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67

LATE-NIGHT HOURS

67.1 Overview
Some family-dining chains such as Dennys, IHOP, Steak n Shake, and Waffle
House have long had late-night service. Several years ago, many quick-service
restaurants began operating with extended hours. More than 95% of McDonalds
restaurants now have extended hours; several thousand are open 24 hours. More
recently, many casual-dining chains have been extending operating hours.

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A growing number of casual-dining concepts are


staying open past the typical 10 p.m. or 11 p.m.
close, often keeping the doors and kitchen open
until midnight or even 2 a.m. Many Applebees
Neighborhood Grill & Bars expanded their hours
last year, and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has
added late-night happy hours over the past few
months. Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill enhanced
its evening offerings nearly a year and a half ago,
and profitable operators like the 100-unit BJs
Restaurants have long offered late-night dining.

Nations Restaurant News, 3/21/11


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67.2 Late-Night Customer Demographics


According to Technomic (www.technomic.com), late-night hours appeal to
patrons of various age demographics as follows:
18-to-24: 66%
25-to-34: 56%
35-to-44: 50%

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45-to-54: 48%
55 and older: 43%

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[Late-night] customers range from factory


third-shift employees to teenagers coming home
from parties.

John Dillon, Vice President


Dennys
Nations Restaurant News
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67.3 Late-Night Operations


The following are operational characteristics of some restaurants that maintain
late-night hours:
At Dennys, servers working from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. wear jeans and T-shirts instead
of black pants and collared shirts. Alternative music is played during those hours,
and a special late-night-only menu is offered. Forty-seven percent (47%) of late-
night customers at Dennys are under age 24; two-thirds are coming from spots like
night clubs or bowling alleys.
Approximately 80% of Applebees 2,000 locations are open until midnight or later;
late-night revenue accounts for 13% of sales. Alcoholic beverage sales account for
14% of the late-night sales mix. In about 100 markets the brand has introduced
Club Applebees, offering 2-for-1 specials and theme nights like karaoke night, trivia
night, and 80s night, and more for a late-night crowd.

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Staying open later allows us to have more fun


with things later at night when the kids are in
bed.

Brian Masilionis, Senior V.P.


Applebees
Advertising Age, 8/6/12
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Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, a 68-unit casual-dining chain, keeps its recently
remodeled restaurants open until midnight and 2 a.m., depending on the market,
and offers a special late-night menu. Bar business makes up half of sales between
10 p.m. and 2 a.m., compared with 15% to 18% during lunch and dinner.
Night Kitchen, in Seattle, Washington, is open only from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. A full
breakfast menu is available at all hours; the restaurant has a 50-50 split between
sales of breakfast and dinner fare.
Bostons Restaurant & Sports Bar, with 50 locations in the U.S., keeps its
restaurants open until 2 a.m. in most markets.

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Were open late because were already paying


those fixed costs. We do a big delivery service,
so we definitely pick up late-night deliveries
after other pizza chains close down. Since
many of our restaurants are near hotels, we can
do in-room delivery service for them or partner
with them for late-night guests.

Randy Steinbrenner, Vice President


Bostons Restaurant & Sports Bar
Nations Restaurant News, 3/21/11
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