In the independent restaurant world, having power is about a lot more than size, sales or a celebrity name.
Many of the most interesting and successful restaurants across the country are operated by multiconcept groups — companies that have built a portfolio of brands that can be wildly different, but are united by shared values and infrastructure.
This year, Restaurant Hospitality collected the 25 most powerful multiconcept operators across the country, or what we call the RH25.
These companies are powerful for a number of reasons: They are operators everyone is watching because of their innovation. They are evolving with the changing consumer, although most have been around for decades. They are breaking old models and reinventing the way restaurants operate. And they are crossing segment lines, moving deftly from fine dining to quick service, while maintaining a reputation for excellence.
Looking more closely at these companies, common themes emerge. The Curators are building or curating food halls. The Culture Mold Breakers are rethinking employment models and putting their people first. The Enduring Legacies are positioning for the future.
The Innovators are rolling out new hits. The Location Specialists are demonstrating prowess in real estate partnerships. Some are Recreating Casual Dining as we know it. And others are Communicators, capitalizing on various media platforms to change the way we think about food and dining out.
With this list, there is no ranking. All 25 are powerful, and all 25 are companies to watch.