Financials – January 2021

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. Provides Business Update in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

COSTA MESA, Calif., Jan. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) (the “Company”) today provided an update on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on its business during the fourth quarter ended December 30, 2020.

  • System-wide comparable restaurant sales for the fourth quarter decreased 0.2%. The decrease consisted of a 3.0% decline in company-operated comparable restaurant sales, partially offset by a 1.8% increase in franchise restaurants. These compare to system-wide, company-operated and franchise restaurant growth of 3.9%, 4.3% and 3.6%, respectively, during the fourth quarter of 2019. System-wide comparable restaurant sales declined approximately 2.0% in Los Angeles and surrounding areas while increasing approximately 3.0% in other markets.
  • Fourth quarter revenue is expected to be $109.5 – $110.5 million, reflecting the Company’s comparable restaurant sales performance, which was negatively impacted by reduced operating hours in many of the Company’s restaurants, and temporary restaurant closures required to ensure the safety of employees and customers.
  • During the quarter, the Company incurred approximately $2.5 million in COVID related expenses, of which $1.7 million was unanticipated as of its third quarter earnings call. These expenses were primarily due to leaves of absence and overtime pay.
  • The vast majority of El Pollo Loco restaurants continue to operate on a take-away, mobile pick-up and delivery basis only, as well as maintaining drive-thru operations where available, in light of the government-mandated closures to our dining rooms.   At the start of 2020, 40% of total sales were driven through the drive thru, which has grown to nearly 70% today. Over the same period, delivery and digital sales have doubled, growing to 6% and 10% of total sales, respectively.

Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., stated, “As with much of the restaurant industry, during November and December many of our employees and customers have been impacted by the ongoing and increased spread of COVID-19, particularly in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas in which nearly 60% of our system restaurants are located.  In order to maintain the safety of our employees and customers, we were required to implement actions in our restaurants in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that negatively impacted both our sales and expenses during the quarter.  El Pollo Loco is a people-first company and we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, franchisees and customers.  We remain confident that the strategies we have in place will drive sales and profit growth once we get through the worst of the pandemic.”

The expected financial results are preliminary and unaudited, have not been reviewed by the Company’s independent registered public accountants, and remain subject to the completion of normal year-end accounting procedures and adjustments and are subject to change. The Company expects to release final financial and operating results for its fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 30, 2020 during March 2021.

ICR Conference Participation

Company management will host a virtual fireside chat at the 23rd Annual ICR Conference. The Company’s discussion will begin at 12:30 PM ET on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Investors and interested parties may listen to a live webcast of this discussion from the corporate website at www.elpolloloco.com under the “Investors” tab, or directly through the ICR Conference website www.icrconference.com.

About El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain renowned for its masterfully citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and handcrafted entrees using fresh ingredients inspired by Mexican recipes. With more than 475 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Louisiana, El Pollo Loco is expanding its presence in key markets through a combination of company and existing and new franchisee development. Visit us on our website at ElPolloLoco.com.

View source version at El Pollo Loco

Tropical Smoothie Cafe® Reports Ninth Consecutive Year Of Same-Store Sales Growth For Record-Breaking Year

-Fast-Casual Concept Ends 2020 with 99 New Cafe Openings and a 7.5% Increase in Same-Store Sales-

Jan 12, 2021, 10:21 ET

ATLANTAJan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tropical Smoothie Cafe, a leading national fast-casual cafe franchise known for its smoothies and food with a tropical twist, announced today another record-breaking year in 2020. Tropical Smoothie Cafe delivered its ninth consecutive year of positive same-store sales, with 2020 same-store sales coming in at +7.5%.  The brand opened 99 new cafes, including its 900th location in Fort Benning, GA. Further, the brand signed 254 new franchise agreements, 70% of which came from existing franchisees, and is on track to reach more than 1,000 operating restaurants in 2021.

“Our success is directly related to the passion and dedication of our franchisees, crews and Support Center teams,” said Charles Watson, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, LLC. “As I look back on this past year, I’m incredibly proud of how this brand thrived during difficult circumstances and times. Our focus on serving our guests drove us to develop new and exciting menu items and create multiple delivery methods for guests to experience all we have to offer – all while heightening our dedication to safety and our commitment to the communities we serve.  As we look to the future, and the more than 600 new cafes in our opening pipeline, I am confident we have the focus, tools and teams to continue the tremendous growth this next year and beyond.”

In response to the pandemic’s effects on operations and the guest experience, Tropical Smoothie Cafe pivoted early and prioritized supporting its franchisees as well as the communities in which they operate. The brand offered 50% royalty relief for eight weeks, and supported franchisees in securing more than $29 million in PPP funds across the system and $1.8 million in rent relief for approximately 250 cafes.

Franchisees also benefitted from guests’ rapid adoption of curbside and delivery platforms, which led to a quick rebound in sales. The relaunch of the Tropical Smoothie Cafe mobile app contributed to this success, adding convenience and loyalty to the guest experience and fueled strong digital sales growth from 24% pre-pandemic to 35% currently.

At the onset of the pandemic, the company furthered its commitment to its communities through a nationwide “#InThisTogether” campaign in April 2020, and a second campaign was launched on Giving Tuesday whereby franchisees supported local essential workers and first responders. To date, the brand has donated 250,000 smoothies nationwide, as well as $125,000 to the American Nurses Foundation.

“The last 10 months have impacted us all and I’m so incredibly proud of the selflessness of our franchisees and the entire Support Center as we gave back to those putting their lives on the line to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said Watson. “Experiencing the joy that Tropical Smoothie Cafe brought to essential workers and first responders will be a lasting memory of this challenging time.”

Tropical Smoothie Cafe also launched a new brand campaign called Tropic Time which defined the brand’s story and helped it better connect with consumers and unite franchisees. Additionally, the company revised its menu strategy and the innovation team implemented changes to both the core and limited time offering (LTO) menu items.

A major redesign and restructure of the core menu launched in July delivered easier navigation, improved guest experience and more consistent execution – all while decreasing food cost, increasing add-ons and growing combo take-rate. Similarly, LTOs such as the limited roll out of the SORBOS edible straw which reinforces the brand’s commitment to innovation, delivered record numbers for the brand. As Tropical Smoothie Cafe looks forward to 2021, it has already committed to new proteins like shrimp, as well as new platforms designed to increase reach and frequency among guests.

After such a record-breaking year, Tropical Smoothie Cafe continues to seek qualified franchisees to its growing brand and currently has franchise opportunities in markets throughout the U.S. Interested candidates should have business experience, along with a minimum net worth of $350,000, which includes $125,000 in liquid assets. Candidates who meet these preliminary qualifications will need to make an initial investment ranging between $198,500 and $543,500.  The franchise currently boasts an average unit volume (AUV) of more than $768,000 — the highest in the company’s 22-year-history — with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of more than $982,000.

For more information about owning a Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise, please visit www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com or call 770-293-8377.

About Tropical Smoothie Cafe®️ 
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a national fast-casual cafe concept inspiring a healthier lifestyle with more than 900 locations nationwide. Serving better-for-you smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads, Tropical Smoothie Cafe also offers upgraded app technology and enhanced mobile ordering capabilities to further elevate the digital and dine-in cafe experience and emphasize the brand’s focus on convenience. The rapidly growing franchise has received numerous accolades including rankings in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, Forbes’ Best Franchises and Franchise Times’ Fast and Serious list as well as the Franchise Times’ Top 200+ ranking. Notably, the franchise was also recognized on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers, Nation’s Restaurant News’ Top 200 and Top 10 Fastest Growing Chains, and Restaurant Business America’s Favorite Chains. In 2019, the brand was recognized amongst QSR’s Best Franchise Deals as well as being chosen as NRAEF’s Restaurant Neighbor Award Winner.

View source version at Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. Announces Preliminary Unaudited Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020 Sales Results

Positive Company-operated and Franchised Fiscal Fourth Quarter Comparable Restaurant Sales

Aggregate Fiscal Year 2020 Debt Reduction and Share Repurchases Exceed $34 Million

Board of Directors Initiates Quarterly Cash Dividend of $0.04 per Share

LAKE FOREST, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (“Del Taco” or the “Company”), (NASDAQ: TACO), the second largest Mexican-American quick service restaurant chain by units in the United States, today reported preliminary unaudited fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2020 sales results for the 16 and 52 week periods ending December 29, 2020. The Company also provided a liquidity and share repurchase update and announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend.

Management Commentary

John D. Cappasola, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Del Taco, commented, “We are very pleased to report a system-wide comparable restaurant sales increase of 3.8% during the fourth quarter consisting of positive results at both company-operated and franchised restaurants. We are proud of our restaurant teams, franchisees and support center staff for providing our guests great food, great value, and great experiences that drove fiscal 2020 overall satisfaction scores to record levels while navigating a challenging pandemic related operating environment.”

Cappasola continued, “Looking ahead to 2021, along with our five drivers of sales acceleration, we are excited by the recent debut of our Fresh Flex prototype. This bold new prototype has been very well received and we believe it will help attract new franchisees to better position us for accelerated long term system growth. It will also play an integral role in our multiple year remodeling program designed to contemporize the fleet and drive returns.”

