The Windy City inspires the food and drink at BJ's. BJ's Restaurants owns and operates more than 110 restaurants in California and a dozen other mostly western states under the names BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ's Restaurant & Brewery, and BJ's Pizza & Grill. The casual-dining eateries offer Chicago-style pizza, salads, sandwiches, pasta, and the company's own hand-crafted beers. Its dozen Restaurant & Brewery locations, which feature an onsite microbrewery, help supply beer to the rest of the chain. The Brewhouse locations sell beer from company breweries and from third-parties using the company's recipes. The smaller Pizza & Grill shops have limited menus. The first BJ's opened in California in 1978.
The company reported positive financial results in 2010: total revenues increased 20% to $513.9 million, and net income reached $23.2 million (up from $13 million in 2009). Such growth was the result of increases in both guest traffic and the average amount spent per guest. This was in part due to higher menu prices, which were raised by about 2%. In addition, BJ's Restaurants opened ten new restaurants that year. It continued its expansion in 2011 with the opening of 13 restaurants, and it plans to open 15 new restaurants in 2012.
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse format its flagship concept. More than 80% of its locations operate under the Brewhouse brand, which is similar to its Brewery restaurants, except that they do not manufacture beer. However, the company will continue to build additional Brewery locations in certain areas where it is more appropriate to brew its own beer. It will also consider opening smaller-format BJ's Pizza and Grill locations (the company's legacy format) in densely-populated, urban areas, or in smaller cities where a larger location is not feasible or appropriate.
Holding company The Jacmar Companies owns about 12% of BJ's. In addition to being a major shareholder, Jacmar Companies owns restaurant supply business Jacmar Foodservice Distribution, a major supplier of BJ's locations. It also owns family pizza chain Shakey's USA. – less