P.F. Chang’s Sees a Tough Year Ahead

While many quick-service brands, like McDonald’s, are thriving in this rough environment, fast-casual brands are still taking quite a hit. Speaking recently at an investor conference, Bert Vivian, co-CEO of P.F. Chang’s told attendees to expect a trying first half of the year.

“I think it’s going to be a cold first quarter in retail and in restaurants,” the Associated Press quoted Vivian, who became co-CEO earlier this month after serving as president since 2000.

At least he is more upbeat about the future. “Our intent is to be a survivor,” he said. “We will come out of this year a stronger company.”

Though the chain’s Q3 comps (their latest data) fell 3.1%, we would imagine that Q4 results probably will look a little worse. However, in the case of P.F. Chang’s, we know more than a few people who are serious fans of the concept and would think there’s still a demand for their offerings.

Is it just a matter of pushing through the storm or will this sector of restaurants have trouble surviving?

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12 Responses to “P.F. Chang’s Sees a Tough Year Ahead”


  1. 1 Jordan Richman January 14, 2009 at 11:40 am

    PF Chang in Rancho Mirage, CA is fantastic and is always busy- year round.

    Excellent facility and superb service. If the chain is suffering then look to this store for contiued good business.

    Jordan Richman

  2. 2 Adam January 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hopefully a “few people who are seriuos fans” will be enough for PF Changs to stay out of Chapter 11 / Chapter 7. The market for expensive asian food is shrinking every day…

  3. 3 Broker January 14, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Not much of a wait for a table anywhere on friday or saturday night these days. I can remember 2-3 hour waits at the King of Prussia mall. Not a pretty time for restaurants.

  4. 4 WateredDownPanAsian January 15, 2009 at 2:47 am

    PF Changs is good for the Mid-West masses.
    At the Irvine Spectrum, the food is consistently mediocre, with the flavors greatly weakened to yield a taste that resemmbles canned Chung King chow mein.
    They need to keep their menu alive with better flavors and recipes, or suffer the fate of yesterday’s lunch.

  5. 5 Derrich January 15, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Echo Jordan’s comment…both PF Changs locations are always packed. And that’s among dozens of Chinese food restaurants scattered throughout the city.

  6. 6 Derrich January 15, 2009 at 11:21 am

    …referring to San Antonio above. The ‘proofread’ side of my brain is currently idle.

  7. 7 Howard The Mediator January 16, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Management could be slipping. At Walnut Creek, they lose orders and routinely can’t seat patrons at rows of empty tables because their staff hasn’t appeared. Someone doesn’t understand table turns.

  8. 8 Tom at the Real Estate Bloggers January 16, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Sure things will be challenging, but I have yet to see the bread lines that faced us in the past.
    Restaurants that have had strong financial management, excellent service, and a quality product will survive this recession.
    Those that felt throwing money at problems or were wildly optimistic with their projections are doomed.
    But that is always the case, isn’t it?

  9. 9 Carol Gilbert January 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    P.F. Chang sewed the seeds of declining sales when it convinced white America that it was okay to eat “Chinese” food, i.e. different is not BAD. As a result, more and more brave souls are likely to try the offerings of local (and better) Asian restaurants, meaning that P.F. Chang’s will have an increasing amount of competition in suburban and midwest markets.

  10. 10 PF CHANGster January 21, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    The lunch special at your local hole in the wall chinese food place is better then this yuppie over priced dog food. Wife threw up after eating there and the portions weren’t impressive for the money.

  11. 11 Fred January 21, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    This is one of the greatest concepts ever, iam sure that they will survive .

  12. 12 Coco January 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    While they did introduce Chinese food to mainstream America, in recent years they have failed to continue the quality and service. Most people I know would agree all the food tastes similar with little distinction of sauces. Service in numerous California locations has been abismal. They need to take this time and look inward on how to recapture their uniqueness and provide better service.


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