Photo: Roland, Flickr
"If you can't make a steak delivery system work in Texas, then something's very wrong," concedes Mark Kime, who opened the state's first Steak-Out in Fort Worth late last month.
The Steak-Out concept -- summarized on the company's Web site as "from our grill to your door" -- was created in 1986 in Alabama by David Martin, who helped grow the chain to 70 stores. There are now a mere 30 outlets spread across a dozen Southern and Midwestern states.
According to a recent story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the chain shut down 10 stores over the last 18 months for under-performing and failing to comply with company standards. Chief Operating Officer Peter Petrosian told the paper that Steak-Out plans to revitalize its operations by recruiting more franchisees like Kime, who's spent 17 years in the restaurant business.
Kime suspects that, even in a recession, Texans will happily dial up a steak dinner.
"Are people tired of pizza and Chinese food?" he says. "Absolutely."
Steak-Out offers pork chops, grilled salmon, sirloin tips and -- for $24.99 -- a 22-ounce rib-eye, served with a potato, salad, roll and a steak knife.
"Yes, everyone in Texas loves meat, but not everyone in Texas has $50 to go to a steakhouse and pay for a decent steak," Kime explains. "We're giving people an alternative."
Kime says his kitchen is thus far staying busy with burger orders.
"Their idea is 'let's see if they can do a burger right,'" Kime says.
"We're trying to give people something different," he continues. "We think we'll be successful."