Cappasola concluded, “The decision by our Board to initiate a quarterly cash dividend reflects Del Taco’s ongoing commitment to deliver value to our shareholders and is consistent with our strategy to drive system-wide new unit growth led by franchising. Our strong operating cash flow enabled over $34 million of aggregate debt reduction plus share repurchases in 2020. At this time, we believe our balance sheet is healthy and our core business is well positioned for average unit volume growth, strong margin performance and continued cash flow generation. These factors support an expanded return of capital to shareholders, a disciplined investment strategy to grow the Del Taco brand primarily through accelerated franchise growth while furthering our remodeling program and capital allocation to other sales, productivity and technology initiatives.”

View full version at Del Taco

Good Times Restaurants Provides Business Update and Reports First Quarter Same Store Sales

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Good Times Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: GTIM), operator of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard, today announced that year-over-year same store sales for its Good Times brand increased 22.1% for its first fiscal quarter ended December 29, 2020. Year-over-year same store sales at its Bad Daddy’s brand decreased 11.8% during the quarter compared to its fiscal 2020 first quarter, driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated government restrictions related to restaurant dining rooms, including the closure of dining rooms in its twelve Colorado Bad Daddy’s for part of November and all of December. Same store sales and average weekly sales at Bad Daddy’s and Good Times for each month of the quarter are as follows:

Good Times Burgers &
Frozen Custard

Bad Daddy’s
Burger Bar

Fiscal Period

Same
Store
Sales1

Average
Weekly
Sales2

Same
Store
Sales1

Average
Weekly
Sales2

October (4 weeks)

15.0

%

25,750

-2.7

%

41,782

November (4 weeks)

22.4

%

27,185

-8.2

%

39,903

December (5 weeks3)

28.3

%

26,536

-21.5

%

35,680

First Quarter 2021

22.1

%

26,446

-11.8

%

38,856

1Same store sales include all company-owned restaurants currently open with at least 18 full fiscal periods of operating history.
2Average weekly sales include all company-owned restaurants.
3The December fiscal period for both fiscal 2020 and 2021 included both Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, during which all of the Company’s restaurants were closed in observance of the respective holidays.

During November and December, in compliance with government orders, the Company had dining rooms closed in its Colorado Bad Daddy’s restaurants, limiting service to patio dining, carry-out, and delivery. Same store sales for Colorado restaurants declined 36.6% in the December fiscal period compared to the prior year. Same store sales for restaurants outside of Colorado declined by 10.5% during the December fiscal period with average weekly sales of approximately $38,800, due in part to the shift of the Christmas holiday from Wednesday to Friday, and also due to a reduction in traffic compared to the prior year in connection with reduced “bricks and mortar” holiday shopping activity, the relative absence of large group dining occasions, and elevated concern among customers regarding deteriorating headline COVID-19 metrics. On January 6, the Company re-opened the dining rooms in its Colorado Bad Daddy’s restaurants at 25% capacity in accordance with new guidelines applicable to those restaurants.

The Company ended the quarter with approximately $10 million in cash, $4.0 million outstanding on its revolving credit facility with Cadence Bank, and $11.6 million in outstanding PPP loans. Additionally, the Company began paying its broadline food suppliers under available quick-pay terms to earn discounts provided by its existing supply agreements.

Ryan Zink, President & CEO, said, “We are pleased to continue into the first quarter of fiscal 2021 the momentum we had at the end of our prior year. We prepared for the potential lost sales due to dining room closures at Bad Daddy’s and during the first quarter we geared up to recapture some of those sales with the launch of our virtual brand, Bad Mama’s Chicken, continuing to demonstrate our team’s commitment to remain agile and to quickly respond to a rapidly changing operating environment. Our Good Times concept has benefitted from the closure of dining rooms in Colorado, and we believe that our sales have performed well in comparison to competitive QSR concepts in Colorado. Similarly at Bad Daddy’s, despite declines in same store sales, we believe both in Colorado and in our other markets that our same store sales performance compares favorably to our competitors in casual dining.”

About Good Times Restaurants Inc.: Good Times Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: GTIM) owns, operates, franchises and licenses 39 Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar restaurants through its wholly owned subsidiaries. Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a full-service “small box” restaurant concept featuring a chef-driven menu of gourmet signature burgers, chopped salads, appetizers and sandwiches with a full bar and a focus on a selection of craft microbrew beers in a high-energy atmosphere that appeals to a broad consumer base. Additionally, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Good Times Restaurants Inc. operates and franchises a regional quick-service restaurant chain consisting of 32 Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard restaurants located primarily in Colorado.

View source version at Good Times Restaurants

Shake Shack Provides Fourth Quarter 2020 Business Update

– Average Weekly Sales and Same-Shack Sales Show Continued Recovery Through the Fourth Quarter

– Digital Channels Remain Strong at Approximately 59% of Sales; Company-Owned Digital Channels More than Tripled Year-on-Year

– 35-40 New Shack Openings Planned for 2021 with Unit Development Targeted to Accelerate to 45-50 Openings in 2022

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shake Shack Inc. (“Shake Shack” or the “Company”) (NYSE: SHAK) today announced preliminary unaudited results for the fiscal fourth quarter and the fiscal year ended December 30, 2020 ahead of presenting at the 23rd Annual ICR Conference today.

“We are pleased to see trends in the fourth quarter 2020 continue to improve with Average Weekly Sales of $62,000 compared to $58,000 in the third quarter 2020, and $45,000 in the second quarter 2020. Also in the fourth quarter 2020, Same-Shack sales declined 17.4% compared to down 31.7% in the third quarter of 2020, and down 49.0% in the second quarter of 2020. Importantly, same-Shack sales at our suburban locations were approximately flat in the fourth quarter 2020 compared to the prior year despite what remains a challenging operating environment due to COVID-19. We continue to transform the Shack experience by leveraging our expanded digital capabilities and the strategic investments we’ve made across our native web and app channels. Most recently, we’ve launched curbside pickup and have begun testing delivery through our Shack app at several locations in the Miami area to support a broader rollout in 2021. We believe these digital investments to be a critical differentiator for our business, creating the opportunity to drive greater engagement and frequency with both new and existing guests,” said Randy Garutti, Shake Shack CEO.

“Looking ahead, we are targeting an acceleration of new Shack development and expect to open a total of 35 to 40 domestic Company-operated Shacks in 2021, with timing more towards the back half of the year due to COVID related volatility. We are planning to step-up unit growth for fiscal 2022 to open a total of 45 to 50 new domestic Company-operated Shacks. These openings are expected to incorporate a version of our new Shack Track digital pre-ordering and pick-up capability and we also plan to build our first drive-thru Shack later in 2021. Our evolving designs focus on enhancement of the guest experience by implementing friction-reduced order and pickup areas across all formats. Additionally, we expect to open 15 to 20 new licensed Shacks in fiscal 2021 and 20 to 25 new licensed Shacks in fiscal 2022. We are also focused on exciting new menu innovation through 2021, with the current nationwide offering of our Korean-style Fried Chick’n items. As we close out the challenging year of 2020, and look towards the opportunity ahead, we are more grateful than ever for the hard work and dedication of our teams who continue to serve our guests safely, day in and day out,” concluded Garutti.

View full version at Shake Shack

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Preliminary Sales Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Carrols” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: TAST) today reported preliminary sales results for the fourth quarter and full year 2020 ended January 3, 2021.

Preliminary highlights for the 14-Week Fourth Quarter of 2020 versus the 13-Week Fourth Quarter of 2019

  • Total restaurant sales increased 5.8% to $420.5 million compared to $397.6 million in the prior year quarter; the Company generated $28.4 million in restaurant sales during the 14th week;
  • Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Burger King® restaurants decreased 0.9%; and
  • Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Popeyes® restaurants decreased 12.9%, after a gain of 21.2% in the prior year quarter.

Preliminary highlights for the 53-Week Full Year of 2020 versus the 52-Week Full Year of 2019

  • Total restaurant sales increased 6.5% to $1,547.5 million compared to $1,452.5 million in the prior year; the Company generated $28.4 million in restaurant sales during the 53rd week;
  • Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Burger King® restaurants decreased 2.8%; and
  • Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Popeyes® restaurants decreased 0.1%.

Management Commentary

Daniel T. Accordino, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrols, commented, “We continued to demonstrate resiliency in the face of the challenging operating environment during the fourth quarter. Our business model is well-suited to customers seeking great value and convenience, which we are providing to them through our drive-thru, at-the-counter for take-out, and delivery channels. Notably, delivery rose to 3.4% of total Burger King restaurant sales during the fourth quarter from 2.9% in the third quarter as more customers sought out this enhanced level of convenience.”

Accordino concluded, “Last week, we finalized our revised Burger King area development agreement with our franchisor on the terms generally outlined in our third quarter earnings release. With this agreement, our remodel and new restaurant build commitments have been significantly reduced. Also, while we terminated our right-of-first-refusal provision in the prior agreement, we are pre-approved to acquire up to 500 Burger King restaurants in territories where we currently operate. Under this new arrangement, we believe we will have the flexibility to grow our business organically and through acquisitions in a manner that will best optimize our profit growth potential while generating consistent and enhanced free cash flow and keeping our leverage in check.”

