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HYBRID RESTAURANTS

Luby’s is  breaking ground this month on a  first new build-hybrid concept in Pearland that will feature a Luby’s and Fuddruckers side by side. That means we can get  some Jell-O and chocolate pie at Luby’s right after the giant burger and steak  fries at Fuddruckers.  (If you ever wondered what heaven is really like…)

Peter Tropoli

Luby’s/Fuddruckers COO Peter  Tropoli tells us it’s the first time the brands will be in that market. The  hybrid will sit on a two-acre parcel Luby’s bought on 288 South. It’s not  uncommon for the two restaurants to be in the same market and on a restaurant  row, he tells us. The concepts are complementary to each other as they serve different food items, yet still appeal to families. Peter says the opportunity to build them next to each at the same time affords  some efficiency for construction.  He’s snapped here performing in an ’80s-themed  concert at a birthday party. He and Luby’s CFO Scott Gray formed a band about 10 years ago and have jammed  together steadily since. In their off time, they play at charity gigs. Might we suggest you call yourselves Rock and  Freshly-Baked Rolls?

Luby's and Fuddruckers

Peter says it’s common  for the company to own the restaurant property. The Pearland location should open  around mid-August with a 8,500 SF Luby’s and a 2,500 SF Fuddruckers with  about 1,000 SF of shared back of house. (The industry term for the kitchen and  storage area and the place where employees from Luby’s fall in love with Fuddruckers employees.) Luby’s acquired  Fuddruckers in 2010 and has been rebuilding the brand; Peter says last  time earnings were reported, sales were up. Right now, he’s concentrating on  growing both brands with new construction and renovating existing  properties.

Luby's

A Luby’s on South  Post Oak at 610 recently reopened to a favorable response. Designed as a prototype for renovations, he sees it as a way to reenergize the brand. A  25-year-old Luby’s in Katy was recently remodeled following the prototype and  should be open soon. Peter says the company has learned that the exterior needs freshening too during renovations. Depending upon what needs to be  done, the upgrades could cost $200k or more per location. Additionally,  plans call for three to five new Fuddruckers locations in the current  fiscal year, including Pearland. Other locations: Houston, San Antonio,  and Austin (in that order).

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