BYOB Economics 101

How we outperform the big Italian chain restaurants in value

At Lizzano’s, we work hard to consistently deliver great food at a great price.  In fact, you may be surprised to learn that Lizzano’s competes very favorably with the national Italian chain restaurants.  How do we do it?
The big national Italian chains—like Carrabba’s Italian Grill®, Romano’s Macaroni Grill®, Olive Garden® and California Pizza Kitchen®—have substantial overhead cost structures that are passed on to their customers.  Their menu prices reflect the cost of premium locations and sizeable national advertising campaigns.  Lizzano’s is conveniently located in your neighborhood and depends entirely on local advertising and word-of-mouth.

The wine list prices at the big chains also reflect huge markups that translate into fat profit margins.  Great for them—but not so great for you.  Lizzano’s invites you to bring along your favorite wine or beer (purchased at supermarket prices) to enjoy with your favorite Lizzano’s dish.

What does that mean for you in real dollars and cents?  We conducted our own research to determine exactly how the cost of dinner for two with wine (BYOB) at Lizzano’s compares with the same dinner for two with wine at the big chains.  We did the math and discovered what many of our value-wise customers have already figured out:

A typical dinner for two with wine at one of the four nearby national Italian chain restaurants costs twice as much1 as a comparable dinner for two at Lizzano’s with the same wine (BYOB) at supermarket prices4.

First, we compared the cost of dinner for two comprised of two classical Italian dishes— Spaghetti Bolognese with Meatballs and Chicken Parmesan/Piccata—at each of four local Italian restaurant chains2.  Here’s how the same dinner at Lizzano’s stacks up:


Dinner
for two 


Lizzano’s

Carrabba’s
Italian
Grill
®

Romano’s
Macaroni
Grill
®

Olive
Garden
®

California3
Pizza
Kitchen
®

Chicken Parmesan

$8.95

$16.50

$13.29

$12.95

$14.49

Spaghetti Bolognese

$5.95

$12.50

$10.79

$11.95

$11.99

Total for two persons:

$14.90

$29.00

$24.08

$24.90

$26.48

Chain dinner
premium

95%
more

62%
more

67%
more

77%
more

.
We then compared the cost of a bottle of wine at each of the same four local Italian restaurant chains2 to the grocery store price of the very same wine. (See our detailed price comparison of 70 wines served at each of the four national chain restaurants. Each of these same 70 wines was also available at like Tom Thumb®.) Here’s how the same wines at Tom Thumb® stacked up:


Wine
4

Carrabba’s
Italian
Grill
®
(16 wines compared)

Romano’s
Macaroni
Grill
®
(18 wines compared)


Olive
Garden
®
(17 wines compared)

California
Pizza
Kitchen
®
(19 wines compared)

Average cost of the
compared wines on each
restaurant wine list
on June 15, 2009

$35.25

$32.78

$24.71

$22.21

Average cost of the
same wine at Tom Thumb® on June 15, 2009

$15.98

$12.81

$10.29

$11.05

Chain wine
premium

121%
more

156%
more

140%
more

101%
more

.
The Bottom Line

Compared to dinner for two with BYOB wine at Lizzano’s, here’s how much more you will pay for a comparable dinner with a bottle of wine at one of the national chains:


Wow!


Average of
Four Chains

Carrabba’s
Italian
Grill
®

Romano’s
Macaroni
Grill
®

Olive
Garden
®

California3
Pizza
Kitchen
®

Cost of dinner for two
plus avg wine at
Italian chains

$54.85

$60.15

$56.86

$51.19

$51.21

Cost of dinner for two plus the same BYOB wine at Lizzano’s

$27.43

$30.88

$27.71

$25.19

$25.95

Difference:

$27.42

$29.27

$29.15

$26.00

$25.26

Chain
premium

100%
more

95%
more

105%
more

103%
more

97%
more


1 Comparable dinner and wine for two, averaged across four national Italian chain restaurants.

2 Menu prices compared on June 15, 2009.

3 Chicken Piccata at California Pizza Kitchen®.  Chicken Parmesan at all other chains.

4 See our detailed price comparison of 70 wines served at each of the four national chain restaurants

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