October 31, 2017
America's chain restaurants may collectively dominate the national market in terms of overall profitability — even as millennial abandonment supposedly kills them — but the fact remains that it pays, big time, to run a ritzy restaurant in a major metropolis.
This week, Restaurant Business released its annual ranking of the top 100 independent restaurants in the United States, a list determined by aggregate food and beverage revenues among spots with no more than five locations. The information, gathered through surveys and other public data, is based on 2016 sales figures.
The top 100 independents raked in about $1.8 billion in 2016 — about the same as the previous year — and it should surprise no one that five of the top 10 are located in New York City.
But Philadelphia's diverse food scene, probably best known for its creativity and character, did manage to produce an entry in the top 50. Coming in at No. 43 is Stephen Starr's Parc, the French bistro and cafe seated in the heart of Rittenhouse.
Parc's gross revenue last year totaled $16,921,459, with an average bill of $56 across 423,619 meals. The restaurant finished one spot behind Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in New York and one ahead of Aria Cafe in Las Vegas. Starr's Buddakan in New York City ranked 21st with $20,555,460 in revenue, with an average bill of $84 across 250,416 meals.
Two South Jersey spots also found their way into the top 100. The Lobster House in Lower Township came in at No. 69 with an estimated revenue of $14.9 million ($38 average bill across 310,000 meals), and Carmine's in Atlantic City landed at No. 84 with $13,978,014 in revenue ($33 average bill across 101,914 meals).
Here are the top 10:
1. Tao Las Vegas – Las Vegas ($42,470,345)
2. Joe's Stone Crab – Miami Beach ($37,243,159)
3. Tao Downtown – New York (33,401,819)
4. Carmine's – New York ($33,147,017)
5. Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington, D.C. ($32,662,051)
6. The Boathouse Orlando – Orlando ($30,814,369)
7. Lavo New York – New York ($26,822,655)
8. Smith & Wollensky – New York ($25,961,337)
9. Bryant Park Grill & Cafe – New York ($25,400,000)
10. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse – Chicago ($24,700,825)
Check out the full rankings here.