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Financials - January 2020

Wingstop Inc. Releases Preliminary Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Sales Results Ahead of Investor Day

Achieves 16th Consecutive Year of Positive Same Store Sales Growth

January 16, 2020 08:00 ET

DALLAS, Jan. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wingstop Inc. (“Wingstop” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: WING) today released preliminary unaudited sales and unit development results for the fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended December 28, 2019.

Highlights for the fiscal fourth quarter 2019 as compared to the fiscal fourth quarter 2018:

  1. 45 net openings in fiscal fourth quarter 2019

  2. Domestic same store sales increased 12.2%

  3. Company-owned restaurant same store sales increased 8.9%

  4. System-wide sales increased 21.2% to approximately $397.2 million

  5. Digital sales increased to 39.0% in December 2019

Highlights for the fiscal year 2019 as compared to the fiscal year 2018:

  1. System-wide restaurant count increased 10.6% to 1,385 worldwide locations with 133 net openings

  2. Domestic same store sales increased 11.1%

  3. Company-owned restaurant same store sales increased 9.8%

  4. System-wide sales increased 20.1% to approximately $1.5 billion

As of December 28, 2019, there were 1,385 Wingstop restaurants system-wide consisting of 1,231 restaurants in the United States, of which 1,200 were franchised and 31 were company-owned, and 154 international franchised restaurants across nine countries.

“2019 was a significant year for Wingstop as we invested in both our business and our talent to lay the foundation for sustainable growth, while delivering industry leading 11.1% same store sales growth and 10.6% net new unit growth,” stated Charlie Morrison, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wingstop. “Today, during our first Investor Day since our IPO, our leadership team will present a more in-depth view into our strategic pillars for growth. Our execution of our long-standing strategic plan provides confidence that we will achieve our long-term vision of becoming a top 10 global restaurant brand.”

View full version at Wingstop

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Reports Preliminary Revenue Results for the Fourth Quarter Ended December 29, 2019 Issues 2020 and Long-Term Outlook

January, 14 2020

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB) yesterday announced preliminary, unaudited revenue results for the fourth quarter ended December 29, 2019.

Preliminary Fourth Quarter 2019 Revenue Summary Compared to Fourth Quarter 2018

  1. Comparable restaurant revenue increased 1.3%;

  2. Comparable restaurant guest counts decreased 3.4%;

  3. Off-premise sales, including catering, increased 26.9% and comprised 13.9% of total food and beverage sales, including catering; and

  4. Total revenues were $302.9 million, a decrease of 1.2%, primarily due to restaurant closures, partially offset by the increase in comparable restaurant revenue.

The above results are preliminary and subject to year-end closing adjustments.

Paul J.B. Murphy III, Red Robin’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are pleased to have achieved comparable restaurant revenue growth during the fourth quarter of 2019, our second quarter of consecutive positive comparable restaurant revenue. We attribute these results to our menu and promotional strategy of featuring innovative burgers and highlighting core brand equities, while offering a great guest experience at a compelling value. Notably, during the fourth quarter of 2019, we had to lap significant discounting from the prior year quarter which negatively impacted guest traffic but positively impacted average guest check and gross margin. While our financials are not yet finalized, we believe Adjusted EBITDA will be between $100 million and $102 million for full year 2019.”

Murphy added, “We look forward to sharing our vision for hastening Red Robin’s turnaround and transforming the business at the ICR Conference. Building upon what has already been accomplished in 2019, a year of foundational change, we intend to deliver consistent, quality execution of our brand promise; reinforce emotional connections and core brand equities via our omni-channel messaging campaign; and accelerate profitable growth through menu rationalization, technological investments, and significant expansion of our off-premise platforms.”

Murphy concluded, “This year, we believe that we can achieve low single digit comparable restaurant revenue growth with incremental restaurant-level operating profit offset by pre-opening, marketing and project-related expenses associated with growth initiatives, resulting in restaurant-level margin expansion and flat to slightly positive Adjusted EBITDA compared to 2019. We also anticipate that we can generate $35+ million in free cash flow, reduce debt, and return capital to shareholders. Beginning in 2021, and with our foundation firmly in place, we project mid-single digit comparable restaurant revenue growth, margin expansion, Adjusted EBITDA growth of 10%-15%, $45+ million in free cash flow, along with a further reduction in debt and additional return of capital to shareholders.”

About Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (NASDAQ: RRGB)

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. (, a casual dining restaurant chain founded in 1969 that operates through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Red Robin International, Inc., and under the trade name Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews, is the Gourmet Burger Authority™, famous for serving more than two dozen craveable, high-quality burgers with Bottomless Steak Fries® in a fun environment welcoming to Guests of all ages. Whether a family dining with kids, adults grabbing a drink at the bar, or teens enjoying a meal, Red Robin offers an unparalleled experience for its Guests. In addition to its many burger offerings, Red Robin serves a wide variety of salads, soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and signature beverages. Red Robin offers a variety of options behind the bar, including its extensive selection of local and regional beers, and innovative adult beer shakes and cocktails, earning the restaurant a VIBE Vista Award for Best Beer Program in a Multi-Unit Chain Restaurant. There are more than 555 Red Robin restaurants across the United States and Canada, including locations operating under franchise agreements.

View source version at Red Robin

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Preliminary Sales Results for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019

January, 14 2020

Carrols Restaurant Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TAST) today reported preliminary sales results for the fourth quarter and full year 2019. The Company also announced that it would host a fireside chat at the 22nd Annual ICR Conference tomorrow morning at 10:00 AM ET.

For the Fourth Quarter of 2019 versus the Fourth Quarter of 2018:

  1. Total restaurant sales increased 29.2% to $397.6 million (including $73.6 million in restaurant sales from the restaurants acquired in the Cambridge acquisition completed in the second quarter of 2019) from $307.8 million in the prior year quarter;

  2. Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Burger King restaurants increased 2.0% compared to a 2.7% increase in the prior year quarter, or an increase of 4.7% on a two-year stacked basis;

  3. Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Popeyes restaurants increased 21.2% compared to same-store sales under previous ownership in the prior year quarter; and

  4. Promotions and discounts were 19.0% of the Company’s comparable Burger King restaurant sales compared to 26.6% in the prior year quarter.

For the Full Year 2019 versus the Full Year 2018:

  1. Total restaurant sales increased 23.2% to $1,452.5 million (including $193.1 million in restaurant sales from the Cambridge acquisition completed in the second quarter of 2019) from $1,179.3 million in the prior year;

  2. Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Burger King restaurants increased 2.2% compared to a 3.8% increase in the prior year, or an increase of 6.0% on a two-year stacked basis; and

  3. Comparable restaurant sales for the Company’s Popeyes restaurants increased 11.9% compared to same-store sales under previous ownership in the prior year.

Daniel T. Accordino, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Carrols, commented, “Although comparable sales decelerated in November and December versus October, we are encouraged by the continued strength of the Impossible Whopper, the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, and the muted discount environment throughout the fourth quarter as compared to the comparable prior year period. We lapped the highest level of 2018 discounting during November and December, which resulted in more modest comparable sales growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 than in the prior year quarter.”

Accordino continued, “Looking ahead, we are optimistic about the compelling 2020 marketing initiatives at both Burger King and Popeyes and expect to realize margin improvement at the acquired Cambridge restaurants throughout this year as we complete the integration of these restaurants and fully implement our operational best practices, improve controls over sales, and optimize food and labor expenditures. We believe that Carrols is well-positioned to benefit from two world-class brands with significant scale advantages and a supportive franchisor partner as we execute on growth opportunities across multiple attractive markets.”

Carrols is one of largest restaurant franchisees in the United States, and currently operates 1,100 restaurants. It is the largest BURGER KING® franchisee in the United States currently operating 1,035 BURGER KING® restaurants and also operating 65 POPEYES® restaurants. It has operated BURGER KING® restaurants since 1976.

View source version at Carrols

Denny’s Corporation Releases Preliminary Financial Results for Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2019

January 13, 2020 07:00 ET

- Company Reiterates 2019 Guidance Expectations for Adjusted EBITDA* -

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Jan. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ: DENN), franchisor and operator of one of America's largest franchised full-service restaurant chains, today reported preliminary results for domestic same-store sales**, restaurant unit activity, and share-repurchases for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 25, 2019, and provided an update on its refranchising strategy.

Denny’s fourth quarter domestic system-wide same-store sales** increased 1.7%, including a 0.5% increase at company restaurants and a 1.8% increase at domestic franchised restaurants.  Fiscal year domestic system-wide same-store sales** grew 2.0%, including 1.9% growth at company restaurants and 2.0% growth at domestic franchised restaurants.  On a two-year basis, this represents domestic system-wide same-store sales** growth of 2.8%, comprised of 3.7% growth at company restaurants and 2.6% growth at domestic franchised restaurants.

