ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Restaurant.com, the leading provider of restaurant savings nationwide, today announced it broke multiple internal records in 2011 as it soared to its most successful year in spite of a sluggish economy.
In 2011, Restaurant.com filled more than 5.5 million tables nationwide with more than 18.4 million diners - an increase of 10 percent over 2010's record year - generating nearly $400 million in revenue for the restaurant industry. (Industry revenue data is calculated based on the average check value of $70.75 from Restaurant.com customer surveys.)
"We are extremely proud of our achievements in 2011," said Restaurant.com President and Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Krohn. "These numbers tell a story that goes far beyond our own success. We're lowering the financial barrier that keeps millions of people away from dining out in an economy that's still struggling in the wake of a recession. We're keeping tables filled at establishments that employ tens of thousands of workers around the country, saving jobs from being eliminated and restaurants from closing."
More than 1.65 million surveys with nearly 800,000 customer comments were completed by Restaurant.com patrons, giving restaurant operators unparalleled, exclusive insight into their customers' dining experiences.
"We're very pleased with the business results we've seen with the Restaurant.com program. The quality of marketing and office support has been excellent, and the quality of customers has been very high," said Bill Menzel, owner and operator of Ahyan's Mediterranean Restaurants on Long Island.
Menzel joins more than 3,000 new restaurants that have partnered with Restaurant.com in the last three months of 2011. These new dining choices are keeping customer activity on Restaurant.com at an all-time high, helping customers save more than $300 million in 2011.
"I love to eat out, but with a family of four boys and a husband, it gets very expensive," said Shellie McKenna, a loyal Restaurant.com customer from Hartland, Wis. "I keep a large supply of Restaurant.com gift certificates on hand so we can stop to eat out whenever we want - whether we are in our area or traveling for hockey. I also buy certificates and use them as teacher gifts or in fundraising gift baskets."
McKenna added, "I honestly can't imagine how much money I have saved with Restaurant.com!"
Restaurant.com is privately held and does not release financial data. Regarding the company's performance, Chairman Kenneth Chessick remarked, "We had a terrific year in 2011. Thanks to the leadership of outgoing CEO Cary Chessick, we enjoyed our fourth straight year of double-digit revenue growth and solid profitability. Cary is leaving the business having built a strong platform for future growth, and we will be making continued investments to sharpen our operational focus in 2012.
In addition to exceeding its core business goals in 2011, Restaurant.com's annual holiday giving program, Feed It Forward, spread holiday cheer in record numbers. The program allows individuals to give free $10 Restaurant.com eGift Cards to friends and families from Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. The company helped participants give more than $22 million in Restaurant.com eGift Cards in 2011 and more than $53 million in total giveaways since the program's inception in 2008.
"Our family had a couple of years when giving Christmas gifts was a real hardship. There was simply no money for anything other than the basics of life. Through Feed It Forward, I was able to give a thoughtful gift to friends and family, share a great program like Restaurant.com and share in the holiday spirit all at the same time," said Suzanne Jones, a thoughtful Restaurant.com customer from Gallatin, Tenn.
"Thank you for a wonderful program," she added.
Restaurant.com helps deepen relationships and create lasting memories one dining experience at a time. The company offers savings at more than 18,000 restaurants nationwide with more than 45,000 daily gift certificate options. Restaurant.com brings family and friends together to relax, converse and enjoy dining out. Restaurant.com has helped customers save nearly $2 billion since the Arlington Heights, Ill.-based company was founded in 1999. The company was named one of the Top 100 Places to Work by the Chicago Tribune in 2011.