During the fourth quarter of 2020, the Company utilized $10.0 million of cash to repurchase 1.5 million shares of its common stock for an average price of $6.52 per share. We currently have $11.0 million remaining for repurchases under our stock repurchase program.

About the Company

Carrols is one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the United States, and currently operates approximately 1,074 restaurants. It is the largest BURGER KING® franchisee in the United States currently operating 1,009 BURGER KING® restaurants and also operating 65 POPEYES® restaurants. It has operated BURGER KING® restaurants since 1976. For more information on Carrols, please visit the company’s website at www.carrols.com.

View source version at Carrols

Denny’s Corporation Releases Preliminary Financial Results for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2020

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Jan. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ: DENN), franchisor and operator of one of America’s largest franchised full-service restaurant chains, today reported selected preliminary and unaudited results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 30, 2020.

John Miller, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “I continue to be impressed with how resilient and steadfast our teams are in their commitment to serving our guests. Denny’s operators have maintained a dedicated focus on health and safety protocols while embracing innovative solutions such as curbside ordering, outdoor dining where permitted, and testing two new virtual brands in an environment challenged by mandated restrictions. With increasing distribution of vaccines, newly passed fiscal stimulus that should benefit our franchisees, and the ongoing resolve of our operators, I am confident that Denny’s is well-positioned to continue navigating through the pandemic in an effective manner while preparing for future growth.”

2020 Preliminary Results

Domestic System-Wide Same-Store Sales** for 2020 Fiscal Periods:

Fiscal Year 2020: (31%)1
Q1: (6%) Q2: (57%) Q3: (34%) Q4: (33%)1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec1
3% 2% (19%) (76%) (65%) (41%) (39%) (35%) (28%) (26%) (27%) (41%)

1. Preliminary results

Domestic Same-Store Sales** and Domestic Average Units for 2020 Fiscal Periods
(Open Dining Rooms vs Closed Dining Rooms):

Q2 Q3 Q4
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec1
Open Dining Rooms (74%) (47%) (33%) (36%) (29%) (24%) (24%) (23%) (26%)
2 222 1,087 1,244 1,044 1,127 1,289 1,239 891
Closed Dining Rooms (76%) (69%) (68%) (55%) (47%) (39%) (33%) (42%) (61%)
1,060 938 327 237 444 369 207 256 586
Temporary Closures 480 378 120 47 35 22 19 20 31

1. Preliminary results

Domestic Capacity Restrictions as of December 30, 20201:

Number of Units % of Domestic System
75% Capacity or Social Distancing 435 57%
50% – 66% Capacity 346
25% – 33% Capacity 78
Off-Premise Only 587 39%
No Restrictions 15 1%
Temporarily Closed 43 3%
Total 1,504 100%

1. Preliminary results

In 2020, Denny’s opened 20 restaurants, including 8 international locations, and closed 73 restaurants, bringing the year-end total restaurant count to 1,650. In addition, 22 remodels were completed during fiscal 2020, including two at company restaurants.

During the fourth quarter, the Company paid down $20.0 million on its revolving credit facility, resulting in an outstanding balance of $210.0 million as of December 30, 2020. Additionally, after considering cash on hand, the remaining capacity under its revolving credit facility, and liquidity covenants, the Company had approximately $82 million of total available liquidity as of December 30, 2020.

As a result of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and related dining room closures and capacity restrictions, the Company now anticipates Adjusted EBITDA* for 2020 of between $24 million and $26 million.

The Company previously provided full year guidance of between $5 million and $7 million in cash tax refunds, however these are now expected to be received in fiscal 2021.

The Company’s previous guidance for Adjusted Free Cash Flow* of at least $10 million will be impacted by the revised expectation for Adjusted EBITDA* and the delayed receipt of cash tax refunds.

Denny’s expects to release financial and operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 30, 2020 after the market closes on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Denny’s two planned virtual concepts will focus on burgers and melts, respectively. Both concepts have shown promising results in testing and each is expected to be launched in the first half of fiscal 2021 in over half of Denny’s domestic restaurants.

View full version at Denny’s

Kura Sushi USA Announces Fiscal First Quarter 2021 Financial Results

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kura Sushi USA, Inc. (“Kura Sushi” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: KRUS), a technology-enabled Japanese restaurant concept, today provided a COVID-19 business update and reported fiscal first quarter 2021 financial results for the period ended November 30, 2020.

COVID-19 Business Update

As of November 30, 2020, the Company had 27 restaurants open in some capacity: indoor dining, outdoor dining or takeout only. Due to changes in local guidelines for public activities, the Company reduced certain restaurants’ operating capacities in December, and as of today, the Company had all 29 restaurants open, with 16 of them in California and Washington DC only providing takeout, one restaurant in Illinois only providing outdoor dining and takeout, and the remaining 12 restaurants operating at reduced indoor capacities of 25% to 75% and providing takeout, depending on local requirements.

In response to COVID-19, the Company continues to focus on cleaning and sanitizing protocols at its restaurants. The Company has implemented additional training and operating processes for all of its employees, including increased handwashing procedures, the use of face masks and gloves, and requirement to pass a health screening process, which includes a temperature check, before the start of each shift.

On September 2, 2020, the Company increased its revolving line of credit to $35 million, and extended the payback period from one year to five years from each borrowing date. In November 2020, the Company borrowed $3 million on the revolver and as of November 30, 2020, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of $2.7 million and $3 million in debt. Subsequent to November 30, 2020, the Company borrowed an additional $6 million.

Fiscal First Quarter 2021 Highlights

  • Total sales were $9.4 million, a decrease of $8.0 million compared to the first quarter of 2020;
  • Operating loss was $6.3 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2020;
  • Net loss was $6.4 million, or ($0.76) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $1.2 million, or ($0.15) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted net loss* was $6.0 million, or ($0.71) per diluted share, compared to adjusted net loss* of $1.2 million or ($0.15) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2020;
  • Restaurant-level operating loss* was $0.9 million, compared to restaurant-level operating profit* of $3.0 million in the first quarter of 2020;
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was ($4.1) million, compared to ($0.3) million in the first quarter of 2020; and
  • Three new restaurants opened during the first quarter of 2021.

* Adjusted net loss, Restaurant-level operating profit (loss) and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP measures and are defined below under “Key Financial Definitions”. Please see the reconciliation of non-GAAP measures accompanying this release. See also “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

Hajime Uba, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kura Sushi, stated, “I’m pleased with the progress on initiatives we’ve put in place at the onset of this pandemic. For fiscal first quarter of 2021, we were able to operate 27 out of 28 of our restaurants, albeit at various capacity restrictions, improve our total sales by 70% sequentially from fiscal fourth quarter of 2020, and greatly enhance our off-premise offerings through our new partnership with Square, which enables a frictionless guest experience. While we remain optimistic about our business and its growth potential, we are still operating in an uncertain environment. As we progress through our fiscal second quarter, we see a new set of tougher state and local operational restrictions, particularly in California, where the state enacted a total ban on both indoor and outdoor dining effective December 6, 2020. This contributed to a December comparable restaurant sales decline of approximately 64% and sequential decline in sales of approximately 10% from November. Nevertheless, we remain confident about our post-pandemic recovery and appreciate the financial security provided through our relationship with Kura Sushi Japan.”

View full version at Kura Sushi

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2020 Comparable Restaurant Sales

Improvement in Comparable Restaurant Sales Compared to the Third Quarter

New $75 million Term Loan and $10 million Revolver Facilities Completed on November 23, 2020

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Fiesta” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FRGI), parent company of the Pollo Tropical® and Taco Cabana® restaurant brands, today reported comparable restaurant sales for the 14-week fiscal fourth quarter 2020 ended January 3, 2021 and provided a liquidity update.

Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Stockinger said, “Both of our brands demonstrated sequential improvement in comparable restaurant sales from third quarter levels during the fourth quarter. Pollo Tropical comparable restaurant sales accelerated from -11.1% in the third quarter of 2020 to -6.4% in December. After adjusting for the estimated impact of named storms in the third and fourth quarters, Pollo Tropical’s sales growth would have been even stronger. Taco Cabana also improved its comparable restaurant sales trend from -14.2% in the third quarter of 2020 to -10.2% in December. The sales acceleration at both brands was realized despite closed dining rooms across most units along with continued headwinds in terms of COVID and economic conditions in Florida and Texas.”

Mr. Stockinger continued, “As we have previously stated, maximizing liquidity during the COVID crisis has been a top priority. Our new Senior Credit Facility consisting of a $75 million term loan and $10 million revolver that we entered into on November 23(1) allowed us to replace our prior credit agreement with a more flexible and longer-term loan through 2025 that provides ample liquidity during the remainder of this challenging period and beyond. The financial covenants of the loan are more flexible, requiring only a minimum liquidity requirement of $20 million through 2021. We believe the progress we made in reducing total net debt(2) from the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March combined with this new senior credit facility will enable us to exit this crisis in a much stronger financial position, poised for future growth.”