In 2019, Denny’s opened 30 restaurants, including 14 international locations, and closed 36 restaurants, bringing the total restaurant count to 1,703.  Denny's also completed 144 remodels during fiscal year 2019, including three at company restaurants.  Additionally in 2019, Denny's sold 105 company restaurants to franchisees to substantially complete the refranchising strategy.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, Denny's allocated $45.4 million to share repurchases, resulting in $96.2 million allocated to share repurchases for full year 2019.   As of December 25, 2019, the Company had approximately $282 million remaining in authorized share repurchases.

Based on preliminary results, Denny’s is reiterating its full year 2019 guidance expectations for Adjusted EBITDA* of between $93 and $96 million provided with the Company’s third quarter 2019 results announced on October 29, 2019.  Denny’s expects to release financial and operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 25, 2019 along with annual guidance for 2020 after the market closes on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

View full version at Denny's

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. Announces Taco Cabana Closures

January 13, 2020 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (“Fiesta” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FRGI), parent company of the Pollo Tropical® and Taco Cabana® fast-casual restaurant brands, today announced that it will close 19 Taco Cabana restaurants in Texas, effective immediately. Nearly all employees impacted by the closures will be offered positions at other Taco Cabana locations.

Fiesta President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Stockinger said, “During the fourth quarter, our Taco Cabana team began implementation of a margin improvement plan that we expect to improve restaurant-level Adjusted EBITDA margins by approximately 200 to 300 basis points in 2020 vs. 2019. The margin improvement plan includes efficiency initiatives in operations across food and operating expense categories and the closure of 19 underperforming restaurants in Texas. These closures eliminate all stores with significant losses, which we expect will result in a highly viable portfolio of restaurants.”

Mr. Stockinger concluded, “We continue to make progress on sales building initiatives across both Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana in off premise sales, including catering, online and delivery. In addition, as our new senior management team enters their first full year together, we are optimistic about improving comparable restaurant sales at both brands in 2020.”

The 19 Taco Cabana restaurants contributed approximately $24.5 million in restaurant sales and an estimated $4.2 million in restaurant level pre-tax operating losses, including $2.0 million in depreciation expense, for the twelve months ended December 29, 2019.

The Company expects to recognize estimated non-cash long-lived asset impairment charges of approximately $7.0 million to $8.0 million and estimated lease right-of-use asset impairment charges of approximately $1.0 million to $3.0 million related to these 19 Taco Cabana restaurants in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Company also expects to recognize costs associated with de-imaging and removing equipment related to these restaurants in the first quarter of 2020, but it does not expect these additional closure related costs to be material.

About Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc.

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. is the parent company of the Pollo Tropical® and Taco Cabana® restaurant brands. The brands specialize in the operation of fast-casual restaurants that offer distinct and unique tropical and Mexican inspired flavors with broad appeal at a compelling value. For more information about Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., visit the corporate website at

View source version at Fiesta Restaurant Group

The ONE Group Announces Preliminary Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Sales Results

January, 13 2020

STK Same Store Sales for Fourth Quarter Increase 9% - Kona Grill Same Store Sales for Fourth Quarter Increase 4%

The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc. (Nasdaq: STKS) today announced preliminary sales for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2019. The Company also announced its participation at the 22nd Annual ICR Conference next week.

Preliminary sales highlights for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019 are as follows:

  1. Total GAAP revenues are expected to be approximately $52 million, an approximate increase of 102% from $25.8 million for the same quarter last year;

  2. Comparable sales* at owned and managed STK Restaurants rose 8.9% from the same quarter last year; and

  3. Sales for Kona Grill were $24.0 million for the quarter, stronger than initially expected for the period. Comparable sales at Kona Grill restaurants rose 3.9% from the same quarter last year.

Preliminary sales highlights for the full year ended December 31, 2019 are as follows:

  1. Total GAAP revenues are expected to be approximately $120.5 million, an approximate 41% increase from $85.6 million for 2018. On November 7, 2019, the Company had reiterated previous guidance of total GAAP revenues between $118 million and $120 million;

  2. Comparable sales* at owned and managed STK restaurants rose 8.3%, compared to 2018. On November 7, 2019 the Company had guided to domestic comparable store sales growth of about 6% to 8%; these results exceeded the high end of the comparable sales range guidance because of the strength of the holiday and events business; and

  3. U.S. STK brand restaurant sales rose approximately 15% to a record $115 million.

Comparable sales or same store sales (“SSS”) represents total U.S. food and beverage sales at owned and managed units opened for at least a full 18-month period. This metric includes total revenue from our owned and managed locations. Revenues from locations where we do not directly control the event sales force (The W Hotel Westwood, CA) are excluded from this metric.

