Spotlighting steak pays off for McCormick & Schmick’s

PORTLAND Ore. An expanded steak program helped to boost second-quarter sales at McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants, officials said Tuesday.

For the quarter ending June 30, McCormick & Schmick’s, based here, reported a 27.6-percent increase in net income to $4.5 million, or 31 cents per share, from $3.5 million, or 24 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2006. Revenues increased 16.8 percent to $89.6 million from $76.8 million the same period a year ago, mostly aided by a 2.3-percent increase in comparable-restaurant sales and additional income from the acquisition of five Boathouse restaurants in March.

New steak offerings, which helped the company maintain high check averages, are likely to be getting more attention on the menu at McCormick & Schmick’s — though the concept will not become less “seafood-centric,” said Doug Schmick, chairman and chief executive officer.

As many as 16 steak dishes are featured more prominently on the menu and include smaller cuts, such as medallions, as well as beef and shellfish combinations that appeal to both male and female diners, he added.

“Steak now accounts for about 9 percent of sales, but I can see that, over time, grow to about 15 percent,” Schmick said.

Higher-priced seafood promotions, such as king salmon dishes, also helped keep check averages high, as did the launch in May of a classic cocktail program featuring pre-Prohibition-era drinks, and the addition of more wines by the glass at five- or eight-ounce pours.

The Boathouse concept, whose units are all located in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area, saw consolidated sales of about $5.5 million for the quarter. McCormick & Schmick’s plans to open a sixth Boathouse in Vancouver in the fourth quarter, with the addition of one to two annually in Canadian markets next year.

McCormick & Schmick’s operates 68 of its namesake restaurants in the United States, including a new location in Schaumburg, Ill., that opened Monday.