Bob’s debuts first international outlet

Bob’s Steak & Chop House, a cult-favorite six-unit upscale beef restaurant in the United States, has opened its first unit abroad.

The partnership between brand owner Bill Lenox and Omni Hotels opened a new franchised Bob’s in Melbourne, Australia, in April. Omni executives, in a conference call last week, said they plan to open an eighth unit early next year and to franchise as many as six units in southern Texas.

Omni Hotels and Lenox created the 50-50 partnership, known as BSCH Management and based in Irving, Texas, in January 2009 after a successful Bob’s restaurant was opened in the Omni San Francisco Hotel nine years ago. The first Bob’s Steak & Chop House opened in Dallas in 1993.

Lenox, president of BSCH, said the most recent Bob’s opened in ground-floor space in an office building in the Docklands area of Melbourne, a redeveloping area near the city’s biggest football stadium. It covers 5,500 square feet, seating 175 inside and 100 outside, Lenox said. Per-person check averages are between $75 and $80, he said.

Bob’s primary demographics “are probably leaning a little male — I’m saying 65- or maybe 75-percent male. It’s a masculine steakhouse with masculine dishes,” Lenox said. The top-selling menu item, he added, is “by far” the nine-ounce beef filet.

BSCH plans to open the eighth Bob’s in January as part of Dallas’ new convention-center hotel, which Omni will operate.

Stephen Rosenstock, Omni’s senior vice president of food and beverage for Omni Hotels, and Lenox said the company is talking with a development group for six franchised Bob’s units in southern Texas.

“Qualified development partners are fairly hard to find,” Lenox said. “We are fairly selective.” Rosenstock added further: “We are very protective of the brand. We don’t want to grow just for growth’s sake.”

In addition to the Melbourne and San Francisco locations, Bob’s currently are open in the Texas cities of Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine and Plano as well as the Omni Tucson National Resort hotel in Arizona.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] [3].