Fogo de Chão

Fogo de Chão (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈfo.ɡu dʒi ʃɐ̃w]) is a full-service Brazilian steakhouse or churrascaria, serving rodízio style, notable for its roving waiters who serve barbecued meats from large skewers directly onto the seated diners' plates.[1]

Fogo de Chão, Inc.
GenreFine dining
Founded1979; 41 years ago (1979)
FoundersArri and Jair Coser[1]
5908 Headquarters Dr, Plano, Texas
Number of locations
Area served
United States, Brazil, Mexico, UAE
Key people
Barry McGowan (CEO), Larry Johnson (Chairman), Tony Laday (CFO), Rick Lenderman (COO), Janet Gieselman (CMO), Selma Oliveira (CPO/CCO),[2] Andrew Feldmann (Pres Int'l)


The name Fogo de Chão means "ground fire" and summarizes the traditional gaúcho method of roasting meats over an open fire. They offer either a "full churrasco experience" which includes continuous servings of fire-roasted beef, lamb and other meats and an extensive buffet, or à la carte service.[3]


Fogo de Chão steakhouse in Washington, DC

The founders of Fogo de Chão, Arri and Jair Coser, grew up on a traditional Southern Brazilian farm in the Serra Gaúcha. It is here that they learned to cook in the churrasco grilling tradition. The founding brothers left the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul to Rio and São Paulo for formal training, all while developing the Fogo concept. This first restaurant, built of a wood structure in the countryside of Porto Alegre, followed by a second restaurant in São Paulo. As Arri Coser told São Paulo-based writer, Rafael Tonon, tourists who came to the Sao Paulo restaurant encouraged him to open a churrascaria style restaurant abroad.[1]

The Cosers opened their first U.S. branch in Addison Texas, just north of Dallas in 1997.[4] Between 1997 and 2020, the restaurant continued its expansion globally with 57 restaurants across the US, Brazil, Mexico and the Middle East. The company has plans for further growth around the world.[5]

In April 2020, Fogo de Chão and a number of other national restaurant chains applied for funding through the Paycheck Protection Program due to lost business during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Fogo de Chão received $20 million.[6] Fogo de Chão was criticized for using a loophole in the program which allowed it to qualify for monetary aid meant to help small businesses. Fogo de Chão CEO Barry McGowan came under public scrutiny when, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said, "The scale of our business doesn't matter. All of our restaurants count."[7]


The Brazilian private equity firm, GP Investments, made their initial investment in Fogo de Chão in 2006 and sold its shares to American private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2012. On April 20, 2015, the company filed for an initial public offering on the NASDAQ.[8] It traded there under the symbol FOGO until April 5, 2018, when it was acquired by Rhône Capital.[9]

Other activitiesEdit

In April 2019 the Boerne, Texas-based agri-tech company, HerdX announced that it would be partnering with Fogo de Chão to use blockchain technology and digital tagging to trace the provenance of the beef Fogo de Chão serves in its restaurants--ultimately allowing diners, who can scan in a HerdX generated QR code, to know the name and location of the ranch that raised the cattle.[10] HerdX recently completed a similar project with United Parcel Service shipments of Texas ranch-raised beef to Japan.[11]

During the Covid-19 crisis, Fogo de Chão restaurants in Troy, MI,[12] San Francisco,[13] and in other cities, have worked with the non-profit, No Kid Hungry to donate meals to needy families, hospitals and other institutions.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Tonon, Rafael (6 October 2016). "How the Brazilian Steakhouse Chain Fogo de Chão Swept America". Eater. Vox Media Inc. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
  2. ^ "Selma Oliveira". Women Worth Watching. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  3. ^ Beilfuss, Lisa (June 18, 2015). "Shares of Fogo de Chao Jump in Trading Debut". Dow Jones Company. Retrieved 1 September 2020. known for their grill-to-table meats and extensive buffets
  4. ^ Blaskovich, Sarah (February 13, 2017). "13 new restaurants and shops, from fried chicken to pizza to candy, open in Dallas-Fort Worth". The Dallas Morning News. A. H. Belo Corporation. Retrieved 1 September 2020. The first Fogo de Chao restaurant in the United States opened in Addison, Texas, a town 20 miles north of Dallas, in 1997
  5. ^ "Fogo de Chao Form 10-K 2017". March 5, 2017. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  6. ^ "Ruth's Chris, Fogo de Chao and other restaurant groups that received Payment Protection Program loans". Nation's Restaurant News. 2020-04-21. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  7. ^ Chicago, Bob Davis in Washington and Heather Haddon in (2020-04-19). "How Ruth's Chris Got an Extra Helping of Small Business Aid Money". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  8. ^ "Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chao Discloses IPO Plan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-04-27.
  9. ^ "Rhône Completes Acquisition of Fogo de Chão, Inc". NASDAQ: Globe Newswire. 5 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018. The acquisition was announced on February 20, 2018, and the transaction closed and became effective today. ... As a result of the completion of the acquisition, Fogo’s common stock has ceased trading as of today on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
  10. ^ Bandoim, Lana (April 30, 2019). "Can Blockchain And Chip Technology Improve Beef Sourcing Transparency?". Forbes Inc. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  11. ^ "UPS and HerdX Deliver Blockchain-Verified Beef From U.S. to Japan". Food Logistics. November 19, 2019. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Helping hands: Organizations help during COVID-19 crisis - Fogo de Chão of Troy partners with No Kid Hungry". Oakland Press. MediaNewsGroup, Inc. April 7, 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  13. ^ Barringer, Daisy (March 31, 2020). "How to Support Local SF Restaurants During the COVID-19 Pandemic". Group Nine Media Inc. Retrieved 1 September 2020.

External linksEdit