Texas Roadhouse widens gap with rivals

Ted MarzilliCEO YouGov Direct
December 10, 2015, 5:27 PM GMT+0

Texas Roadhouse has seen recent increases in three of its key metrics following campaigns that support local fundraisers and businesses, align itself with college football, and a widely publicized free lunch giveaway on Veteran’s Day.

While rival national steak chains have remained flat in YouGov BrandIndex’s General Impression and Purchase Consideration metrics, Texas Roadhouse’s numbers have ascended steadily since early September to biggest high since March 2014.

With 22 new restaurant openings -- double last year’s rate -- by the end of November, Texas Roadhouse’s awareness has also risen from 66% of all adults 18 and over at the beginning of the year, to 71% now.

General Impression scores can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. Since right after Labor Day, Texas Roadhouse’s score moved from 24 to 31 on November 20th, and now sitting at 27, representing a solid 10-week run-up. Comparatively, the average General Impression score of major steakhouse chains is 13.

Even more beneficial to shareholders, Texas Roadhouse may be seeing a financial upside, as its Purchase Consideration increased modestly as well. At the end of August, 19% of consumers would consider eating at Texas Roadhouse the next time they wanted to go out to a steakhouse, versus 9% for the average national steakhouse chain. Texas Roadhouse is now up to 22%, while its rivals remain unchanged.

Even a couple of bumps in the road have not changed Texas Roadhouse’s course: they are the subject of an age discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that is scheduled for trial in January, and in October, several Idaho diners sent a scolding note to the mother of a crying baby that went viral.

Image by Niceckhart (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons