BJ’s Tests Virtual Slo Roast Brand in California

This article written by Ron Ruggless with NRN.

Among pandemic-era sales initiatives, BJ’s Restaurants Inc. in January expanded its test of the Slo Roast virtual brand to 13 restaurants, the company CEO said Thursday.

Slo Roast, which is available on a third-party app, is showing promising results, said Greg Trojan, CEO of the Huntington Beach, Calif.-based casual-dining brand. It was first introduced late last year.

“This is a delivery-only concept with a focused menu featuring our slow-roast and other protein-centric products,” Trojan said in a fourth-quarter earnings call. “Sales continue to build week over week.”

The DoorDash Slo Roast menu for Thousand Oaks, Calif., for example, offers chicken, salmon, sirloin tri-tip and prime rib meals that range from $10.95 to $22.95. Desserts, including the BJ’s signature Pizookie, for $7.95 to $8.45 and six packs of BJ’s beer for between $9.25 and $11.25. Wines by the bottle are also available.

The virtual Slo Roast brand has been getting high user ratings, he said.

“We will continue to closely monitor this test to ensure we’re building incremental sales and profit while maintaining our kitchen efficiency,” Trojan said, “but early results are promising.”

The virtual brand uses “excess capacity” in BJ’s kitchens, Trojan said. “And we see this as a way to drive incremental dollars through our system and through, again, the fixed-cost structure that we have,” he said, adding that the menu was designed to impose as little impact on kitchen productivity and efficiency as possible…

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