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Famous Dave's Shrinks Restaurants, Shifts Menu for Delivery


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Famous Dave’s has released details of a new, more compact restaurant prototype that’s geared toward increased delivery and catering in its home city of Minneapolis. This smaller store format is part of the BBQ brand’s ongoing, multi-year revival that has included several new store designs.

Replacing a much larger store in the trendy Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, the new 3,000-square-foot Dave’s location will be significantly smaller, but will continue the previous bar-centric environment that was also known as a popular music venue within the Calhoun Square urban mall.

The new template will have community tables, as well as a menu with new food and beverage items, including shareable finger foods, handheld items and grab-and-go-options along with new cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks. Several of the new menu items were reportedly designed with catering and delivery in mind, which has become a popular tactic in many restaurants as off-premises channels capture a larger portion of sales.

In an interview about the new location, the brand’s new CEO Jeff Crivello said that back when most of its stores were in the 7,000-square-foot range, off-premises was approximately 20 percent of its business. These days, that’s closer to 50 percent, which he said justifies the radical shrinking of its restaurants.

With a menu and cuisine that’s generally friendly to delivery, and a long-standing catering operation, doubling down on the shift toward delivery and catering seems like a wise move for the chain that’s closed several locations in recent years. The brand has also planned renovations for some of its large-format legacy locations.

“The new Minneapolis location is part of an effort to give our customers more of what they want, when they want it and continue to address their needs whether that be dining in our restaurant or enjoying our …  BBQ in the comfort of their own homes,” said Crivello.

It’s scheduled to open by the end of the fourth quarter of 2019. As long-time Twin Cities residents, the new location could be better within the Uptown submarket, but the FOD team will be curious to try out the new items and format once it opens for business.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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