Emanuel “Manny” Hilario, President and CEO of The ONE Group, stated, “We are thrilled to have finished 2019 from a position of strength as we lapped an incredibly robust 15% comparison and still delivered same store sales growth of 8.9%, or nearly 24% on a two-year stacked basis, with all STK comp venues generating positive results. This performance is substantially better than the high end of the implied guided range for the period. We attribute our success to the great VIBE dining experiences we offer for events and group dining which have made our restaurants the holiday destination for so many while also enabling us to expand our share within the upscale segment.”

View full version at The ONE Group

Kura Sushi USA Announces Fiscal First Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Reiterates Full Year Guidance

January 08, 2020 16:05 ET

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kura Sushi USA, Inc. (“Kura Sushi” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: KRUS), a fast-growing technology-enabled Japanese restaurant concept, today reported fiscal first quarter financial results for the period ended November 30, 2019.

Fiscal First Quarter 2020 Highlights

  1. Total sales increased 30% to $17.4 million, compared to the first quarter of 2019;

  2. Comparable restaurant sales growth increased 7.9%;

  3. Operating loss was $1.4 million, compared to a loss of $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2019;

  4. Net loss was $1.2 million, or ($0.15) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $0.4 million, or ($0.08) per diluted share in the first quarter of 2019;

  5. Restaurant-level contribution* was $3.0 million, compared to $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2019; and

  6. Adjusted EBITDA* was ($0.1) million, compared to $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2019.

* Restaurant-level contribution and Adjusted EBITDA are non-GAAP measures and 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, “Our first quarter loss was generally in line with our expectations, and we continue to expect our profits to be generated during the second half of the fiscal year, in line with historical cadence.  Results in the first quarter included strong comparable restaurant sales growth, as guests continue to respond positively to our premium ingredients, affordable price points, and most importantly, the distinctive ‘Kura Experience’.  We remain excited about the balance of fiscal 2020 and have a number of drivers in place that we believe can sustain our momentum.  Furthermore, we have a strong development pipeline that will enable us to bring our unique brand to a growing number of guests throughout the country.”

Review of First Quarter 2020 Financial Results

Total sales increased 30% to $17.4 million compared to $13.4 million in the first quarter of 2019. Comparable restaurant sales increased 7.9% for first quarter of 2020, resulting in a 12.3% increase on a two-year basis. This increase was driven by increases in both average check and traffic.

Operating loss was $1.4 million compared to an operating loss of $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2019.

Net loss was $1.2 million, or ($0.15) per diluted share, compared to net loss of $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, or ($0.08) per diluted share.

Restaurant-level contribution* was $3.0 million compared to $2.5 million in the first quarter of 2019. As a percentage of restaurant sales, restaurant-level contribution margin decreased 120 basis points year-over-year to 17.5%. The decrease was primarily due to increases in occupancy and related expenses, and labor and related costs.

Adjusted EBITDA* decreased to ($0.1) million compared to $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2019.

View source version at Kura Sushi USA

Yum! Brands to Acquire The Habit Restaurants, Inc.

Transaction to Add Award-Winning, Fast-Casual Restaurant Concept with Significant Global Growth Potential to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Parent Company

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) and The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:HABT) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Yum! Brands to acquire The Habit Restaurants, which operates the award-winning fast-casual concept The Habit Burger Grill, featuring a flavor-forward variety of made-to-order items uniquely chargrilled over an open flame.

January 06, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

LOUISVILLE, Ky. & IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) and The Habit Restaurants, Inc. (NASDAQ:HABT) (“The Habit Burger Grill”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Yum! Brands will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of The Habit Burger Grill for $14 per share in cash or a total of approximately $375 million. The board of directors of The Habit Burger Grill, acting on the recommendation of a special committee composed of non-executive independent directors, has unanimously approved the transaction.

The acquisition of The Habit Burger Grill will add an award-winning fast-casual concept with a loyal fan-base to Yum! Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company in terms of units and parent of the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell global brands. Founded in California in 1969, The Habit Burger Grill offers a flavor-forward variety of made-to-order items uniquely chargrilled over an open flame. Fan favorites include charburgers, hand-filleted and marinated chargrilled chicken sandwiches, sushi-grade chargrilled ahi tuna sandwiches, fresh salads, craveable sides and handmade frozen treats. The Habit Burger Grill, named Best Regional Fast Food in USA Today’s 2019 Best Readers’ Choice Awards, operates nearly 300 company-owned and franchised restaurants across the U.S. and in China.

David Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of Yum! Brands, said, “We’ve emerged from our three-year transformation stronger and in a better position to accelerate the growth of our existing brands and leverage our scale to unlock value from strategic acquisitions.”

Gibbs continued, “As a fast-casual concept with strong unit economics, The Habit Burger Grill is a fantastic addition to the Yum! family and has significant untapped growth potential in the U.S. and internationally. With its delicious burgers and fresh proteins chargrilled over an open flame, The Habit Burger Grill offers consumers a diverse, California-style menu with premium ingredients at a QSR-like value. The transaction is a win-win because it allows us to offer an exciting new investment to our franchisees and to expand an award-winning, trend-forward brand through the power of Yum!’s unmatched scale and strengths in franchising, purchasing and brand-building.”

Yum! Brands estimates minimal impact to non-GAAP earnings per share before special items in 2020, with accretion beginning in 2021 and increasing thereafter.

Russell Bendel, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Habit Burger Grill, said, “Over the past few years, we’ve focused on becoming a total access brand by growing our delivery business, expanding our online ordering and mobile channels and enhancing the in-store experience by introducing drive-thrus, kiosks and technology-centric solutions for operations. We’re proud these and other actions have made The Habit Burger Grill an attractive candidate for a transaction of this kind. On behalf of The Habit Burger Grill Board of Directors, this transaction represents an exciting new chapter to strengthen and significantly grow The Habit Burger Grill by leveraging Yum! Brands’ global scale, resources and franchising capabilities. We’re confident the agreement delivers immediate value to The Habit Burger Grill shareholders and will greatly benefit our beloved brand, team members, franchisees and loyal guests for many years to come.”

The Habit Burger Grill Highlights

Customer experience of quality, hospitality, convenience and QSR-like value. The Habit Burger Grill is focused on delivering a unique customer experience, served up by talented team members and underpinned by outstanding operations capabilities. The brand pairs the premium quality and hospitality consumers associate with full-service and fast-casual chains with the strengths in value, convenience and digital access of quick-service restaurants.

Diverse, grill-focused and California-style menu. It offers customers a diverse menu featuring a distinctive chargrilled preparation technique to deliver an appealing variety of burgers, chicken, tuna and steak featured in its sandwiches and salads, which are made-to-order using fresh ingredients.

Modern asset strategy to drive traffic. The Habit Burger Grill believes its investment in contemporary restaurant design – featuring open kitchens, outdoor patios and interiors enhanced with natural light, polished stone and hardwood accents – has contributed to its balanced day part mix of approximately 50 percent lunch and 50 percent dinner.

Expanding digital and delivery capabilities. Over the past couple of years, The Habit Burger Grill has been enhancing the customer experience through delivery partnerships and by introducing online ordering, a mobile app, restaurant kiosks, drive-thrus and technology-centric solutions to deliver excellent store operations.

Strong unit economics and growth. From fiscal year 2009 to 2018, The Habit Burger Grill grew its company-operated restaurant average unit volumes (AUVs) by 49.9%, from approximately $1.2 million to $1.9 million, respectively. In the same time period, The Habit Burger Grill grew its total units at a 28.4% compound annual growth rate.

Transaction Details

Yum! Brands intends to fund the transaction using cash on hand and available borrowing capacity under its credit facilities.

The transaction is subject to approval by The Habit Burger Grill’s stockholders, regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2020.

Following the closing of the transaction, The Habit Burger Grill will remain based in Irvine, Calif., and will continue to be managed by The Habit Burger Grill’s President and CEO Russell Bendel and Chief Financial Officer Ira Fils. Mr. Bendel will report directly to David Gibbs.

BofA Securities, Inc. acted as financial advisor and Mayer Brown LLP acted as legal advisor to Yum! Brands. Piper Sandler Companies (formerly Piper Jaffray Companies) acted as financial advisor and Ropes & Gray LLP acted as legal advisor to The Habit Burger Grill.

