Tag Archives: ztejas southwestern grill

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Restaurants serve super-sized economic impact

Think about the celebration that occurred after Arizona was awarded  the 2015 Super Bowl.

Much of that excitement came because of the economic impact the Super Bowl will have on the state. But the restaurant industry in Arizona generates revenue equivalent to hosting two Super Bowls a month.

“Restaurants are critical to Arizona’s visitor industry – and vice versa,” said Debbie Johnson, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association. “Arizona attracts more than 37 million visitors annually and dining is the No. 1 activity for those visitors. So the success of the two industries are definitely intertwined.”

Arizona’s restaurant industry, which included 8,885 eating and drinking places of business in 2011, is expected to rake in $10.5 billion in sales this year, according to the National Restaurant Association. Arizona’s restaurants also employ 262,200 people, roughly 10 percent of the state’s workforce. That number is projected to grow 15.9 percent by 2023 to 303,800 – translating into 41,600 new jobs in the industry.

“While the Recession claimed 500 Arizona restaurants, the industry that was born out of the recession was stronger and more resilient,” said Steve Chucri, president and CEO of the Arizona Restaurant Association. “From 2007 on, Arizona’s industry sales have grown from $7.9 billion to $10.1 billion (in 2012) with extremely modest growth in the hungrier years of 2008-2010.”

Chucri said Arizona’s rate of restaurant sales growth, while once the top in the nation at 6.2 percent, is starting to fight its way back, growing at a little more than 3 percent each year, boosting this industry’s sales by an estimated $400 million annually.

“I think the restaurant community has stabilized and I sense an increasing confidence in the community,” said Steven Micheletti, CEO of Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, which has five locations in Arizona and plans to add two more in the next year. “New restaurants are being built and being opened in interesting parts of the city. There is ongoing collaboration between great entrepreneurs happening, creating some great restaurant experiences. Operators are building restaurants in all types of buildings, creating really fun dining environments.”
A lot of the growth in Arizona’s restaurant industry is coming from entrepreneurs and chefs who are giving consumers different and unique dining experiences.
“Some of the strengths in Arizona’s restaurant industry include population growth, strong tourism, unmatched lifestyle and weather, and access to good produce,” said Russell Owens, president and COO of Fox Restaurant Concepts. “With all of these factors working together, there is more appeal for great chefs to come to Arizona to offer innovative new restaurants and fresh ideas. I think we are seeing more creativity today than over the last 20 years and this will positively shape the industry in Arizona for years to come.”

That influx of great chefs and innovative ideas has become an economic engine for the tourism industry.

“Scottsdale has seen a growth in chef-driven, independent restaurants, which are fueling our culinary scene,” said Rachel Pearson, vice president of community and government affairs for the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Not only do our resorts boast award-winning chefs and restaurants, but now you can drive to every corner of Scottsdale and find unique culinary experiences from well-known chefs.”

Not only are many of the new restaurants that are popping up utilizing fresh ideas and concepts, they are also beginning to increasingly rely on local produce and products to help serve their customers.

“Arizona visitors are really looking for a unique and distinct dining experience that they can’t get back home,” Johnson said. “So trends that we’re seeing in both hotel/resort restaurants as well as off-site restaurants include utilizing local ingredients and offering menu items and experiences that provide a taste of the local community.”

Micheletti has seen an increasing shift to supporting local farmers and growers, but the “Local First” trend doesn’t stop there.
“There’s also a growing influence of local crafted beers and wines,” he said. “Guests really are reading menus and asking questions about ingredients and sourcing. It’s not just about calories anymore.”

In addition to Arizona-grown ingredients, Chucri said one of the most transcendent trends he sees in the industry is the desire for healthy foods.

“The tendency towards more healthful items for the entire family illustrates that consumers are looking to restaurants for more than an indulgent special occasion meal,” he said. “Restaurants are becoming a part of consumers’ daily lives, an extension of their family. Whether it be a compliment dish for Easter dinner, a post-Little League party, or a got-home-too-late-to-cook family dinner, restaurants have infused themselves into the fabric of families everyday lives … a trend that is certain to stick around.”

z'tejas - opening a new location

Z’Tejas Opens Fifth Location in Central Phoenix

On the heels of celebrating its 20th anniversary in Arizona, Scottsdale-based Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill is announcing the opening of their fifth Valley location in central Phoenix located at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road, opening to the public April 22, 2013. This Z’Tejas location was one of the first “ground-up” construction projects in the neighborhood, with the restaurant modeled after famed architect, Ralph Haver, to blend in with the surrounding homes.

“This location is a sign of perseverance and support from the neighborhood,” says Z’Tejas CEO Steven Micheletti. “We are excited to open our doors in the heart of central Phoenix.”

The new location features five uniquely designed dining rooms each with a different feel, side panels that open to the outside, a greenhouse room with a retractable roof and “living wall” inset with live plants and greenery. The restaurant will seat roughly 290 guests and conveys a light, airy design.

The first Arizona Z’Tejas restaurant opened December 1991 in Scottsdale Fashion Square and continues to thrive in the community. The concept then continued to grow with three other locations at Shea & Tatum in Phoenix (1996) Tempe (2000) and Chandler in (2001).