Mr. Stockinger concluded, “As we begin 2021, our focus will continue to be on driving profitable sales growth by increasing capacity and ease of use through channels most desired by consumers including online ordering, drive-thru, pickup and delivery, and selectively opening dining rooms in situations in which we can achieve profitable sales. As we did in 2020, we will continue to focus our investments on improving the customer experience in those desired channels through a number of initiatives including curbside enhancements, such as geofencing, drive-thru experience upgrades for faster ordering and payment, including digital menu boards, and ongoing app and loyalty platform improvements.”

View full version at Fiesta Restaurant Group

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. Provides Business Update

Reiterates Progress Made Towards Strategic Objectives

Company to Present at the 23rd Annual ICR Conference Today

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) (“Red Robin” or the “Company”), a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, today provided a business update, including preliminary, unaudited comparable restaurant revenue results for the fourth quarter ended December 27, 2020.

Paul J.B. Murphy III, Red Robin’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “During an unprecedented year due to the pandemic, we achieved a great deal, strengthening Red Robin’s operational execution, business model and liquidity. Our accomplishments are now enabling us to focus on creating long-term value for all shareholders as we enter 2021.”

Murphy concluded, “We began the fourth quarter with sequential improvement in comparable restaurant revenue compared to the third quarter, however, momentum stalled due to heightened dine-in and other restrictions in 43% of Company-owned restaurants including restaurants in our key states of California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. While the near-term is likely to remain volatile because of COVID-19, we are encouraged by recent state re-openings, and we expect indoor dining to be re-opened at 39 restaurants as of January 11th. We firmly believe Red Robin is well-positioned from both a sales and profitability standpoint when conditions normalize.”

View full version at Red Robin

WENDY’S AND FLYNN COME TO TERMS ON NPC’S BANKRUPTCY SALE

Flynn Restaurant Group will buy half of the 393 Wendy’s being sold by the bankrupt operator, along with all 900 Pizza Huts, while other operators will buy the remaining units of the burger chain.

By Jonathan Maze on Jan. 07, 2021

Wendy’s and Flynn Restaurant Group have reached a deal that clears the way for Flynn to purchase half the 393 Wendy’s locations operated by bankrupt NPC International, according to federal securities filings and court documents filed Thursday.

Five other operators that were part of a group Wendy’s put together to buy the restaurants will acquire the remaining locations.

The deal, which is awaiting bankruptcy court approval, paves the way for an $801 million sale of the NPC restaurants out of bankruptcy, including 925 Pizza Hut locations that will all go to Flynn Restaurant Group, or FRG.

“This is an excellent outcome for NPC’s Wendy’s restaurants and our team,” Carl Hauch, CEO of NPC’s Wendy’s division, said in a statement. “We are very pleased that our restaurants will be joining the ranks of established, high-performing restaurant franchise groups.”

Flynn, the country’s largest franchisee and an operator of Taco Bell, Arby’s, Panera Bread and Applebee’s locations, will pay a base purchase price of $552.6 million for the Pizza Hut locations and Wendy’s restaurants in Salt Lake City, Central Maryland and Baltimore.

Other Wendy’s operators previously approved by the company will acquire locations in Kansas City, North Carolina and Pennsylvania for $248.3 million, according to court documents.

NPC is the largest franchisee of both Pizza Hut and Wendy’s. It declared bankruptcy over the summer amid heavy debt and was put up for auction. FRG stepped in with a bid to buy the whole company, a deal Wendy’s objected to over concerns about Flynn’s other operations—notably Arby’s and Panera—and issues over spending on remodels and expansion.

Wendy’s had formed a coalition to bid on those restaurants with pre-approved franchisees. The two sides have been in mediation in recent weeks to settle their differences.

It’s uncertain what other terms have changed that led Wendy’s to agree to let Flynn operate its restaurants.

Still, the deal would pave the way for perhaps the biggest transaction involving a restaurant franchisee in history, one that would make Flynn—already by far the country’s largest franchisee—even bigger, giving that company major operations within six different brands.

“Flynn Restaurant Group has built our business over the last 20-plus years by focusing on managing superior operations with great teams of people at premier restaurant concepts,” Greg Flynn, founder and CEO of FRG, said in a statement. “The Pizza Hut and Wendy’s restaurants we have agreed to acquire from NPC align perfectly with this strategy, and we’re confident that our new team members will fit right in at Flynn Restaurant Group.”

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include quotes from NPC and from Greg Flynn and add other details.

View source version at Flynn Restaurant Group

Peak Rock Capital Affiliate Completes Acquisition of Shipley Do-Nuts

Austin, TX  (RestaurantNews.com)  An affiliate of Peak Rock Capital (“Peak Rock”), a leading middle-market private investment firm, announced today that it has completed an acquisition of Shipley Franchise Company and Shipley Do-nut Flour & Supply Co. (collectively “Shipley Do-Nuts”, “Shipley” or the “Company”).

Founded in 1936, Shipley Do-Nuts is a leading quick-service restaurant franchisor.  Shipley has a diverse franchisee and consumer base, with over 300 locations spanning nine states.  Headquartered in Houston, Texas, the Company has built a strong reputation for its do-nuts, kolaches, beverages, and guest service.

Lawrence Shipley III commented, “My grandfather, father, and I have dedicated our lives to serving Shipley Do-Nuts, our franchisees and our guests. After an exhaustive search, it became clear that Peak Rock Capital was the ideal steward of our business as it pursues the next stage of growth. My family is thrilled to continue as investors in the Company, and we look forward to the exciting growth to come.” Concurrent with the transaction, Shipley Do-Nuts announced the retirement of Lawrence Shipley III to focus on other family investments.

Robert Strauss, Managing Director of Peak Rock, said, “Shipley represents an exciting opportunity to invest in a beloved consumer brand with an established reputation for authenticity and quality. We are incredibly impressed with the franchise that the Shipley family has built, and we look forward to partnering with the Company’s management team to invest behind their growth plan.  Shipley is deeply committed to continue providing existing franchisee partners with opportunities to grow their business and will actively seek relationships with new partners who are interested in being a part of our growing concept.”

Anthony DiSimone, Chief Executive Officer of Peak Rock, added, “This transaction further exemplifies Peak Rock’s deep experience investing in founder and family-owned businesses and highlights our continued interest in attractive investments in the food, beverage, and multi-unit consumer sectors. We continue to seek consumer oriented platforms and acquisitions that we believe could benefit from our ability to drive rapid growth and performance improvement.”

The acquisition of Shipley Do-Nuts represents Peak Rock’s twelfth investment in the food, beverage and consumer industry in recent years.

About Shipley Do-Nuts

Founded in 1936, Shipley Do-Nuts is a leading do-nut restaurant franchisor and manufacturer of specialty food products. Shipley franchises over 300 restaurants to a diverse group of operators across nine states. Shipley has served its do-nuts, kolaches, and beverages to generations of guests who value the brand’s  do-nuts, kolaches, beverages, and guest service.

About Peak Rock Capital

Peak Rock Capital is a leading middle-market private investment firm that makes equity and debt investments in companies in North America and Europe. Peak Rock’s equity investment platform focuses on opportunities where it can support senior management to drive rapid growth and profit improvement, with expertise in corporate carve-outs and partnering with families and founders seeking first-time institutional capital. Peak Rock’s credit platform focuses on providing bespoke financing solutions and making investments in secondary loans for corporate debt and commercial real estate. Peak Rock’s principals have deep expertise in complex situations and cross–border transactions, with the ability to provide tailored capital solutions and close transactions quickly where speed and certainty are priorities. For further information about Peak Rock Capital, please visit www.peakrockcapital.com.

View source version at Shipley Do-Nuts

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop’s Historic Year of Growth, Innovation and Profitability Culminates with Blockbuster Announcement to Acquire Wing Zone

Fan-Favorite Sandwich Franchise to Invest in Future of Rising QSR Brand, Leveraging Strong Leadership and Performance

Jan 04, 2021, 10:53 ET

LAS VEGASJan. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, the award-winning national restaurant franchise, announced today that it has finalized the acquisition of the QSR industry’s rising star, Wing Zone – a fast-casual brand serving made-to-order, flavor-packed chicken wings designed as the perfect delivery food. Capping off of an impressive year, the Wing Zone acquisition marks a momentous turning point for the fast-casual brand and continues to cement the fan-favorite sandwich shop’s place at the forefront of the industry.

