10 Things food Travel

The Top Earning Restaurants in the Country

It’s easy to start a restaurant or bar.

It’s harder to make money doing it.

But some bars and restaurants have figured out a way to make it happen, and make a ton of money doing it. Whether they happen to be in the right place at the right time, or whether they’re a destination unto themselves, these TOP RESTAURANTS IN THE COUNTRY have proven that where there’s a will, there’s a way to make some dough in the food business.

Waiter Rant
Waiter Rant

Topping the list of RESTAURANT BUSINESS MAGAZINE’s list of TOP 100 INDEPENDENT RESTAURANTS is perennial favorite TAO in Las Vegas.  With an average dinner check of $75, meals there are really not that expensive compared to other places on the list.  One might even say that it’s approachable by the casual diner.  And with that average check size being so low, comparatively speaking, TAO STILL MANAGED TO BRING IN OVER $64 MILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR.  And when you see the huge drop in numbers between TAO and the number 2 restaurant on the list — all we can say is “holy cow!” and “WTF?”.  On the other hand, even Walt Disney World got into the action at number 11 on the list and elsewhere further down.

And people say there’s no money in the restaurant business.

Here are the TOP 25 RESTAURANTS from this year’s list:

  1. TAO, Las Vegas — $64.6 million
  2. JOE’S STONE CRAB, Miami Beach – $35.3 million
  3. OLD EBBIT GRILL, Washington DC
  4. SMITH & WOLLENSKY, New York City
  5. LAVO, Las Vegas
  6. PRIME 112, Miami Beach
  7. TAO, New York
  8. GIBSONS, Chicago
  9. BUDDAKAN, New York City
  10. JOE’S SEAFOOD, Chicago
  11. FULTON’S CRAB HOUSE, Lake Buena Vista
  12. JOE’S SEAFOOD, Las Vegas
  13. CARNEVINO, Las Vegas
  14. SW STEAKHOUSE, Las Vegas
  15. THE HAMILTON, Washington DC
  16. SPARKS STEAK HOUSE, New York City
  18. BOB CHINN’S CRAB HOUSE, Wheeling
  19. 21, New York City
  20. MON AMI GABI, Las Vegas

My god, even Frankenmuth Michigan made the list.  That’s a lot of fried chicken.

The sad (happy?) part of this is that Web Watch has eaten at a pretty large number of the restaurants represented on this list.  And there’s a reason that they bring in this kind of moola.

They’re good at what they do, and the food is tasty.  And yes, we would go back – to every darn one of them.

For us, it was money well spent.  And obviously, it was for others as well.