Z’Tejas is at the forefront of unique Southwestern fare with seasonal menu items and specialty cocktails, including their award-winning Chambord margarita. Visit www.ztejas.com for more information and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ztejassouthwesterngrill and Twitter @ZTejas.

Photo: Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill

Top 5: Southwestern Restaurants (Fall-Winter 2012)

The Top 5 Southwestern Restaurants — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Cowboy Ciao

7133 E. Stetson Dr.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(480) WINE-111 (9463)
cowboyciao.com
What began as Tex-Mex Italian 14 years ago has evolved into modern American with global influences. Whether you’re not sure what you’re craving, or if you’re with a group of finicky foodies, the Cowboy Ciao menu offers something for everyone.


Tonto Bar & Grill

5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd.,
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
(480) 488-0698
tontobarandgrill.com
This rustic restaurant takes pride in creating signature dishes from the finest, freshest ingredients, all-natural meats and sustainable seafood, and as many native Arizona products as possible. And you’ll love the ambiance: it looks like an Old West pueblo without the restaurant kitsch.


Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill

Five locations in Arizona
(480) 948-9010 (Phoenix)
ztejas.com
Z’Tejas appeals to families, business-lunch professionals and happy-hour crowds. It offers creative Southwest fare with Cajun, Mexican and Pacific influences. Popular dishes include voodoo tuna, shrimp tostada bites, catfish beignets, Santa Fe smoked-chicken enchiladas and ancho fudge pie.


El Chorro Lodge

5550 E. Lincoln Dr.,
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
(480) 948-5170
elchorro.com
El Chorro Lodge, which sits on 14 desert acres in Paradise Valley, is more than a Valley tradition, it’s a sensory experience. Enjoy the captivating Sonoran landscape and relish in the chef’s nightly inspirations and award-winning dishes.


Richardson’s of New Mexico

6335 N. 16th St.,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
(602) 287-8900
burningembersphoenix.com
Home of the original green chile potato, Richardson’s of New Mexico has the ambiance, service and Tex-Mex menu that will keep you coming back for more.

Experience AZ Fall-Winter 2012

 

Top 5 Southwestern Restaurants (Spring-Summer 2012)

Top 5: Southwestern Restaurants (Spring-Summer 2012)

The Top 5 Southwestern Restaurants — as voted on by Experience AZ readers:

Cowboy Ciao

7133 E. Stetson Dr.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480-WINE-111 (9463)
cowboyciao.com
What began as Tex-Mex Italian 14 years ago has evolved into Modern American with global influences. Whether you’re not sure what you’re craving, or if you’re with a group on finicky foodies, the Cowboy Ciao menu offers something for everyone.


El Chorro Lodge

5550 E. Lincoln Dr.,
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
480-948-5170
elchorro.com
El Chorro Lodge, which sits on 14 desert acres in Paradise Valley, is more than a Valley tradition, it’s a sensory experience. Enjoy the captivating Sonoran landscape and relish in the chef’s nightly inspirations and award winning dishes.


Fuego Tacos

2501 E. Camelback Rd.,
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-441-5728
fuegotaco.com
Fuego Tacos was awarded Best Taco by local food critic Howard Seftel. It’s also a gathering spot for the young and hip, as well as celebrities who visit Phoenix.


Tonto Bar & Grill

5736 E. Rancho Manana Blvd.,
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
480-488-0698
tontobarandgrill.com
This rustic restaurant takes pride in creating signature dishes from the finest, freshest ingredients, all-natural meats and sustainable seafood, and as many native Arizona products as possible. And you’ll love the ambiance: it looks like an Old West pueblo without the restaurant kitsch.


Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill

Five locations in Arizona
480-948-9010 (Phoenix)
ztejas.com
Z’Tejas appeals to families, business lunch professionals and happy-hour crowds. It offers creative Southwest fare with Cajun, Mexican and Pacific influences. Popular dishes include voodoo tuna, shrimp tostada bites, catfish beignets, Santa Fe smoked-chicken enchiladas and ancho fudge pie.

Experience AZ Spring-Summer 2012

z'tejas - opening a new location

Z’Tejas Announces Fifth Location In Central Phoenix

On the heels of celebrating their 20th anniversary in Arizona, Scottsdale-based Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill is announcing the addition of their fifth location in central Phoenix located at 16th street and Bethany Home Road. Construction will begin on July 2. The expansion marks their belief in Phoenix as a viable market for growth. This Z’Tejas location will be one of the first “ground-up” construction projects in that neighborhood in a long time, according to Steven Micheletti, CEO & President of Z’Tejas.

“We are thrilled to move forward with our fifth location,” says Micheletti. “After over a year of planning, Z’Tejas is finally able to move ahead with our building plans which will make for a great addition to this Phoenix neighborhood.”

The new location will feature small dining rooms for an intimate feel and a greenhouse with a retractable roof. The restaurant will seat roughly 290 guests, including an outdoor patio.

The first Arizona Z’Tejas restaurant opened in December 1991 at Scottsdale Fashion Square and continues to thrive in the community. The concept then continued to grow with three other locations in Shea & Tatum in Phoenix (1996) Tempe (2000) and Chandler in (2001).

Z’Tejas is at the forefront of unique Southwestern fare with seasonal menu items and specialty cocktails, including their award-winning Chambord margarita. Visit www.ztejas.com for more information and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ztejassouthwesterngrill and Twitter @ZTejas.