There are many different kinds of restaurants. There are ethnic, fast food, fine dining, barbecue joints and many other types. However, some restaurants simply stand out as being superior to most others, and LongHorn Steakhouse is certainly in that category. It is built around the theme of western-style food, culture, friendliness and ambiance. Adults and children alike will enjoy seeing the many cowboy boots, ropes, pictures, branding irons, lighting fixtures and other items that decorate the dining room. This unique restaurant has an interesting story.
The LongHorn Steakhouse Story
In 1981, the first LongHorn Steakhouse was opened on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. Its owner, George McKerrow, Jr., initially struggled financially and feared that his business would close, but the eatery began to thrive in 1982 and became successful. By 1990, the franchise had locations across the south. They now have restaurants located in every state east of the Mississippi River plus Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas west of the river and Puerto Rico. It has now grown to have more than one hundred locations in the United States.
In 2007, the chain was purchased by Darden Restaurants, which also owns the Bahama Breeze, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, The Capital Grille and Season 52 restaurant chains. All five chains focus on the upscale, casual market and provide very good food in pleasant surroundings at a moderate price. Darden has become the largest full-service restaurant company in the world. The first Red Lobster restaurant opened in Lakeland, Florida, in 1968. Darden now operates approximately 1800 restaurants that employ about 180,000 people and serve more than 400 million meals per year.
The Menu for Dinner
With its emphasis on western culture and food, it is natural that the menu includes a number of choices for steaks. All of the steaks are hand-cut, hand-seasoned and prepared as the customer orders. They range in size from a 6-oz. top sirloin to a 22-oz. porterhouse. There is a size that will perfectly fit every appetite.
In addition to steak, there are also five well-prepared chicken dishes. They include: Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Citrus Grilled Chicken, Grilled Chicken and Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms, Fresh Chicken Tenders and Sierra Chicken.
The dinner menu also includes: appetizers, salads, seafood, ribs and chops, side dishes and sandwiches. Another popular choice is one of their Great Steak Additions, such as lobster tail, shrimp, a half rack of ribs, sautéed mushroom and Parmesan or bleu cheese served along with the regular meal ordered. The melted Parmesan cheese is especially good on either steak or chicken.
The half dozen or so desserts tend to not only be delicious, but also large enough to share. The Chocolate Stampede and the Caramel Apple Goldrush are favorites for many diners.
The Menu for Lunch
The lunch menu is similar to the dinner menu with some exceptions. The entrees are lunch-sized portions, offered at a lower price. There are more hamburgers and sandwiches from which to choose. The add-ons are served at the same price as in the evening. Going to this restaurant for lunch is a great choice for the business person and also for retirees and others who are on a fixed income but still want to enjoy an excellent meal in a good restaurant.
The Menu for Children
The menu for children is called “Just for Kids.” It has all the choices that would be expected on a children’s menu, including: grilled cheese sandwich, cheeseburger, chicken tenders, hot dog and macaroni & cheese. A bit more unusual is that the kids’ menu includes smoothies.
The Full Service Bar
There is a full bar featuring Texas and western themed drinks at all LongHorn Steakhouses. In addition to light beer and draft beer, they offer: Texan Tornado, Blackberry Mojito, Cosmopolitan, Desert Pear Margarita, Green Apple Martini, LongHorn Pina Colada, Mojito and other selections. There is always a TV tuned to a sporting event for the sports fan. There are a few booths in the bar for those who prefer to dine there. White or Red Blush Wine is also available with dinner. For those who prefer soft drinks with their meal, soda, coffee, iced tea, lemonade and other drinks are available.
LongHorn Steakhouse Coupons and Other Promotions
LongHorn Steakhouse is generous in providing discounts and special deals. For those who sign up to belong to their Western Hospitality Club, a coupon for a free appetizer is sent by e-mail very soon after they give their e-mail address. Later, the customer receives a coupon occasionally for a few dollars off the price of lunch or dinner. A coupon for a free dessert is also sent for the customer’s birthday.
The company very occasionally has an advertisement with a LongHorn Steakhouse coupon printed in the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper. A third source for coupons a local restaurant can have is a table at a local festival or street fair. A coupon is sent to all those who sign up requesting one. LongHorn Steakhouse has done this in some areas.
ShopatHome.com offers LongHorn Steakhouse coupons to those who sign up for their service. However, they simply direct your request to the restaurant’s website.
eBay shoppers will be happy to hear that often LongHorn Steakhouse coupons are available on their favorite auction website. Currently under the “Buy It Now” provision, four $4 off dinner and four $3 off lunch coupons can be purchased for $3.99. This offer comes with free shipping. Those who enjoy going out to eat frequently may want to check this website on a regular basis. It also has several other items that relate to the restaurant available for purchase.
The Waitstaff and Management
LongHorn Steakhouse does an especially good job of training their waitstaff. They are consistently polite, helpful and friendly. Their good service definitely adds to the enjoyment of dining there. Generally, a manager will come by each table during the course of a meal. He greets customers, checking to see if everything is okay, and is open to conversation if the guests desire to chat. The same level of service is given during lunch as in the evening.
Other Perks and Benefits
Like most restaurants, LongHorn Steakhouse sells gift cards. They have them available from $5 to $250. If you register it with them, they keep track of your balance and make the information available online.
They also have an occasional contest with prizes, such as a few days touring with a country music singing star. It is always refreshing to see a company which provides incentives to its customers to spend their money with them. This restaurant does that effectively. It is no wonder that in the Restaurants and Institutions 28th Annual Consumers Choice in Chains survey, LongHorn Steakhouse was once again voted as America’s favorite steakhouse. Patricia Dailey, Publisher and Editorial Director of R & I magazine, said, “These awards represent the most important restaurant metric there is – customer satisfaction.”
For country music fans, the music that can be played on the company’s website is a treat. Having multiple artists adds to the enjoyment of listening.
When all is said and done, LongHorn Steakhouse is an excellent choice for whenever you choose to go out for lunch or dinner.