Many in the upscale casual-dining segment have struggled in recent years with value and accessibility as consumers have cut spending.
Chris Simms, chief executive of the Lazy Dog Café chain, however, appears to be striking the right notes. Founded in 2003, the ninth Lazy Dog unit opened recently in West Covina, Calif., and two more restaurants are planned for 2012.
Family may be a factor in the chain’s success. Chris’s father and partner is Tom Simms, who foun