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Happiness Unlimited & Freedom by the Plateful

Ponderosa & Bonanza Steakhouse

Founded in 1965 and 1963

Established in 1965 and 1963, respectively, Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse are leading fast-casual restaurant concepts where families can find the spirit of the Old West, the flavors they crave, and something-for-everyone variety.

Both concepts serve great steaks, seafood, and sides along with an expansive buffet featuring a variety of dishes from fresh vegetables and fruits to beef, chicken, pasta offerings, and desserts.

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By The Numbers





Franchised Units


Company Owned Unit
US States





2000-5000 ft.²

Ideal Space
Global Sales

6% Royalty

Percent of Net Sales

Our Story

Welcome to Ponderosa and Bonanza country! Where today’s families find the spirit of the old west, the flavors they crave, and something for everyone. Bonanza Steakhouse, was founded in 1963 by Dan Blocker, who played Eric “Hoss” Cartwright on the hit television show Bonanza, opening the first restaurant for the chain in Westport, Connecticut.

In 1965 the Ponderosa Steakhouse chain was founded in Kokomo, Indiana. By 1989, the companies had merged together. When it comes to a friendly atmosphere, the brands offer full-service at your table and a help yourself buffet.

PONBON-Ribeye 12oz_0_MAIN

America's Kitchen,
for every kind of family

We’re continuing the Cartwright family tree, but it’s branched out over the years. Ponderosa’s not just the Cartwright’s anymore. It’s America’s, and we’re America’s kitchen, offering a plethora of family oriented meals for every kind of family. Ours is a legacy brand, and we’ve stuck around for a reason.


PONBON-Steak Pile

Eat a steak, enjoy the nostalgia

We stubbornly hold to our values, and we’re not budging from the nostalgia of it all. After all, Ponderosa was likely the first steakhouse you begged to go to as a kid. The best part? You don’t have to beg anymore. Eat a steak and stake your claim at Ponderosa. It’s what we’re all about.