows guests to customize their meals by ordering steaks that are "smothered" either in cheese, onions, gravy or mushrooms and baked potatoes "loaded" with cheese and bacon. Other menu items include specialty appetizers such as the "Cactus Blossom®" and "Chicken Critters®" (chicken tenders). We also provide a "12 & Under" menu for children that includes a sirloin steak, rib basket, Jr. Chicken Critters, cheeseburger, hot dog and macaroni and cheese, all served with one side item and a beverage at prices generally between $2.99 and $7.99.
Most of our restaurants feature a full bar that offers an extensive selection of draft and bottled beer. Managing partners are encouraged to tailor their beer selection to include regional and local brands. We serve a selection of major brands of liquor and wine as well as margaritas. Alcoholic beverages accounted for 10.7% of restaurant sales at Texas Roadhouse in fiscal 2009.
We have maintained a fairly consistent menu over time, with a selection of approximately 60 menu items. We continually review our menu to consider enhancements to existing menu items or the introduction of new items. We change our menu only after guest feedback and an extensive study of the operational and economic implications. To maintain our high levels of food quality and service, we generally remove one menu item for every new menu item introduced so as to facilitate our ability to execute high quality meals on a focused range of menu items.
Food Quality and Safety. We are committed to serving a varied menu of high-quality, great tasting food items with an emphasis on freshness. We have developed proprietary recipes to ensure consistency in quality and taste throughout all restaurants and provide a unique flavor experience to our guests. At each restaurant, a fully trained meat cutter hand cuts our steaks and other restaurant team members prepare all side items and yeast rolls from scratch in the restaurants daily. We assign individual kitchen employees to the preparation of designated food items in order to focus on quality, consistency and speed. Additionally, we expect a management level employee to inspect every entrée before it leaves the kitchen to confirm it matches the guest's order and meets our standards for quality, appearance and presentation.
We employ a team of product coaches whose function is to provide continual, hands-on training and education to the kitchen staff in all Texas Roadhouse restaurants for the purpose of reinforcing the uniformity of recipes, food preparation procedures, food safety standards, food appearance, freshness and portion size. The team currently consists of over 30 product coaches, supporting all restaurants system-wide.
Food safety is of utmost importance to Texas Roadhouse. We currently utilize several programs to help ensure adherence to proper food preparation procedures and food safety standards. Texas Roadhouse has a Food Safety coordinator whose function, in conjunction with our product coaches, is to develop, enforce and maintain programs designed to promote compliance with food safety guidelines. Where required, food items purchased from qualified vendors have been inspected by reputable, outside inspection services confirming that the vendor is compliant with FDA and USDA guidelines.
Each product coach is required to perform a sanitation audit on two restaurants each month and these results are reviewed by various members of operations and management. To reinforce the importance of food safety, Texas Roadhouse has printed all HAACP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Points) in bold type on each recipe. In addition, most of our product coaches have obtained or are in the process of obtaining their food safety professional designation.
Our purchasing philosophy is designed to consistently supply fresh, quality products to the restaurants at competitive prices while maximizing operating efficiencies. We negotiate directly with suppliers for substantially all food and beverage products to ensure consistent quality and freshness and obtain competitive prices. Certain products, such as dairy products and select produce, are purchased locally to assure freshness.
Food and supplies are ordered by, and shipped directly to, the restaurants, as we do not maintain a central product warehouse or commissary. Most food products used in the operation of our restaurants are distributed to individual restaurants through an independent national distribution company. We strive to qualify more than one supplier for all key food items and believe that beef of comparable quality as well as all other essential food and beverage products are available, upon short notice, from alternative qualified suppliers.
Guest Satisfaction. Through the use of guest surveys, our website "texasroadhouse.com," a toll-free guest response telephone line and personal interaction in the restaurant, we receive valuable feedback from guests. Additionally, we employ an outside service to administer a "Secret Shopper" program whereby trained individuals periodically dine and comprehensively evaluate the guest experience at each of our restaurants. Particular attention is given to food, beverage and service quality, cleanliness, staff attitude and teamwork, and manager visibility and interaction. The resulting reports are used for follow up training feedback to both staff and management.
The atmosphere of Texas Roadhouse restaurants is intended to appeal to broad segments of the population, children, families, couples, adults and business persons. Substantially all Texas Roadhouse restaurants are of our prototype design, reflecting a rustic southwestern lodge atmosphere, featuring an exterior of rough-hewn cedar siding and corrugated metal. The interiors feature pine floors and stained concrete and are decorated with hand-painted murals, neon signs, southwestern prints, rugs and artifacts. The restaurants contain jukeboxes that continuously play upbeat country hits. Guests may also view a display-baking area where our made-from-scratch yeast rolls are prepared and a meat cooler displaying fresh cut steaks, and may wait for seating in either a spacious, comfortable waiting area or a southwestern style bar. While waiting for a table, guests can enjoy complimentary roasted in-shell peanuts. Immediately upon being seated at a table, guests can enjoy made-from-scratch yeast rolls along with roasted in-shell peanuts.
