Rainforest Cafe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rainforest Cafe
FoundedFebruary 3, 1994; 27 years ago (1994-02-03), Bloomington, Minnesota
FounderSteven Schussler
Number of locations
23 restaurants
Key people
Steven Schussler, Founder
Tilman J. Fertitta Chairman, President, and Chief executive officer
ProductsPasta, Seafood, Salad, Sandwiches, Dessert; Merchandise[1]
RevenueIncrease US $108 million (1997)[2]
Increase $12 million (1997)[2]
ParentLandry's Restaurants
A neon-sign welcomes visitors to Rainforest Cafe, is located inside the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets shopping complex in Auburn Hills, Michigan on March 11, 2016.
An example of the canopy ceiling including artificial trees and foliage for Rainforest Cafe at MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 3, 2008.

Rainforest Cafe is a jungle-themed restaurant chain owned by Landry's, Inc. of Houston. It was founded by Steven Schussler. The first location opened in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, on February 3, 1994. By 1997, the chain consisted of six restaurants, all in the United States. The first international location opened in London, England in June 1997. In 1998, it was planned to build 12 additional restaurants in the United States, seven in Mexico, and five in the UK, for a total of 22 restaurants by 2008.[3]

In 2000, the Rainforest Cafe was bought by Landry's Restaurants Inc., a company specializing in dining, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming, based in Houston, Texas.[4] To date, the company owns restaurants in the United States, Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the U.A.E., and Japan. Rainforest Cafe focuses on local tourism for a majority of their income.[3]

Exterior of Rainforest Cafe in Galveston, Texas on June 11, 2010.


Each Rainforest Cafe restaurant is designed to depict the atmosphere of a tropical rainforest, including plant growth, fog machines, waterfalls, and rainforest animals. The ceiling and much of the walls are lined with artificial foliage, while lower areas and booth seating are decorated with faux rock. Brick textures suggest ancient ruins, and support pillars are made to look like tree trunks. Often, there is a waterfall with a fountain in the dining area, with a statue depicting Atlas holding up the Earth to communicate a conservation message. Paper Mache birds and butterflies are suspended from the trees, and other whimsical rainforest creatures are mounted, as though climbing on the walls or peeking through the foliage. The ceiling above the center of the dining room features a simulated starry night sky, designed and manufactured by Fiber Optic Systems Inc, located in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.[5] The bar area is situated under a gigantic mushroom, partitioned from the rest of the restaurant by a rain curtain. The chain is known for its characteristic bar stools, made to resemble the legs of animals, designed and sculpted by the artist Glenn Carter.[6] Aquariums with tropical reef fish are spread throughout the restaurant space. Periodically, a simulated thunderstorm will occur, with strobe lights and thunder effects through subwoofers.

Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom in September 2002.

Animatronic animals are spread throughout the restaurant. These include elephants, gorillas, jaguars, and tigers, though not all of them may be present at every location. The restaurant is laid out so that these animals are set off the ground and are largely above diners' heads, not only allowing them to be seen from farther away, but making them appear larger as well. An animatronic crocodile and snake are often located in the gift shop area to attract the attention of passersby. The animals are manufactured by Russells Creative, LLC of Apopka, Florida, formerly UCFab International.[7]

A retail village is located in front of the dining area with an assortment of souvenirs that are rainforest-themed or are branded with the Rainforest Cafe logo, mostly printed by the Atlanta-based fashion apparel company Boxercraft Inc.[8] A small water feature with the animatronic crocodile is located just outside the shop, in which visitors are invited to toss coins.

Rainforest Cafe also has a set of anthropomorphic mascots, called "The Wild Bunch". These characters include Cha! Cha!, the red-eyed tree frog; Iggy, the iguana; Nile, the crocodile; Rio, the macaw; Maya, the jaguar; Tuki, the elephant; Bamba, the gorilla; and Ozzie, the orangutan. These eight characters may be represented on children's menus, merchandise, or the company logo.[8]


Rainforest Cafe serves typical American chain restaurant fare, such as burgers, chicken, pastas, and seafood, with the addition of some Mexican food to reflect the tropical theme. Their signature dessert, called a volcano, consists of brownie and ice cream topped with a lit sparkler.[1]

The restaurant also serves alcoholic beverages, some of which are reminiscent of those associated with tiki culture such as the Mai Tai.


U.S. locations[edit]

International locations[edit]

Former locations[edit]

Never opened[edit]


In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rainforest Cafe". Landry's Inc. Landry's Inc. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Rainforest Cafe, Inc. History". Funding Universe. Funding Universe. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Rainforest Cafe". The River Walk Guide. The San Antonio River Walk Guide. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  4. ^ "Landry's, Inc – Finding Success on All Fronts". Who We Are. Landry's Inc. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Retail and Commercial Projects". Client List. Fiber Optic Systems, Inc. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Bellevue sculptor goes down the rabbit hole". Idaho Mountain Express. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Furry Creatures". UCFab International. UCFab International, LLC. Archived from the original on June 14, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ a b Cooper, Janice. "Rainforest Cafe - A Wild Experience". RateIt. RateIt. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Locations". Rainforest Cafe. Rainforest Cafe. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Rainforest Café - MGM Grand Hotel & Casino". pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-02-16. Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  11. ^ "Yorkdale Shopping Center - Rainforest Cafe". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20.
  12. ^ "Rainforest Cafe @ South Coast Plaza Mall". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19.
  13. ^ "Rainforest Cafe @ Oak Park Mall". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20.
  14. ^ "Rainforest Cafe @ Towson Town Center". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20.
  15. ^ "West Farms Mall - Rainforest Cafe". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20.
  16. ^ "Rainforest Cafe @ Franklin Mills Mall". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19.
  17. ^ "Westfield South Center Mall - Rainforest Cafe". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19.
  18. ^ "Mall of America - Rainforest Cafe". Pennycollector.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-19.

External links[edit]