FRANKENMUTH, MI – August 23,2018 – Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, the 1,500 seat family restaurant located 90 miles north of Detroit in Frankenmuth, Mich., has been ranked the number one independent restaurant in Michigan, and number three in the country for the number of meals served among US independent restaurants. The Top 100 Independent Restaurants in the United States report is an annual survey by the hospitality trade magazine, Restaurant Business.
In 2017, Zehnder’s served 945,364 guests with an average guest check of $16. Only one other restaurant in the top 100 reported the same low guest check average. Rankings, based on sales, placed Zehnder’s as #66 among the top 100 independent restaurants.
New observations with the top 100 report from Restaurant Business include: “… American diners are obviously carnivorous, as 16 of the top 50 are steakhouses or focus strongly on meat. Second, though Los Angeles has been getting much publicity lately as the country’s new food capital, it shows poorly on the list of top grossing restaurants, with only one restaurant making the cut. New York City, on the other hand, accounts for 20 of the 50. …. Finally, celebrity chefdom apparently doesn’t mean very much when it comes to serious financial success. Only half a dozen of these highly grossing restaurants have or had famed culinary personalities attached. Two of those are among the places that have since closed, and two more are no longer associated with the noted names.”
Zehnder’s Chairman and CEO Al Zehnder, recently named the 2018 Michigan Small Business Person of the Year, provides the leadership for the four generation family business. “You can place the best food on the table, however it means nothing without great hospitality and service,” said Zehnder. “We work toward creating a memorable experience for each guest who walks through our doors. Our menu reflects our iconic family chicken dinners, new food and beverage tastes and trends, plus many themed food and entertainment options. A team of nearly 900 employees helps us maintain our tradition of excellence and attract a new generation of customers.”
Zehnder’s opened on Mother’s Day in 1929, and served 312 chicken dinners at $1 each. The busiest days each year continue to be Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Zehnder’s Snowfest Weekend along with serving over 4,000 to 5,000 guests each weekend day October through December. Thanksgiving 2017 welcomed more than 7,000 guests.