Management and Employees.
Each of our restaurants is generally staffed with one managing partner, one kitchen manager and one service manager, and, in many cases, one or more additional assistant managers and/or key employees. The managing partner of each restaurant has primary responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the entire restaurant and is responsible for maintaining the standards of quality and performance we establish. We use market partners to supervise the operation of our restaurants including the continuing development of each restaurant's management team. Generally, each market partner has supervisory responsibilities for up to 12 to 15 restaurants. Through regular visits to the restaurants, the market partners ensure adherence to all aspects of our concept, strategy and standards of quality. To further assure adherence to our standards of quality and to achieve uniform execution throughout the system, we employ product coaches who regularly visit the restaurants to assist in training of both new and existing employees and to grade food quality. The attentive service and high quality food, which results from each restaurant having a managing partner, two to three managers and the hands-on assistance of a product coach, are critical to our success.
Training and Development.
All restaurant employees are required to complete varying degrees of training before and during employment. Our detailed training program emphasizes our operating strategy, procedures and standards and is conducted individually at Texas Roadhouse restaurants and in groups in Louisville, Kentucky.
Our managing and market partners are generally required to have significant experience in the full-service restaurant industry and are generally hired at a minimum four to 12 months before their placement in a new or existing restaurant to allow time to fully train in all aspects of restaurant operations. All managing partners, kitchen and service managers and other management team members are required to complete a comprehensive training program of up to 17 weeks, which includes training for every position in the restaurant. Trainees are validated at pre-determined points during their training by either the market partner, product coach or a training manager.
A number of our restaurants have been certified as training centers by our training department. This certification confirms that the training center adheres to established operating procedures and guidelines. Additionally, most restaurants are staffed with training coordinators responsible for ongoing daily training needs.
For new restaurant openings, a full team of designated trainers, each specializing in a specific restaurant position, is deployed to the restaurant at least ten days before opening. Formal employee training begins seven days before opening, and follows a uniform, comprehensive training course as directed by a training manager.
Our marketing strategy aims to promote the Texas Roadhouse brand, while retaining a localized focus, to: increase comparable restaurant sales by attracting new guests to our restaurants and increase the frequency of visits by our current guests; support new restaurant openings to achieve restaurant sales and operating margin goals; and communicate and promote our brand's food quality, the guest experience and value.
We accomplish these objectives through three major initiatives. In-restaurant Marketing. A significant portion of our marketing fund is spent in communicating with our guests while they are in our restaurants through point of purchase materials. We believe special promotions such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day drive significant repeat business. Also, our eight week holiday gift card campaign is one of our most significant promotions. In addition, our mascot, "Andy Armadillo®", provides our guests with a familiar and easily identifiable face.
Local Restaurant Area Marketing.
Given our strategy to be a neighborhood destination, local area marketing is integral in developing brand awareness in each market. To enhance our visibility in new markets, we deliver free food to local businesses in connection with new restaurant openings. Managing partners are encouraged to participate in creative community-based marketing, such as hosting local radio or television programs. We also engage in a variety of promotional activities, such as contributing time, money and complimentary meals to charitable, civic and cultural programs. For instance, our involvement with the Special Olympics, a local Little League baseball team, a local church or the Armed Forces, shows our "Legendary Care, Concern and Support" for our communities. We leverage the corresponding recognition in our public relations and marketing efforts to communicate our corporate values and mission statement to our guests. We employ marketing coordinators at the restaurant and market level to develop and execute the majority of the local marketing strategies.
]Although our restaurant concept is not media driven, to build brand awareness we spend a limited amount of our marketing dollars on various advertising channels, including billboard, print, radio and television. These advertisements are designed to reflect "Legendary Food, Legendary Service®" as well as our fun and welcoming restaurant environment.
Restaurant Franchise Arrangements
As of December 29, 2009, we had 18 franchisees that operated 70 restaurants in 24 states. Franchise rights have been granted for specific restaurants, and we have not granted any rights to develop a territory. Approximately 76% of our franchise restaurants are operated by eight franchisees. No franchisee operates more than 16 restaurants.