About The Habit Burger Grill The Habit Burger Grill is a burger-centric, fast-casual restaurant concept that specializes in preparing fresh, made-to-order chargrilled burgers and sandwiches featuring USDA choice tri-tip steak, grilled chicken and sushi-grade tuna cooked over an open flame. In addition, it features fresh made-to-order salads and an appealing selection of sides, shakes and malts. The Habit Burger Grill was recently named Best Regional Fast Food in USA Today’s 2019 Best Readers’ Choice Awards. The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969. The Habit has since grown to over 270 restaurants, including locations in 13 states throughout California, Arizona, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Nevada, Washington, Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as seven international locations. More information is available at

About Yum! Brands Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 49,000 restaurants in more than 145 countries and territories primarily operating the company’s restaurant brands – KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell – global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Worldwide, the Yum! Brands system opens over eight new restaurants per day on average, making it a leader in global retail development. In 2018, Yum! Brands was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index and ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. In 2019, Yum! Brands was named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the second consecutive year.

View source version at Yum! Brands

Darden Restaurants Reports Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter Results; Declares Regular Quarterly Dividend; And Reaffirms Financial Outlook For The Full Fiscal Year

Dec 19, 2019, 07:00 ET

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE:DRI) today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended November 24, 2019.

Second Quarter 2020 Financial Highlights, Comparisons Versus Same Fiscal Quarter Last Year

  1. Total sales increased 4.2% to $2.06 billion driven by the addition of 37 net new restaurants and a blended same-restaurant sales increase of 2.0%

  2. Same-restaurant sales by brand:

+1.5% for Olive Garden

-1.2% for Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen

+6.7% for LongHorn Steakhouse

+0.7% for Yard House

+1.8% for The Capital Grille

-3.5% for Seasons 52

+0.5% for Eddie V's

-3.4% for Bahama Breeze

  1. Reported diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations decreased 77.2% to $0.21 compared to last year's reported diluted net earnings per share

  2. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations increased 21.7% to $1.12 compared to last year's reported diluted net earnings per share, after excluding $0.91 of adjustments primarily related to the termination of our defined benefit pension plan*

  3. The Company repurchased approximately $136 million of its outstanding common stock

* See "Non-GAAP Information" below for more details

"We had a good quarter with continued same-restaurant sales growth outpacing the casual dining industry benchmarks, especially at LongHorn," said CEO Gene Lee. "We continue to see that consumers are willing to visit brands with compelling value and strong guest experiences."

Segment Performance Segment profit represents sales, less costs for food and beverage, restaurant labor, restaurant expenses and marketing expenses.  Beginning in fiscal 2020, our calculation of segment profit now excludes non-cash real estate related expenses.  Fiscal 2019 segment profit has been restated to conform to the current year presentation.

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Dividend Declared Darden's Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.88 per share on the Company's outstanding common stock. The dividend is payable on February 3, 2020 to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 10, 2020.

Share Repurchase Program During the quarter, the Company repurchased approximately 1.2 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of approximately $136 million.  Fiscal year-to-date, the Company repurchased approximately 2.0 million shares of its common stock for a total cost of approximately $231 million.  As of the end of the fiscal second quarter, the Company had approximately $390 million remaining under the current $500 million repurchase authorization.

Fiscal 2020 Financial Outlook The Company reaffirmed all aspects of its financial outlook for fiscal 2020:

  1. Total sales growth of 5.3% to 6.3%, including approximately 2% growth related to the 53rd week

  2. Same-restaurant sales growth of 1% to 2%

  3. Approximately 50 gross and 44 net new restaurant openings

  4. Total capital spending of $450 to $500 million

  5. Total inflation of approximately 2.5%

  6. Effective tax rate of 10% to 11%

  7. Adjusted diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations of $6.30 to $6.45 including*:

  8. Approximately $0.15 related to the addition of the 53rd week

  9. Approximately -$0.05 related to the implementation of ASC-842 Lease Accounting

  10. Approximately 124 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding

* See "Non-GAAP Information" below for more details

Investor Conference Call The Company will host a conference call and slide presentation on Thursday, December 19 at 8:30 am ET to review its recent financial performance. To listen to the call live, please go to at least fifteen minutes early to register, download, and install any necessary audio software. Prior to the call, a slide presentation will be posted on the Investor Relations section of our website at: For those who cannot access the Internet, please dial 1-833-470-0145 and enter passcode 2499409. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available shortly after the call.

View full version at Darden

Triton Pacific Affiliate Completes Acquisition of 117 Pizza Hut Restaurants in $80 Million Transaction

Dec 17, 2019, 10:00 ET

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Triton Pacific, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced today that one of its affiliated companies has completed the acquisition of 117 Pizza Hut restaurants along with select strategic real estate assets for an aggregate acquisition cost of approximately $80 million.

