In the past week, three people have raved to me about various Brazilian churrascaria steakhouses, particularly Fogo de Chao in Chicago and Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not franchise. It’s a unique approach to dining, especially for the many low-carb carnivores, myself included. People always mention Fogo de Chao’s outstanding salad bar, and how they made the mistake of filling up on salad and couldn’t eat that much meat (beef, pork, lamb and chicken on skewers is carved at your tableside).
The restaurants follow a centuries-old tradition in which “gauchos,” or Brazilian cowboys, put meat on a stick and cooked it over an open fire.
The only franchised Brazilian steakhouse I’m aware of is Fire of Brazil ($50,000 franchise fee). This was interesting regarding Fire of Brazil:
If Florida isn’t far enough, how about the Kingdom of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon or Algeria? Those are some of the Middle Eastern and North African locations that could soon see a Fire of Brazil restaurant. The company has sold the master franchise rights for the Middle East and North Africa to a company called the Living Concepts out of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Spokeswoman Mary Lou Rodgers said it also plans to sell franchises in this country. Right now, the company has four restaurants â€” two in the Atlanta area, one in Wellington, Fla., and one in Nashville.
The concept is strong and proven popular. Fogo de Chao paved the way and proved the right formula, and soon I’m sure entrepreneurs will franchise nearly identical concepts in the coming years. Done right (see Fogo de Chao or El Gaucho), this concept in my opinion will be a winner over the next decade.