While we currently do not have any international franchise agreements, the terms of an international franchise agreement may differ from the terms of our standard domestic franchise agreement. Our standard domestic franchise agreement has a term of ten years with two renewal options for an additional five years each if certain conditions are satisfied. Our current form of franchise agreement requires the franchisee to pay a royalty fee of 4.0% of gross sales. The royalty fee varies depending on when the agreements were entered into and range from 2.0% of gross sales to the current 4.0% fee. We may, at our discretion, waive or reduce the royalty fee on a temporary or permanent basis. "Gross sales" means the total selling price of all services and products related to the restaurant. Gross sales do not include: employee discounts or other discounts; tips or gratuities paid directly to employees by guests; any federal, state, municipal or other sales, value added or retailer's excise taxes; or adjustments for net returns on salable goods and discounts allowed to guests on sales.
Domestic franchisees are currently required to pay 0.3% of gross sales to a national advertising and marketing fund for the development of advertising materials, system-wide promotions and related marketing efforts. We have the ability under our agreements to increase the required national advertising and marketing fund contribution up to 2.5% of gross sales. We may also charge a marketing fee of 0.5% of gross sales, which we may use for market research and to develop system-wide promotional and advertising materials. A franchisee's total required advertising contribution or spending will not be more than 3.0% of gross sales.
A franchise agreement may be terminated if the franchisee defaults in the performance of any of its obligations under the franchise agreement, including its obligations to operate the restaurant in strict accordance with our standards and specifications. A franchise agreement may also be terminated if a franchisee dies, becomes disabled or becomes insolvent, fails to make its required payments, creates a threat to the public health or safety, ceases to operate the restaurant, or misuses the Texas Roadhouse trademarks.
Our standard domestic franchise agreement gives us the right, but not the obligation, to compel a franchisee to transfer its assets to us in exchange for shares of our stock, or to convert its equity interests into shares of our stock. The amount of shares that a franchisee would receive is based on a formula that is included in the franchise agreement.
Franchise Compliance Assurance. We have instituted a comprehensive system to ensure compliance with our systems and standards, both during the development and operating of franchise restaurants. After a preliminary franchise agreement is signed, we actively work with and monitor our franchisees to ensure successful franchise operations as well as compliance with the Texas Roadhouse standards and procedures. During the restaurant development phase, we approve the selection of restaurant sites and make available copies of our prototype building plans to franchisees. In addition, we ensure that the building is in compliance with our standards. We provide training to the managing partner and up to three other managers of a franchisee's first restaurant. We also provide trainers for a period of 12 to 15 days to assist in the opening of every franchise restaurant. Finally, on an ongoing basis, we conduct reviews on all franchise restaurants to determine their level of effectiveness in executing our concept at a variety of operational levels. Our franchisees are required to follow the same standards and procedures regarding equipment, food purchases and food preparation as we maintain in our company restaurants. Reviews are conducted by seasoned operations teams, and focus on key areas including health, safety and execution proficiency.
To continuously improve our communications with franchisees and the consistency of the brand, we maintain a business development council that includes representatives of our franchisees, company operations personnel and vendors. The council's functions are advisory. Its members review and comment on proposed advertising campaigns and materials and budget expenditures, as well as operational initiatives. Our regional market partners also provide support to our franchise restaurant operators.
We provide management services to 21 of the franchise restaurants in which we or our founder have an ownership interest. Such management services include accounting, operational supervision, human resources, training, and food, beverage and equipment consulting for which we receive monthly fees of up to 2.5% of gross sales. We also make available to these restaurants certain legal services through outside sources on a pass-through cost basis. We also provide restaurant employees on a pass-through cost basis to three franchise restaurants in which we or our founder have an ownership interest. In addition, we receive a monthly fee from four franchise restaurants for providing payroll and accounting services.
Management Information Systems and Restaurant Reporting
All of our company restaurants utilize computerized management information systems, which are designed to improve operating efficiencies, provide restaurant and Support Center management with timely access to financial and operating data and reduce administrative time and expense. With our current information systems, we have the ability to query, report and analyze this intelligent data on a daily, weekly, period, quarter and year-to-date basis and beyond, on a company-wide, regional or individual restaurant basis. Together, this enables us to closely monitor sales, food and beverage costs and labor and operating expenses at each of our restaurants. We have a number of systems and reports that provide comparative information that enables both restaurant and Support Center management to supervise the financial and operational performance of our restaurants and to recognize and understand trends in the business. Our accounting department uses a standard, integrated system to prepare monthly profit and loss statements, which provides a detailed analysis of sales and costs, and which are compared both to the restaurant-prepared reports and to prior periods. We have satellite technology at the restaurant level, which serves as a high-speed, secure communication link between the restaurants and our Support Center as well as our credit and gift card processor.