The acquisition includes 114 operating restaurants and three that are currently under development. The Pizza Hut restaurants are located throughout the states of Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

"This is a significant acquisition that expands and diversifies Triton Pacific's quick service restaurant holdings both geographically and by brand," said Triton Pacific Chief Executive Officer Craig Faggen. "We had previously entered the QSR space with a platform acquisition of 64 Burger King locations in 2018 and believe this Pizza Hut acquisition strategically complements our existing portfolio while providing the opportunity for continued expansion as we establish stronger ties with major brands throughout the industry."

The acquisition establishes a strategic relationship between Triton Pacific and Yum! Brands, the nation's leading QSR franchisor with business control of Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC, and builds upon their existing relationship with Restaurant Brands International, which controls the Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes brands.

Faggen added, "Quick service restaurants are among the nation's most popular retail destinations with an annual spend of more than $250 billion per year and can provide both strong cash flow and growth potential to sophisticated asset managers and their investors. This acquisition cements Triton Pacific's place as one of the leading private equity firms in the QSR industry and positions us for further expansion in the space."

About Triton Pacific Triton Pacific, founded in 2001, is a private equity firm which has sponsored more than 50 private equity partnerships totaling $1 billion in assets and offerings. Triton Pacific offers a unique investment approach to investors by providing access to income-producing tax advantaged private equity.

View source version at Triton Pacific Capital

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. Announces Chapter 11 Filing to Facilitate Structured Sale Process

Dec 17, 2019, 10:36 ET

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. (OTCPink: GCFB), a casual dining restaurant group, today announced that it has filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota.  Granite City intends to contemporaneously file a motion seeking approval of auction and sale procedures under Section 363(f) of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

After an intensive review of strategic alternatives, Granite City's Board of Directors determined that a reorganization of its businesses was needed.  The Board further determined that the restructuring could only be accomplished by filing for Chapter 11.  Concurrently, Granite City has announced a going concern sale to KRG Granite Acquisition LLC for aggregate consideration of $7.5 million plus certain liabilities.  The transaction remains subject to Bankruptcy Court approval and an auction process which is expected to conclude in February 2020.

Granite City has secured a $5 million debtor in possession loan, subject to Bankruptcy Court approval, to fund operations through the auction and sale process.  Granite City continues to operate its business as a "debtor in possession" subject to the supervision and orders of the Bankruptcy Court in accordance with the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.  Management expects to continue operations without interruption during the Chapter 11 case.

"The Granite City Board of Directors and management team have thoroughly assessed our strategic options and financial situation and unanimously agree that this structured sale process represents the best possible solution for the company," said Richard H. Lynch, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Granite City.  "We believe pursuing this path will provide value to our creditors, enable one or more future restauranteurs to operate our locations, and preserve hundreds of jobs," continued Mr. Lynch.

The proposed auction process, if approved by the Bankruptcy Court, would allow interested parties to submit binding offers at the auction to acquire substantially all of Granite City's assets, free and clear of Granite City's indebtedness and liabilities.

Additional information about this process and proposed asset sale, as well as other documents relating to the restructuring and reorganization proceedings, is available from Duff & Phelps Securities LLC by contacting Darren Gange at or Matthew Gates at  Bankruptcy Court filings and information about the claims process can be found at a separate website maintained by Granite City's noticing agent, Epiq Corporate Restructuring, LLC, at

Certain Granite City subsidiaries concurrently filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11.  The subsidiaries filing Chapter 11 cases include Granite City Restaurant Operations, Inc., Granite City of Indiana, Inc., Granite City of Kansas Ltd., and Granite City of Maryland, Inc.  Granite City has filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court seeking to administer all of the Chapter 11 cases jointly under the caption In re Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd., et al.

During the pendency of its Chapter 11 case, Granite City plans to discontinue its periodic filings with the OTC Market.  Granite City cautions that trading in its securities during the pendency of its Chapter 11 case is highly speculative and poses substantial risks.  Trading prices for the Company's securities may not bear any substantive relationship to the probable outcome for equity security holders in its Chapter 11 case.  No assurance can be given that, as a result of Granite City's Chapter 11 case, Granite City's equity securities, including common stock and options, will not be cancelled and extinguished without any monetary recovery to the holders thereof.

