Chuy’s to scale back new-unit development

Chuy’s Holdings Inc. is restraining development this year as it works to build brand awareness, traffic and frequency at existing units, company executives said Thursday.

“We are limiting our development to between five and seven restaurants with all our new-unit growth planned for areas with proven high average-unit volumes,” said Steve Hislop, CEO and president of the Austin, Texas-based casual-dining brand.

…The company also completed the rollout of the Olo online ordering system to all its restaurants in the fourth quarter, Hislop said.

“Early adoption rate is very encouraging, and this positive trend is continuing in the first quarter,” he said. “In fact, despite the lack of advertising, our to-go sales through Olo now represent approximately 13% to 14% of all to-go ordering. For 2019, we will continue to iron out any kinks in the operations process and plan to start promoting this platform beginning in the second quarter.”

…To-go sales were more than 13% of sales for the company in the fourth quarter, he said, up more than 15%.

Delivery for the company is less than 2% of total sales, he added.

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