Industry News | February 16, 2011

BJ Restaurants Founders Create Fast Casual Plus

Co-founders of BJ Restaurants, Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy, announced plans for a new restaurant concept called STACKED: food well built.

Motenko and Hennessy say the concept will essentially create an entirely new industry category – fast casual plus. At STACKED, the new operating model will allow guests to have the unprecedented ability to design their own meals with a create-your-own menu format and control their dining experience through the use of tableside Apple iPads utilizing a proprietary ordering system. The end result is that guests will enjoy the quality and comfort of a full-service dining experience with the speed and value of fast casual.

“STACKED defies existing categories and will elevate fast-casual dining to a new  experience that we are calling ‘fast casual plus,’” Motenko says. “Integrating personalized ordering technology into the restaurant business model allows us to focus on providing our guests a higher quality, more enjoyable dining experience at a much better value than traditional casual restaurants.” 

STACKED’s menu will focus on America’s favorite foods that are built from the plate up including hamburgers, pizzas, salads, and sausages.  Guests can create their own dish or order from a list of signature items. 
 
For example, a guest will use the tableside iPad to select a certified Angus beef, chicken, turkey, salmon, or vegetarian burger, and then choose from four different buns and dozens of cheeses, toppings, and sauces that range from garlic aioli and Wasabi mayo to caramelized onions and roasted peppers. 
 
Or they may choose a signature burger such as the option with fried egg, Swiss cheese, bacon, and sundried tomato aioli topped with fresh potato chips on a brioche bun.  Friendly, energetic servers deliver food to the table once the orders are submitted through the iPad.
 
STACKED’s menu emphasizes the quality and range of ingredients most often found in higher-end restaurants. STACKED will also serve beer and wine, plus signature and customizable shakes and ice cream sandwiches.
 
STACKED will also offer sweet potato fries, onion strings, fries, and coleslaw. STACKED’s kids menu will include mini burgers, hot dogs, and mac’n cheese.
Guests will have the opportunity to store their menu favorites and even order in advance for faster service when they arrive. To-go service will also be offered.
 
The first 160-seat, 6,300 square-foot STACKED: food well built restaurant will open in May, 2011 at the Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, California. Two additional locations are planned for the fall.
 
STACKED’s design features a simple yet bold modern industrial look with sweeping expanses of steel sash windows, rustic wood floors, open kitchens, social dining counters, booth seating, and colorful lighting and wall textures.