Granite City to Expand Eight Existing Stores

The casual dining chain hopes the renovation process will enhance the customer experience through greater efficiencies.

During a time when many restaurant chains are reducing their footprints, casual dining operation Granite City Food & Brewery is following the advice of its customers in taking a different approach. After company research indicated customer frustration associated with higher wait times, Granite City has decided to enlarge eight of its locations and enhance overall efficiency.

Some of the physical changes at the stores will include: increased seating in the bar area, enclosure of patios for year-round service and the addition of private dining rooms. To help make these operations more efficient Granite City will implement table and kitchen management systems.

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. (NASDAQ:GCFB) announced today that it is in the process of enhancing four of its higher margin stores with the expectation that the improvements will be completed for the upcoming holiday season. The upgrades are consistent with the company's goal to improve the customer experience and drive continued growth through strategic investment in existing and new stores.

Granite City has targeted eight stores for enhancement over the next year with four expected to be completed within the next four weeks. Those projects expected to be completed in 2011 include:

  • Maple Grove, Minn.: Enclosure of patio creating year-round all-weather seating and enhancement of the bar, adding additional seating and floor space.
  • Roseville, Minn.: Bar enhancement adding additional seating and floor space, and upgraded outdoor patio.
  • Davenport, Ia.: Private dining room addition and enhancement of the bar, adding new seating and enhanced floor space.
  • Cedar Rapids, Ia.: Enclosure of patio creating year-round all-weather seating and enhancement of bar adding new seating and floor space.

Granite City operates 26 restaurants in 11 states.

This decision comes five months after Granite City received a $9 million infusion of capital from Concept Development Partners in partnership with CIC Partners along with $10 million in financing from Fifth Third Bank.

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