About Granite City

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. operates two casual dining concepts: Granite City Food & Brewery and Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill.  The Granite City concept features its award-winning signature line of hand-crafted beers finished on-site as well as local and regional craft beers from brewers in various markets. In addition, these casual dining restaurants offer a wide variety of menu items that are prepared fresh daily.  The extensive menu features contemporary American fare made in its scratch kitchens.  Granite City opened its first restaurant in 1999; there are currently 25 Granite City restaurants in 13 states.  Cadillac Ranch restaurants feature freshly prepared, authentic, All-American cuisine in a fun, dynamic environment.  Its patrons enjoy a warm, Rock N' Roll inspired atmosphere.  The Cadillac Ranch menu is diverse with offerings ranging from homemade meatloaf to pasta dishes, all freshly prepared using quality ingredients.  The Company currently operates 4 Cadillac Ranch restaurants in 4 states.  Additional information about Granite City Food & Brewery and Cadillac Ranch can be found at and

View source version at Granite City Food & Brewery

Good Times Restaurants Reports Results for the Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Year Ended September 24, 2019

December 12, 2019 04:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Good Times Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: GTIM), operator of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, a full-service premium burger bar concept, and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard, a regional quick-service restaurant chain focused on fresh, high-quality, all-natural products, today reported financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended September 24, 2019.

Key highlights of the Company’s financial results include:

  1. Total Revenues increased 7.0% to $28.8 million for the quarter and 11.2% to $110.8 million for the year

  2. Total Restaurant Sales for Bad Daddy’s restaurants increased 7.0% to $20.0 million for the quarter and increased 18.3% to $79.8 million for the year

  3. The Company opened two Bad Daddy’s restaurants during the fourth quarter, bringing the total new development for the year to four restaurants

  4. Total Restaurant Sales for Good Times restaurants increased $0.6 million for the quarter to $8.5 million and decreased $1.1 million to $30.0 million for the year

  5. Same Store Sales for company-owned Bad Daddy’s restaurants decreased 1.3% for the quarter and decreased 0.2% for the year

  6. Same Store Sales for company-owned Good Times restaurants increased 7.2% for the quarter and decreased 0.4% for the year

  7. Net Loss Attributable to Common Shareholders was $4.2 million for the quarter including $2.8 million of asset impairment costs, $0.8 million of pre-opening costs, and $0.8 million of accrued non-recurring severance costs in connection with the separation of the Company’s former CEO in October 2019

  8. For the year, Net Loss Attributable to Common Shareholders was $5.1 million

  9. Adjusted EBITDA* (a non-GAAP measure) for the quarter was $1.5 million and $5.4 million for the year

  10. The Company ended the quarter with $2.7 million in cash and $12.9 million drawn against its senior credit facility

Ryan M. Zink, the Company’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, said, “Fiscal 2019 saw significant erosion in margins, primarily due to higher wage costs and significant opt-in by our customers to our third-party delivery option, as well as the de-leveraging impact of lower unit volumes at some of our class of 2018 and the first of our class of 2019 restaurants. Our focus during fiscal 2020 has shifted from unit growth to stabilization of margins and earnings growth through improving unit-level performance at our existing restaurants. We have opened four restaurants during the past three months, all of which are performing at or above our sales target for new restaurants. Our guidance for fiscal 2020 calls for Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $6.0 to $6.2 million, reflecting the expectation that we will stabilize EBITDA margins on a year-over-year basis with a view that such margins will be expansionary in future years, coupled with new restaurant development resuming in fiscal 2021.”

Fiscal 2020 Outlook:

Additionally, the Company provided guidance for fiscal 2020:

  1. Total revenues of approximately $120 to $123 million

  2. Total revenue estimates assume generally flat same store sales for the year for Bad Daddy’s and same store sales increases of approximately 3.5% for Good Times

  3. General and administrative expenses of approximately $8.5 to $8.7 million including approximately $400,000 to $450,000 of non-cash equity compensation expense

  4. No additional restaurant openings during fiscal 2020

  5. Net loss of approximately $0.5 to $0.7 million, including approximately $0.9 million of pre-opening costs

  6. Total Adjusted EBITDA* between $6.0 and $6.2 million

  7. Capital expenditures (net of tenant improvement allowances) of approximately $1.7 million including approximately $0.6 million related to the two stores opened in October and December 2019.

  8. Fiscal year-end long-term debt of approximately $10.7 to $11.2 million

*For a reconciliation of restaurant level operating profit and Adjusted EBITDA to the most directly comparable financial measures presented in accordance with GAAP and a discussion of why the Company considers them useful, see the financial information schedules accompanying this release.

View full version at Good Times Restaurant Group

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