Magazine gives top marks to Duke's Waikiki's corporate parent
THE Maui-founded TS Restaurants
, parent company of the wildly popular Duke's Waikiki and other restaurants, is being singled out again as one of the top restaurant operators in the nation.
Restaurants & Institutions magazine lists TS Restaurants as No. 21 among its Top 75 multiconcept operators, or single companies that operate different types of restaurants. It is the only Hawaii-established restaurant company on the list.
On Maui, TS operates Kimo's in Lahaina and Leilani's on the Beach and Hula Grill in Kaanapali. On Kauai, it has Keoki's Paradise at Poipu Beach and Duke's Kauai in Lihue. And of course there's Duke's Waikiki and Hula Grill Waikiki on Oahu.
In California there are Duke's restaurants in Malibu and Huntington Beach, Jake's in Del Mar, the Cliffhouse La Quinta, and Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge in Lake Tahoe. The company has been on a similar list, published by Nation's Restaurant News, as well.
Company executives are "happy to be acknowledged," said Dickie Moon, vice president of operations in Hawaii.
While the Restaurants & Institutions list shows TS Restaurants as being down a few notches in rank from last year, when it was at No. 18, its No. 21 position this year is based on a sales estimate of $85 million, "which is way low," Moon said.
TS's combined Hawaii and California operations would put sales in the neighborhood of "$108 million this year," he said.
That would put TS at No. 13 on the list, assuming that the magazine's estimate of $110 million for No. 12 Landry's Restaurants Inc. of Houston are accurate.
TS Restaurants was founded by Rob Thibaut and Sandy Saxten, and the partners opened their first restaurant, Kimo's, on Maui in March 1977. Since then it has grown into a 12-restaurant chain in two states.
Asking where the company is headquartered will net two different answers: Hawaii and California.
Founder Saxten and President Bill Parsons live in California. Thibaut, who had lived in Hawaii, died in 1998.
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