j. gilbert's
Franchise Information
Franchise Information

If your company fits our market developer qualifications and would like to explore a franchise opportunity with J. Gilbert’s, please contact our development department

Franchise Overview

Named for a renowned Kansas City restaurateur who set the standard for impeccable hospitality, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood is an upscale restaurant known for its stellar service, cozy bar scene, quality cuts of beef and exceptional seafood preparations. While we compete in the fine dining category, we have carved a unique niche in offering an upscale experience with down-to-earth value to reflect our Midwestern values — where dishes always include the sides. Our wood-fired grill lends unrivaled flavor to our menu selections, adding authenticity to our exceptional steakhouse experience. CLICK HERE to view a sample menu.


What sets J. Gilbert's Apart?


Life’s too short for mediocre food. At J. Gilbert’s we make every effort to source fresh meats from farms managing humanely raised and vegetarian-fed livestock. We also aim to source clean, seasonal and fair trade ingredients of the highest quality, working with artisan producers who care about their craft as much as we do. All of this comes together to offer an approachable menu inspired by the heartland’s farm-to-table cuisine, with modern takes on rustic comfort food.

Maintaining our wood-fired grill isn’t the easiest way to operate. But we do it because it makes our Prime steaks and fresh seafood taste better. And unlike other steakhouses, our exceptional dishes always include the sides. Our food is consistently excellent, and we’re really proud of it.


Because without beer, things do not seem to go as well. We couldn’t agree more. And the same goes for bourbon, wine & handcrafted cocktails. That’s why we take them seriously. So whether it’s served on the rocks or with a stem, guests can count on an extensive selection of libations, including 90+ exceptional wine labels, to make their great meal even better. Cheers to that.


Most restaurants keep a nervous eye on the competition, to see how they’re doing, what they’re doing, and how they’re doing it. We take our cues from consumer trends. We listen to our guests. We listen to our employees. And then we create great experiences for whomever walks through our doors. Our food, our drinks, our restaurant design . . . it all plays a role in the perfect guest experience. Of course, our biggest asset is our people, providing savvy, invisible service for our discerning customer base.

We also find value in being active participants in our communities, often partnering with local charities and business organizations to do well by doing good.


The little things end up making a big difference. And we’re always discovering how to deliver more of them to our guests. Barrel-aging cocktails on-premise; rustic artisan bread service, complete with housemade pastrami butter; our signature steak sauce and exclusive wine dinners + tastings are just a few of them. Going above and beyond is what sets us apart from everyone else.

We deliver hospitality with the upmost care, taking our namesake’s legacy to heart. So whether it’s knowing a regular guest’s favorite table or bringing out samples of inquired-about dishes, our service is what creates loyalty among our valued customers.

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Qualifications for Becoming a Franchise Market Developer

Our ideal candidate is a successful full-service, multi-unit operator with expertise in one or more large markets (i.e. one of the top 75 MSAs in the United States). We are seeking entrepreneurial organizations that can thrive in our established franchise environment, which have access to growth capital & capital reserves, and are experiencing growth constraints with their current restaurant concept(s).


Building Specifications and Requirements

We seek high-visibility end cap spaces in anchored specialty retail centers, lifestyle centers, entertainment districts and mixed use developments. We will also consider pad sites adjacent to higher-end retail centers, higher-end regional malls or urban business districts.

The prototype restaurant is intended to occupy approximately 7000 square-feet with a seating capacity of approximately 210 guests including the bar and dining room.

Conversions are welcome; we require the ability to install our prototypical exterior signage package and storefront/tower elements, subject to local zoning and building approval. Any space also must be capable of venting the wood-fired grill.

We strive to provide the quality and attention to detail that our guests value not only through our service and our steakhouse fare, but also through the warm, rustic architecture and design choices we have incorporated into our restaurants.

The design weaves together warm wood tones with an advanced lighting design to create a dramatic and intimate architectural environment. Design elements include:

  • Custom designed and fabricated light fixtures
  • Contemporary linear 8’ fireplace
  • Large, custom metal wine cases
  • Original curated art package
  • Art glass accents throughout the restaurant

The resulting environment is open and accessible, yet cozy and intimate, with strong appeal to our luxury-minded guests. The vibe is rustic, yet polished, comfortable and indulgent.


Franchise Support

We offer comprehensive franchise support including culinary and purchasing support; marketing support; pre-opening training and opening support; ongoing operational reviews; and recruiting assistance upon request.


We work with our franchisees to help them meet their marketing and advertising objectives while protecting the brand. All advertising and marketing material is generated by our in-house creative team, and programs are developed by marketing and event managers for both corporate and franchise restaurants.

Culinary and Purchasing

We offer comprehensive culinary management through online systems that allow each restaurant to manage their product orders and recipe manuals. We negotiate national contract pricing for key ingredients and for proprietary products and make the negotiated pricing available to both corporate and franchise restaurants.

Operations and Training

Succeeding means consistently executing to our high brand standards. To this end, we offer a comprehensive management training program and on-site pre-opening team training as part of our restaurant opening support program. Ongoing support includes operational inspections and feedback, written quality of operations assessments and consulting advice for ongoing restaurant management.


We can assist and provide fee-based recruitment of management employees for your restaurant upon request.


Contact Us



This is not intended as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy a franchise. We offer franchises solely by means of our Franchise Disclosure Document. Certain states have laws governing the offer and sale of franchises. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable franchise investment law requirements in your jurisdiction. ©2014 Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc. J.Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood is a registered trademark of Houlihan’s Restaurants, Inc.