Zehnder’s and Bavarian Inn Tops in U.S. with Number of Guests Served Last Year


Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and the Bavarian Inn, both popular restaurants among Michiganders, have also received national accolades by ranking No. 1 and No. 2 for having served the most guests in 2013, says a new report from Restaurant Business magazine.

Zehnder’s served 960,775 guests, making the family-style eatery the busiest independently owned restaurant in the United States — with its neighbor, the Bavarian Inn, ranking No. 2, by serving 804,987 meals last year.

 “We employ more than 800 people, of whom 265 are servers, who all are committed to our hospitality standards,” says Al Zehnder, chairman and CEO of Zehnder’s. “We strive to provide both great food, and service to maintain our high standard of a family dining experience.”

During an average year, Zehnder’s guests consume 900,000 pounds of chicken; 640 tons of cabbage; 180,000 pounds of mashed potatoes; 130,000 pounds of assorted vegetables; 40 tons of locally grown squash; 17,800 pounds of Michigan-roasted coffee; 26,000 gallons of ice cream; and 150,000 loaves of bread made in the Zehnder’s bakery.

In 2013, the restaurant reported annual sales of $13.5 million, with the average check totaling $14.

Rounding out the top five restaurants in meals served in 2013, are Old Ebbitt Grill (660,000) in Washington, D.C., Bob Chinn’s Crab House (547,499) in Wheeling, Ill., and Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant (529,812) in Coalinga, Calif.

To read the full report, click here.