Even amidst the pandemic, Capriotti’s achieved incredible success in 2020, quickly overcoming never-before-seen obstacles impacting the restaurant industry and providing its franchise partners second-to-none support from start to finish. Capriotti’s has remained committed to innovation, growth and profitability which continues to propel the brand forward as it closes out another record year on all fronts. Highlights from 2020 include:

  • INNOVATION:
    • Rolled out the first Impossible Meat Cheese Steak and partnered with Snake River Farms to introduce a new line up of American Wagyu beef subs at shops across the nation.
    • Introduced virtual brands that serve reimagined versions of extraordinary classic subs to fans through online delivery platforms like GrubHub, Postmates and DoorDash.
    • Opened the brand’s first corporate ghost kitchens in Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA; introduced the ghost kitchen franchise opportunity enabling franchise partners to satisfy a growing consumer demand for delivery, catering and online ordering while avoiding brick and mortar shop rental rates. Ghost kitchen franchises are already open and under development in Columbus, OHBaltimorePhiladelphiaPortlandAustin and Miami.
    • Partnered with Reef Kitchens to open the first vessel in Baltimore.
  • GROWTH:
    • Opened 18 high-performing new shops this year – many during the midst of the pandemic – marking 115 shops open with an additional 210 in development, 30+ of which will open in 2021.
    • Signed 24 multi-unit franchise agreements to bring a total of 106 new restaurants across the United States in the coming years in new markets like MiamiPhiladelphiaDenver, New York City and more.
  • PROFITABILITY:
    • Reported best in class double-digit same-store sales increases throughout the year – solidifying Capriotti’s financial performance in the top 2% of the entire restaurant industry.

“This year has presented a unique set of challenges for restaurants nationwide and Capriotti’s was no exception. I am incredibly grateful for the commitment and support of our franchise partners and their teams for their dedication to helping Capriotti’s safely serve communities across the country,” said Ashley Morris, CEO of Capriotti’s. “While 2020 has been filled with hurdles, it’s been one of the most rewarding and successful years in the history of the organization. We’re looking forward to growing from here!”

Looking ahead, Capriotti’s shows no signs of slowing. The fan-favorite fast casual franchise has announced the completed acquisition of Wing Zone, a fast-casual wing concept living out its mission to make it easy to get flavorful food worldwide. With the acquisition, Capriotti’s is committed to leveraging its best-in-class leadership, sophisticated organizational structure and strategic partners in order to protect, enhance and promote the success of Wing Zone and invest in the future of the growing brand.

Capriotti’s and Wing Zone share a mutual focus on serving fans and flavor-seekers across the nation the highest quality products both in-store and off-premise – as demand for delivery and online ordering skyrockets. Between Capriotti’s tech-forward strategy, infrastructure and profitability, and Wing Zone’s innovative delivery systems that cater to the rising demand for off-premise dining, both brands will bring each other a tremendous depth of service, meant to cement Capriotti’s and Wing Zone as top players in the fast-casual sector.

“The acquisition is a natural fit for both brands, as Capriotti’s and Wing Zone share many of the same internal values and organizational goals,” said Morris, who is now the CEO of Wing Zone as well. “We look forward to leveraging our expertise in franchising, operational excellence and technology with Wing Zone’s off-premise experience to help both brands continue to grow. We are thrilled to welcome Wing Zone into the Capriotti’s family and are excited about what lies ahead.”

Collectively, Capriotti’s and Wing Zone are rounding out 2020 with more than $100M in system-wide sales, and have plans to grow forward together, serving high quality handmade subs and fresh, flavorful wings to more than 150 communities globally and counting.

About Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
Founded in 1976, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is an award-winning national franchised restaurant chain that remains true to its 40-year tradition of slow-roasting whole, all-natural turkeys in-house every day. Capriotti’s cold, grilled and vegetarian subs, cheese steaks and salads are available at more than 100 locations across the United States. Capriotti’s signature sub, The Bobbie®, was voted “The Greatest Sandwich in America” by thousands of readers across the country, as reported by AOL.com. Capriotti’s fans can also download the CAPAddicts Rewards app for iOS and Android, where they can earn and redeem rewards. Capriotti’s plans to grow to over 500 locations by 2025, and was ranked #17 on Fast Casual’s Top Movers & Shakers List for 2020. For more information, visit capriottis.com. Like Capriotti’s on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Instagram.

About Wing Zone
Wing Zone is the go-to fast-casual restaurant for made-to-order, authentic buffalo wings. Made for flavor lovers, Wing Zone offers a variety of proprietary flavors and sauces for its wings that are easy to order and accurate every time. The idea for the concept started in 1991 when two fraternity brothers, Matt Friedman and Adam Scott wanted to fill the void on their campus for authentic, flavorful wings. The very first WingZone store opened in 1993 and today, the brand has grown to 31 locations in North America with 36 internationally. The brand is continuing to grow through franchising – for more information about the WingZone franchise opportunity, visit wingzonefranchise.com.

View source version at Capriotti’s

Saladworks’ Parent Company Acquires Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls, Forms WOWorks

WOWorks Seeks to Drive Explosive Growth for Healthy, Nutritious and Flavorful Portfolio of Brands in Fast-Casual Restaurant Space 

West Conshohocken, PA  (RestaurantNews.com)  The parent company of Saladworks, the nation’s leading fast-casual salad franchise, announced today it has acquired Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, the leading fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant brand in America, and Frutta Bowls, a unique fast-casual concept serving a variety of superfood bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, oatmeal bowls and more. These three brands will share a common core DNA under the new holding company WOWorks, which exists not only to sate appetites but to serve as healthy, nutritious and flavorful fuel so guests can pursue their passions and live their best lives.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh is a fast-casual staple across the United States with its authentic, nutrient-rich dishes inspired by traditional, but not bound by it. Every order is customized to guest’s liking, with choices from top-quality meats and plant-based proteins to authentic laffa wraps and perfect, pillowy pitas baked in-house throughout the day.

Frutta Bowls is a fast-casual trend-setter centering around a unique menu that is made fresh-to-order with no sweeteners, no juices and no fillers added. Frutta Bowl signatures include all-natural acai, pitaya and kale bowls with a broad array of both healthy and indulgent toppings. The Saladworks team will also provide an infrastructure and operations support system for Frutta Bowls to help achieve the full growth potential of this on-trend brand.

“Today, we welcome both Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Frutta Bowls to the WOWorks family,” said Kelly Roddy, CEO of Saladworks as well as the new portfolio of brands within the WOWorks enterprise, fully owned by Centre Lane Partners, LLC. “Like Saladworks, we believe Garbanzo and Frutta Bowls are complementary brands — all sharing a core DNA based upon fresh, flavorful and healthy food along with a heart for hospitality served through convenient business channels, which appeals to our Millennial family and Gen Z guests. We are excited to leverage the appeal of these unique and differentiated brands – along with the added size, scale and shared resources – to benefit all stakeholders including our team members, guests, business partners and communities.

The Saladworks team will take over both brand’s infrastructure and operations in its quest to drive explosive growth. Current Garbanzo CEO James Park will stay on following the acquisition as special advisor to the CEO.

“Garbanzo has a favorable path for growth post-pandemic and I’m looking forward to working alongside the new holding company WOWorks to ensure a smooth transition,” said Park. “Our brand and franchisees will benefit from the tremendous new resources this team can bring to continue the growth and prosperity of Garbanzo.”

All brands within WOWorks are strategically positioned to turn industry headwinds into tailwinds based upon their intersection of four key macro growth trends:

  • Demographics – Millennials and GenZ comprising over 60% of the U.S. population.
  • Psychographics – A shared mindset valuing personalization, customization, self-expression and connection.
  • Lifestyle – Viewing “Food as fuel” as guests seek out healthy, nutritious and satisfying dining options and experiences to support their healthy, active lifestyle.
  • Convenience – Desiring convenience as provided by traditional and non-traditional segments of the foodservice industry, which include but are not limited to dine-in, carryout, online ordering, curbside pick-up, delivery, ghost kitchens, food trucks, virtual brands and stores within grocery retailers, airports, hospitals and military bases.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has thrown its way, Saladworks is coming out of 2020 a stronger brand, with the acquisitions and formation of WOWorks. This year alone, Saladworks has grown by more than 40 restaurant locations, entering new markets such as Canada, California, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida and Indiana. Roughly 80% of these openings mark non-traditional presences, i.e. ghost kitchens, food trucks, grocery retail, hospitals, and universities, as the brand continues to flex its muscles as an industry disruptor.

About Saladworks

Founded in 1986, Saladworks is the nation’s leading fast-casual create-your-own salad destination, with over 100 locations across 18 states and two countries. Saladworks encourages guests to be original, giving them the option to choose from bowls or wraps with greens, grains or both, along with an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins and delicious dressings. Ranked #22 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers and Shakers in 2020, Saladworks has been delivering the most original and incredible salad experience to guests for more than 30 years. For more information, visit www.saladworks.com.

About Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh is the leading fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant in America. Garbanzo is making fresh Mediterranean cuisine a mainstream favorite across the United States. Its authentic, nutrient-rich dishes are inspired by tradition but not bound by it. Every order is customized to the guest’s liking, with choices from top-quality meats and plant-based proteins to authentic laffa wraps and perfect, pillowy pitas baked in-house throughout the day. Garbanzo is dedicated to satisfying every palate – including vegetarian and gluten-free diners – and wants to show America how delicious nutritious can be. For more information, visit https://eatgarbanzo.com.

