Miami Dominates Restaurant Business' "Top 100" Most Lucrative Restaurants in the Country

Stubborn Seed executive chef Jeremy Ford inside the kitchen of his busy Miami Beach restaurant.
Stubborn Seed executive chef Jeremy Ford inside the kitchen of his busy Miami Beach restaurant. Grove Bay Hospitality photo
When it comes to restaurant profits, the Magic City is tops, according to a recent list ranking the country's top-grossing establishments in 2022.

Earlier this week, the commercial restaurant industry magazine Restaurant Business Online released its "Top 100" list of the largest independent restaurants.

Attempts to contact a spokesperson from Restaurant Business were unsuccessful, but its research shows the 2022 list represents a wide range of menus and price points garnered from establishments that served 272 million meals in 2021 while generating $1.8 billion in sales.

Out of the nation's one hundred top-ranked restaurants, numerous South Florida establishments took top spots on the list, including the nation's highest-grossing restaurant.

David Grutman's Groot Hospitality-owned Komodo took the number one spot. The Brickell restaurant is reported to have an average annual revenue of $41,000,000, with the average check priced at $115 per table.

Two more Groot Hospitality establishments took top spots, including the Design District's Swan and Miami Beach's Papi Steak. Mila, Shooters Waterfront, Prime 112, and Marion also made the top 20 as the nation's top earners.
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Groot Hospitality's Komodo made the Restaurant Business magazine's top spot on its recent 'Top 100' revenue list for post-pandemic earnings.
Groot Hospitality photo
A breakout winner was Grove Bay Hospitality's Stubborn Steed, the Jeremy Ford-helmed Miami Beach gem that grossed an estimated $11,158,000 in the year following the pandemic — quite a feat for a 70-seat restaurant when compared to the average 200-seat capacity establishments that made the list.

According to Grove Bay Hospitality partner Ignacio Garcia-Menocal, Stubborn Seed's sales went up 50% in 2021 and nearly doubled again in 2022.

While Grove Bay correlates much of Stubborn Seed’s revenue to the restaurant’s high average per-person bill and constant nightly turnaround, Garcia-Menocal tells New Times it’s also thanks to a long-standing reputation, a Michelin star designation, and a bustling Miami dining scene during the pandemic recovery are also significant factors.

"To more than double in sales is obviously a big, big change, and we attribute that to a lot of hard work, making a name for ourselves, and a little bit of being in the right place and the right time with Miami being so popular," said Garcia-Menocal.

"It was such a weird year — a great year for sales, but also a challenging one to operate. In 2020, we went from asking 'Are we going to make it?' to meeting a ton of challenges from supply chain issues to staffing shortages," adds Garcia-Menocal. "We're all honored to be on this list. For us, it's really a culmination of all the hard work."

Additional South Florida restaurants include Rusty Pelican in Miami (28th); Miami Beach's Makoto (34th); Rustic Inn Crabhouse in Fort Lauderdale (39th); 15th Street Fisheries in Fort Lauderdale (56th); Casa Tua Miami (79th); Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale (93rd); and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Miami (99th). 
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna

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