Friday, February 13, 2009

BJ's focuses on operations, including the bar

BJ's, one of casual dining's stronger performers, hopes to add sales momentum during the current downturn through a series of operational and menu tweaks. Those initiatives, detailed to investors this week, include a new high-speed, energy-saving pizza oven, as well as a new centralized reservation system for large parties.

The chain is also testing catering and new dining-room configurations that aim to maximize seating capacity.

On the menu side, BJ's is experimenting with a new roster of craft beers, a new children's menu, higher quality wines, non-alcoholic beverages and "new signature menu items," said CEO Jerry Deitchle. He did not provide details.

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