About Frutta Bowls

Frutta Bowls is a unique fast casual-concept serving a variety of unique, superfood bowls, fresh fruit smoothies, oatmeal bowls, artisan toasts and organic coffee.  All menu items are made fresh-to-order with no sweeteners, no juices, no fillers added. Frutta Bowl signatures include all-natural acai, pitaya and kale bowls with a broad array of both healthy and indulgent toppings. Guests can customize creations to meet their personal preferences and dietary requirements, with gluten-free, dairy-free and allergen-free options available. The Frutta Bowls dream started as a local idea with two locations. It has since grown into a nationwide concept, continuing to positively affect many lives along the way. Frutta Bowls sets itself apart by its commitment to providing healthy, delicious food, but also by its involvement in the communities surrounding each location. For more information, visit https://www.fruttabowls.com.

View source version at Saladworks

Ark Restaurants Announces Financial Results for the Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Ended 2020

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ark Restaurants Corp. (NASDAQ:ARKR) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 3, 2020.

The Company’s fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest September 30. Accordingly, the fiscal years ended October 3, 2020 and September 28, 2019 included 53 and 52 weeks, respectively and the quarters ended October 3, 2020 and September 28, 2019 contained 14 and 13 weeks, respectively. Having one more week in the fourth quarter and full year ended October 3, 2020 distorts the comparison of results with the prior year periods.

Financial Results

Total revenues for the 14-weeks ended October 3, 2020 were $21,774,000 versus $41,688,000 for the 13-weeks ended September 28, 2019.

Total revenues for the year ended October 3, 2020 were $106,490,000 versus $162,354,000 for the year ended September 28, 2019. The year ended September 28, 2019 includes revenues of $1,040,000 related to Durgin-Park which was closed January 12, 2019.

As a result of state and local governments issuing “stay at home” orders and mandatory shut-down requirements all of our restaurants were temporarily closed in March 2020. Such orders were lifted from May through August 2020 by the various states in which we operate allowing the Company to reopen all of its properties, with the exception of Thunder Grill in Washington, D.C., at varying levels of limited capacity as allowed by federal, state and local governments. Accordingly, we have not presented Company-wide same store sales as they are not meaningful based on these events.

The Company’s EBITDA, adjusted for non-controlling interests and non-cash stock option expense, for the 14-weeks ended October 3, 2020 was ($1,785,000) versus $2,636,000 during the 13 week period ended September 28, 2019. Net loss for the 14-weeks ended October 3, 2020 was ($1,897,000) or ($0.54) per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of ($554,000) or ($0.16) per basic and diluted share, for the 13 week period ended September 28, 2019.

The Company’s EBITDA, adjusted for non-controlling interests, non-cash stock option expense, losses on property closures and an impairment loss, for the year ended October 3, 2020 was ($3,182,000) versus $12,340,000 last year. Net loss for the year ended October 3, 2020 was ($4,688,000) or ($1.34) per basic and diluted share, compared to net income of $2,676,000, or $0.77 per basic share, $0.76 per diluted share, last year.

View full version at Ark Restaurants

Darden Restaurants Reports Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results; Announces Quarterly Dividend; And Provides Fiscal 2021 Third Quarter Outlook

Dec 18, 2020, 07:00 ET

ORLANDO, Fla.Dec. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE:DRI) today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended November 29, 2020.

Second Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights, Comparisons to Second Quarter Last Year

  • Total sales of $1.66 billion, a decrease of 19.4% driven by negative blended same-restaurant sales of 20.6% and partially offset by the addition of 19 net new restaurants
  • Same-restaurant sales by segment (Thanksgiving Day shifted to the last week of our second fiscal quarter this year from the first week of our third fiscal quarter last year):

(19.9)% for Olive Garden

(31.0)% for Fine Dining

(11.1)% for LongHorn Steakhouse

(28.6)% for Other Business

  • Reported diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations were $0.74 as compared to last year’s reported diluted net earnings per share of $0.21 and last year’s adjusted diluted net earnings per share of $1.12*
  • Reported net earnings from continuing operations of $97 million
  • EBITDA of $206 million*

*   See the “Non-GAAP Information” below for more details

“I was pleased with our ability to once again deliver strong profitability in an unpredictable sales environment,” said CEO Gene Lee. “Our restaurant teams continue to demonstrate remarkable flexibility and resilience, while executing at a high level and serving our guests safely. We continue to view this environment as a rare opportunity to meaningfully transform our business for long-term growth. Our brands made additional strides to invest in and strengthen their businesses to ensure they emerge even stronger and better positioned to grow share.”

Segment Performance
Segment profit represents sales, less costs for food and beverage, restaurant labor, restaurant expenses and marketing expenses.  Segment profit excludes non-cash real estate related expenses.

Q2 Sales

Q2 Segment Profit

($ in millions)

2021

2020

% Change

2021

2020

% Change

Consolidated Darden

$1,656.5

$2,056.4

(19.4)

%

Olive Garden

$829.5

$1,023.6

(19.0)

%

$175.1

$190.3

(8.0)

%

LongHorn Steakhouse

$407.4

$447.3

(8.9)

%

$66.3

$71.9

(7.8)

%

Fine Dining

$108.1

$154.8

(30.2)

%

$20.3

$30.4

(33.2)

%

Other Business

$311.5

$430.7

(27.7)

%

$39.3

$47.7

(17.6)

%

YTD Sales

YTD Segment Profit

($ in millions)

2021

2020

% Change

2021

2020

% Change

Consolidated Darden

$3,183.9

$4,190.3

(24.0)

%

Olive Garden

$1,617.7

$2,113.8

(23.5)

%

$348.9

$419.2

(16.8)

%

LongHorn Steakhouse

$784.1

$897.5

(12.6)

%

$123.3

$146.4

(15.8)

%

Fine Dining

$191.2

$291.1

(34.3)

%

$30.2

$50.7

(40.4)

%

Other Business

$590.9

$887.9

(33.4)

%

$75.0

$112.1

(33.1)

%

Business Update
Comparable calendar* same-restaurant sales performance for Darden, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse for the weeks listed below are as follows:

Weeks Ended

11/8/20

11/15/20

11/22/20

11/29/20

12/6/20

12/13/20

Darden

(23.4)

%

(23.3)

%

(29.1)

%

(34.0)

%

(33.4)

%

(36.9)

%

Olive Garden

(21.9)

%

(22.5)

%

(27.3)

%

(34.9)

%

(31.1)

%

(32.6)

%

LongHorn Steakhouse

(12.0)

%

(12.1)

%

(18.5)

%

(22.9)

%

(19.5)

%

(23.3)

%

* Comparable calendar reflects same-restaurant growth for the weeks ended November 8, 2020 through December 13, 2020 compared to weeks ended November 10, 2019 through December 15, 2019

View full version at Darden Restaurants

Snooze Announces Investment from Brentwood Associates

Latest fundraise will support accelerated growth across the country

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Snooze, a rapidly growing breakfast and brunch restaurant concept known for its innovative menu and vibrant atmosphere, announced it has received a strategic minority investment from Brentwood Associates (“Brentwood”), a leading consumer-focused private equity firm. Brentwood is partnering with Snooze’s existing majority shareholder Stripes, as well as existing investor Alliance Consumer Growth (“ACG”), to accelerate the Company’s continued growth nationwide and fund strategic initiatives. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Snooze was founded in 2006 in Denver, Colorado with the idea of flipping the typical breakfast experience on its head and serving Breakfast, but Different. Being different does not stop at the plate, it’s the way Snooze does business. Snooze believes that the only thing better than a full plate is a clear conscience. That’s why with every meal Snooze serves, its dedicated to bettering both the communities it is a part of, and the planet. From composting and recycling nearly 90% of its waste to donating 1% of its sales back to its communities, Snooze is working toward creating a better world for future generations. Snooze has been led by CEO David Birzon since 2012, who will continue as CEO going forward. Following Stripes and ACG’s investment in 2016, Snooze has rapidly grown to 44 restaurants located across six states and has created a loyal, cult-like customer following.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Brentwood to the Snooze family and are thankful for the continued support from Stripes and ACG,” commented Birzon. “We are fortunate to have partnered with a group of premier, growth-oriented consumer investors that have provided support and capital to execute our ambitious growth strategy.”

“David and the Snooze management team have done a tremendous job building this innovative brand,” added Karen Kenworthy, partner at Stripes. “Brentwood’s investment further underscores the strength of the Snooze concept and its differentiated offering. With Brentwood, we have found a partner who shares our vision in Snooze’s future and supports its continued expansion.”

Concurrent with the transaction, Snooze has added Rahul Aggarwal, partner at Brentwood, to its board of directors. Brentwood brings a long track record of investing in the space, with Snooze representing its tenth investment in the restaurant industry.

“We’re very excited to support Snooze’s next phase of growth,” said Aggarwal. “They have built a unique and compelling restaurant concept serving the attractive breakfast segment, and we are equally impressed with the Company’s strong culture. We look forward to leveraging our experience to bring Snooze’s unique offering of craveable food and beverages in an energetic atmosphere to more guests across the country.”

