The restaurant business is a competitive one, ever-changing due to the economy, dietary knowledge, food trends and more. New places pop up every year, old-school favorites shutter their doors and popular eateries turn into classics as the years go by. According to Restaurant Business’ list of the Top 100 Independent Restaurants, the restaurant business as of late has been dominated by Americans’ love for seafood.
Defining “independent” as a restaurant with no more than five locations, Restaurant Business released a list of the restaurants with the highest food and beverage revenues for 2019, with Floridian seafood restaurant Joe's Stone Crab coming out on top. Located in Miami Beach, Joe's Stone Crab saw $38,400,000 in gross sales for 2019. With an average check of $87, the restaurant served just 325,530 meals.
Serving up some of Miami Beach's best seafood since 1913, Joe's Stone Crab is the kind of tourist trap restaurant you should eat at anyway according to many food critics, particularly because of its specialty Florida stone crab claws, served with Joe's signature mustard sauce. It should be noted, however, that the restaurant is only open from mid-October through May for stone crab season — which makes the fact that it still topped Restaurant Business' list particularly impressive.
Other items you'll also want to stop by for a bite of include Joe's famous fried chicken or their key lime pie, a dessert so iconic to the area that there's even a food festival dedicated to it out in the Keys.
After Joe's Stone Crab, the next four top-grossing restaurants were the family-friendly Carmine’s in Times Square, The Boathouse in Orlando's Disney Springs, Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, D.C. and Midtown Manhattan's Lavo Italian Restaurant and Nightclub. One of the oldest restaurants in the country, Old Ebbitt Grill had the most meals served on the entire list, with 1,013,433 meals totaling up to $33,291,280 in sales revenue — which makes sense considering it’s one of the most iconic restaurants in America that everyone should visit.