About Snooze

Founded in Denver, Colorado in 2006 Snooze revitalized breakfast culture by bringing creativity and innovation to breakfast, along with an energetic and eclectic atmosphere and friendly neighbor-like service. Snooze prides itself on using their business and love for breakfast food as a platform to do good in every city they live in. As an industry leader in community involvement and sustainable practices, Snooze is on a mission to make the world a better place one pancake at a time. Snooze currently has 44 locations throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Missouri and Texas. A full list of locations can be found here.

About Brentwood Associates

Brentwood Associates is a Los-Angeles based private equity investment firm with a 30+ year history of investing in middle-market growth-oriented consumer & technology-enabled business services companies. Core sectors of investment include branded consumer products/services, health and wellness, beauty, personal care, food & beverage, multi-unit restaurant and specialty retail, e-commerce, and education. Since 1984, Brentwood’s dedicated private equity team has invested in over 50 portfolio companies with an aggregate transaction value of over $6 billion. With significant experience in both investing and brand building, Brentwood is a value-added partner for entrepreneurs and senior management teams building world-class companies. For more information about Brentwood, please visit www.brentwood.com.

About Stripes

Stripes is a leading growth equity firm that brings a unique, entrepreneurial approach to investing in high-growth Software and Consumer businesses around the world. For over a decade, Stripes has partnered with market-defining companies to provide them with the support they need to accelerate growth and achieve their long-term vision. Stripes’ mission is to have a culture, set of resources and expertise that provide entrepreneurs with an unparalleled advantage in markets that are evolving rapidly due to changes in technology and consumer behavior. For more information on Stripes, please visit http://www.stripes.co/.

About Alliance Consumer Growth

Alliance Consumer Growth is a leading growth equity fund providing capital and value-added partnership to the most promising emerging consumer and retail brands. Notable brands that ACG successfully partnered with as an early investor include Shake Shack (later completed an IPO as NYSE: SHAK), Babyganics (later acquired by SC Johnson), barkTHINS (later acquired by Hershey’s), Krave Jerky (later acquired by Hershey’s), Suja Juice (later acquired by CocaCola), Harry’s, Tata Harper, Milk Makeup, Herschel Supply Co., Good American, SKIMS, Pacifica Beauty, Blaze Pizza and The Honest Kitchen, among others. ACG has offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information about ACG, visit www.acgpartners.com.

View source version at Snooze

BurgerFi Goes Public Following Completion of Business Combination with OPES Acquisition Corp.

-The Better Burger Brand Commences Trading on Nasdaq Under “BFI” Ticker-

PALM BEACH, Fla., Dec. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OPES Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: OPES, OPESW) (“OPES” or the “Company”) and BurgerFi International, LLC (BurgerFi), one of the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts, have completed their previously announced business combination. As a result of the business combination, OPES changed its name to BurgerFi International, Inc. and its common stock will commence trading this morning on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol “BFI” and the warrants will trade under the ticker symbol “BFIIW.”

“We believe that combining OPES with BurgerFi will expand the better burger brand’s growth nationally and internationally to reach new heights and create significant stockholder value,” stated Ophir Sternberg, newly appointed Executive Chairman of BurgerFi. “As I step into my new role, there will be an important focus on taking advantage of the current real estate market to seek growth opportunities, as there is an abundance of prime retail locations with leases on very favorable terms. We will also continue our industry-leading technology development, enhancing user experience and increasing sales through our various online ordering channels.”

Established almost a decade ago, BurgerFi has nearly 125 restaurants domestically and internationally, with plans to continue expanding. The concept was chef-founded and is renowned for delivering an exceptional, all-natural premium burger experience in contemporary and sustainably designed restaurants. BurgerFi uses 100% all-natural American Angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. The brand’s diverse menu offerings have broad appeal and emphasize the use of high quality, responsibly sourced ingredients in each recipe. In addition to Angus and Wagyu beef burgers and hot dogs, guest favorites include the award-winning VegeFi® burger, all-natural cage-free “Fi’ed” chicken sandwiches and tenders, and fresh-cut fries made with just potatoes and salt. BurgerFi placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500.

“Becoming a publicly traded company is the first of many important milestones we envision for BurgerFi, as our opportunities to evolve and develop are seemingly limitless,” says Julio Ramirez, CEO of BurgerFi. “With our leading position as the preferred better burger restaurant in four out of five southern states, we will continue working our way up the eastern seaboard to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Our corporate and franchise restaurant growth strategy will cluster in markets we’ve identified as strategically important, such as Atlanta, Nashville and Richmond.”

“It’s extremely fitting that BurgerFi is going public on the cusp of our 10-year anniversary,” said Charlie Guzzetta, President of BurgerFi. “It’s a dream that has become reality thanks to the tireless dedication of the team members, franchise partners, and founders that make up the BurgerFi family. We are proud of the strong foundation we’ve built and look forward to the brand’s continued success and growth in this exciting new phase.”

BurgerFi will continue to be led by its existing management team: Julio Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer; Charlie Guzzetta, President; Bryan McGuire, Chief Financial Officer, Nick Raucci, Chief Operating Officer; Ross Goldstein, Chief Legal Officer; and Chef Paul Griffin, Chief Culinary Officer.

The board of directors for BurgerFi includes notable members such as Steve Berrard, Co-Founder of AutoNation, and is led by Executive Chairman Ophir Sternberg, Founder and CEO of Lionheart Capital and Chairman and CEO of Lionheart Acquisition Corp. II (Nasdaq: LCAP).

To celebrate the business combination completion, BurgerFi will be ringing the Nasdaq opening bell today, December 17th at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

EarlyBirdCapital, Inc. served as exclusive financial and capital market advisor to OPES. Loeb & Loeb LLP served as legal counsel to OPES. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick LLP is acting as legal counsel to BurgerFi International.

About BurgerFi International
Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept was chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% natural American Angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com, ‘Like’ BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter.

View source version at BurgerFi

Front Burner Reinvents Itself to Ensure Evergreen Success

Leading hospitality collective unveils new name and 360° approach to delivering unrivaled experiences; DeWitt, Gibbons, other leaders promoted

Dec 17, 2020, 09:00 ET

DALLASDec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Winston Churchill once famously said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

The executive team at Front Burner Restaurants, LLC took those words to heart during the category-crushing COVID crisis, reshaping and repositioning the company’s portfolio of concepts under a new brand – FB Society – and adopting a 360-degree approach to deliver unrivaled experiences to both their employees and guests.

The award-winning multi-concept operator – which counts among its distinctive restaurant brands Whiskey CakeSixty VinesMexican SugarIda Claire and Haywire – used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to analyze and double-down on key elements of its success. The result: a fully integrated collection of brands uniquely positioned for long-term growth and success, and a leadership team focused on WHY.

“While so many brands were forced to retract, or even shut down during the current crisis, we made a decision that Front Burner would not only survive, but emerge smarter, stronger and more cohesive,” said Randy DeWitt, who was named Chairman of FB Society. “I couldn’t be more excited about the future of our company, the brands we have created and those we’ve yet to dream of, especially knowing that my great friend and partner, Jack Gibbons, is at the helm as CEO. Jack has long been recognized for his unmatched creative energy and operational expertise that push culinary and hospitality boundaries. FB Society is in extraordinary hands.”

Gibbons was elevated to the CEO role after serving as president & chief creative officer at Front Burner Restaurants since 2008, during which he spearheaded the creation of nine nationally recognized brands, including The Food Hall Company and Velvet Taco, which was recently acquired by private equity firm L Catterton. Prior to joining Front Burner, Gibbons dedicated 25 years to transforming Pappas Restaurant Group.

“Over the last several months, we have assembled an even more dynamic leadership team with the intellectual and creative firepower needed to propel FB Society to its rightful place among the very best innovators in the country,” Gibbons said. “Dan Lawler, an integral partner to Randy and me, will continue his role as our company’s chief financial officer. And through a strategic partnership with R CircleRae Phillips-Luther will now serve as chief brand officer, tasked with growing emotional equity of both internal and external consumers through FB Society’s mission: to create and execute experiences never imagined.”

Gibbons added, “Jeff Carcara is the right executive at the right time to grow Sixty Vines as its CEO and I couldn’t ask for a more skilled president to grow the Whiskey Cake brand than Ray Risley.”

In the weeks and months ahead, FB Society will accelerate the expansion of its popular Whiskey Cake and Sixty Vines concepts to new markets. In addition, the company will build on its unparalleled success in launching and incubating new concepts, with the debut of SoB (Son of a Butcher) in December, followed by an imaginative new chicken tender concept, Buttercup.

Also in December, the company will substantiate its role as a hospitality thought leader with the launch of a new podcast, BTS: Behind the Society, designed to engage both the team and guests and to showcase innovators, disruptors and haymakers in the restaurant space.

“While we are fully aware that the pandemic is far from over, I’ve never been more excited about the future of our company, our brands and our team,” continued Gibbons. “Randy and I have long seen our mission as designing experiences never imagined, and while we have made tremendous strides already, I’m confident in saying ‘you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!'”

For more information on FB Society or to view open positions, please visit fb-society.com.

About FB Society

FB Society (formerly Front Burner Restaurants) is the restaurant innovation lab behind unique concepts such as Whiskey Cake, Legacy Hall, Mexican Sugar, Sixty Vines, Haywire and more. The company is driven by a thriving culture and constant pursuit of perfection. Its mission is to create and execute experiences never imagined. Known for its creativity, experiential approach, exquisite attention to detail, culinary innovation, and creation and development of emerging brands, the Society now boasts a diverse portfolio of 10 restaurant brands across 25 locations, a one-of-a-kind food hall, Modern Pour and Vestals premium catering, Bingham House event venue, Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co. and the non-profit Furlough Kitchen, with more concepts on the horizon.

View source version at Front Burner Society

Inspire Brands Completes Acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands

  • Becomes second-largest restaurant company in the U.S. by system sales and locations
  • Inspire now encompasses: $26 billion in system sales; nearly 32,000 restaurants in 60+ countries; 600,000+ company and franchise team members; 3,200+ franchisees

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Inspire Brands, Inc. (“Inspire”) today announced the completion of its $11.3 billion acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. (“Dunkin’ Brands”).

With the addition of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, Inspire now encompasses nearly 32,000 restaurants across more than 60 countries generating $26 billion in annual system sales, making it the second-largest restaurant company in the U.S. by both system sales and locations. Inspire’s family of brands includes Arby’s®, Baskin-Robbins®, Buffalo Wild Wings®, Dunkin’®, Jimmy John’s®, Rusty Taco®, and SONIC® Drive-In.

“We are very excited to welcome the Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins brands into the Inspire family. Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins are category leaders and two of the most iconic restaurant brands in the world,” said Paul Brown, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inspire. “This is an incredible moment in our journey as a company. I want to thank all our team members, franchisees and suppliers whose hard work helped make this possible.”

The acquisition of Dunkin’ Brands furthers Inspire’s goal of bringing together a family of highly differentiated and complementary brands. Both Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins will benefit by leveraging the capabilities and best practices of Inspire’s shared services platform. Additionally, both brands will also benefit Inspire by adding a highly talented team, strong franchise network, large and loyal customer base, scaled international platform, as well as a robust consumer packaged goods licensing capability.

Dave Hoffmann, formerly CEO of Dunkin’ Brands will report to Paul Brown as Senior Advisor and will help navigate the integration into Inspire. Scott Murphy will assume the role of Head of the Inspire Beverage-Snack Category and President, Dunkin’, reporting directly to Paul Brown. Jason Maceda will assume the role of President, Baskin-Robbins reporting to Scott Murphy. Both will join the Inspire Executive Team.

“We are excited to reach this important milestone together with our incredible franchisees, licensees, employees, and suppliers,” said Dave Hoffmann. “Over the past few years, we have accomplished much to be proud of including the execution of our strategic plans that led to the transformation of our two beloved, iconic brands. We are confident that Inspire’s proven stewardship of franchised restaurant concepts and best-in-class capabilities will drive further growth for both Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins around the world.”

About Inspire Brands®

Inspire Brands is a multi-brand restaurant company whose portfolio includes nearly 32,000 restaurants across more than 60 countries. The Inspire family of brands includes: Arby’s, Baskin-Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dunkin’, Jimmy John’s, Rusty Taco, and SONIC Drive-In. The company was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Inspire is majority-owned by affiliates of Roark Capital. For more information, visit InspireBrands.com.

View source version at Inspire Brands

Good Times Restaurants Reports Results for the Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year Ended September 29, 2020

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Good Times Restaurants Inc. (NASDAQ: GTIM), today reported financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended September 29, 2020.

Key highlights of the Company’s financial results include:

  • Total Revenues decreased 0.9% to $28.5 million for the quarter and 0.8% to $109.9 million for the year
  • Total Restaurant Sales for Bad Daddy’s restaurants decreased 3.8% to $19.3 million for the quarter and 4.3% to $76.3 million for the year
  • Total Restaurant Sales for Good Times restaurants increased 6.3% for the quarter to $9.0 million and 9.0% to $32.8 million for the year
  • Same Store Sales for company-owned Bad Daddy’s restaurants decreased 12.2% for the quarter and decreased 17.7% for the year
  • Same Store Sales for company-owned Good Times restaurants increased 10.0% for the quarter and 7.9% for the year
  • Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders was $1.5 million for the quarter including $0.3 million of asset impairment costs
  • For the year, Net Loss Attributable to Common Shareholders was $13.9 million including $15.6 million of asset impairment costs and $1.0 million of preopening costs
  • Adjusted EBITDA* (a non-GAAP measure) for the quarter was $2.9 million and $7.6 million for the year
  • The Company ended the quarter with $11.5 million in cash, a $5.5 million outstanding under its senior credit facility and $11.6 million outstanding in Paycheck Protection Program loans

Ryan M. Zink, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “In spite of very significant concerns about liquidity and operating cash flow at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a combination of quick decision-making, teamwork, and CARES Act relief have enabled us to fight through the initial blows the pandemic hit us with, and conclude fiscal 2020 on a positive note, with improved unit economics, improved camaraderie and culture throughout the organization, and a modestly improved balance sheet compared to the end of fiscal 2019. Both of our concepts continue to outperform their respective segments within the industry, and our leadership team continues be creative and energetic, anticipating and adapting to changes in our business driven by a pandemic that will likely be with us for the foreseeable future. We are doing everything possible to ensure we continue to operate all of our restaurants safely and to the maximum extent allowed under each location’s respective regulatory guidance.”

“We expect to resume Bad Daddy’s development in the second half of fiscal 2021, developing the two remaining Bad Daddy’s leases signed in 2019 and beginning the search for our 2022 development pipeline. However, unlike our growth model in the past, we expect our future development rate to be more modest, growing primarily out of operating cash flow and at least initially, developing only a couple of restaurants per year as we make a firm commitment to financial discipline and growing from a strong balance sheet with a minimal debt load.”

Fiscal 2021 Outlook:

Due to continuing unprecedented economic conditions associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and government responses to the evolving situation, the Company had previously withdrawn its prior financial outlook for fiscal 2020 and has not provided a financial outlook for 2021. In late November 2020, all twelve of the Company’s Bad Daddy’s locations in Colorado had additional restrictions imposed upon them resulting in the closure of dining rooms in those locations. The removal of those restrictions will be dictated by specific metrics related to the pandemic used by the State of Colorado in determining such restrictions. The Company is unable to reasonably predict when inside dining will again be allowed in its Colorado Bad Daddy’s restaurants. Additionally, although no other states have at this time similarly restricted inside dining where the Company has Bad Daddy’s restaurants, the possibility remains that such restrictions might be put in place with limited notice. At the current time, the Company is therefore still unable to reasonably estimate the full impact of the continuing pandemic and, beyond providing the below updates on October and November sales and a projection of Net Income and Adjusted EBITDA for the first fiscal quarter, is unable to provide a financial outlook for fiscal 2021.

View source version at Good Times Restaurants

FAT Brands Agrees to Combine with Fog Cutter Capital Group

December, 11 2020

FAT (Fresh. Authentic. Tasty.) Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to combine with Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. (FCCG), the Company’s controlling stockholder. The merger is intended to provide FAT Brands with increased financial flexibility and simplified corporate structure, at a time in the restaurant industry when committed capital and first mover advantage are critical to strategic acquisitions.

Andy Wiederhorn, President and CEO of FAT Brands, stated “We have taken a number of steps in 2020 to bolster our balance sheet and ensure that FAT Brands is as nimble and opportunistic as possible, especially in this environment. As we have disclosed in the past, FAT Brands has considered a combination with Fog Cutter as another step in our efforts to simplify our corporate structure and eliminate limitations that restrict our ability to use common stock for accretive acquisitions and capital raising. FCCG holds more than $100 million of net operating loss carryforwards (NOLs), which could only be made available to FAT Brands as long as FCCG owned at least 80% of FAT Brands. With this combination, the NOLs will be internalized at FAT Brands, and we will now have much greater flexibility and optionality in our capital structure.”

Wiederhorn continued, “We believe that the steps we have taken in 2020 will position us to capitalize on organic and acquisition-led growth in the future. We look forward to 2021, when we hope to experience some normalization as the pandemic subsides. With the acquisition of Johnny Rockets, in a post-COVID environment, we continue to anticipate that the Company can generate 2x our 2019 EBITDA of $7.7 million.”

In connection with the Fog Cutter combination, FAT Brands has declared a special stock dividend payable only to holders of its common stock other than Fog Cutter, consisting of 0.2319998077 shares of FAT Brands’ 8.25% Series B Cumulative Preferred Stock (NASDAQ: FATBP) for each outstanding share of common stock held by such stockholders, with the value of any fractional shares to be paid in cash. Fog Cutter will not receive any portion of the special dividend, which will have a record date of December 21, 2020 and expected payment date of December 23, 2020.

FAT Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: FAT) is a leading global franchising company that strategically acquires, markets and develops fast casual and casual dining restaurant concepts around the world. The Company currently owns nine restaurant brands: Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Buffalo’s Cafe, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Elevation Burger, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses, and franchises over 675 units worldwide.

View source version at FAT Brands