Restaurant Finance Across America
No Relief On Beef Anytime Soon
Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013 at 4:25pm (CDT)
Restaurants should enjoy easing prices on food next year as the weather improves and the corn crop is healthy and prices come down—unless your restaurant happens to serve a lot of steak or hamburgers or roast beef or shortribs. Then you’re pretty much out of luck for another two to three years. ...continue reading.
Groupon Courts The Restaurant Industry
Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013 at 2:42pm (CDT)
Groupon likes restaurants, but the feeling hasn't always been mutual. In the nearly five years since the Chicago-based company started its first deal, restaurants have been divided about the daily deal industry. Some love it. Some hate it. Many ignore it. But now the company is working hard to tip the scales. ...continue reading.
Wall Street To Get A Taste Of Noodles
Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013 at 9:33am (CDT)
Noodles & Company, the Broomfield, Colorado chain of pasta-centric restaurants, is planning a $75 million initial public offering. The 18-year-old company filed its registration statement with the SEC this morning, giving public restaurant investors another option in the high-growth fast-casual sector. ...continue reading.
Should Arby's Put King's Hawaiian On Regular Menu?
Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013 at 9:57am (CDT)
When Arby's was planning its limited time roast beef sandwich on a Kings Hawaiian bun, the company's distributors thought it would distribute 7,000 cases a week. It has distributed 30,000. So it has to be tempting for the Atlanta-based QSR to promote the sandwich to its regular menu, right? Perhaps, but that doesn't mean it'll give in. ...continue reading.
Frozen Yogurt Starts Getting Some Competition
Posted: Tue, May 21, 2013 at 9:53am (CDT)
Frozen yogurt is here to stay. Let's face it: those pastel colors and swirly logos are going to be part of our retail and franchise lives forever. There will be no 90s-style industry collapse like last time. People are just too into yogurt, and thus the lines at Pinkberry and its ilk are too long. But that doesn't mean the industry shouldn't worry. ...continue reading.
Bubble Restaurants Struggle With Obamacare
Posted: Sun, May 19, 2013 at 4:29pm (CDT)
There may be a lot of uncertainty over how much it's going to cost, but there's no doubt that the Affordable Care Act--which goes into effect in a mere seven months--will have a significant impact on restaurants' labor force strategies. But no businesses are in as difficult a state as those on the bubble. ...continue reading.
McDonald's And The Benefits Of Simplicity
Posted: Fri, May 17, 2013 at 1:43pm (CDT)
The malaise that ultimately killed McDonald’s Angus Burger line is apparently infecting other items at the burger chain, at least according to Bloomberg. The company is considering the removal of more, poor-selling menu items. Which makes me wonder whether the broad menu that helped improve the chain’s sales could be hurting it. ...continue reading.
Jack In The Box And Qdoba Have A Role Reversal
Posted: Thu, May 16, 2013 at 3:13pm (CDT)
Two years ago, San Diego-based burger chain Jack in the Box struggled to compare to its fast-casual subsidiary, Qdoba. In its 2010 fiscal year, Jack’s same-store sales declined 8.6 percent while Qdoba’s sales grew and there was talk about “reinvigorating” Jack in the Box. There’s been a stunning role reversal since then. ...continue reading.
Activists Have Been Good For Famous Dave's
Posted: Wed, May 15, 2013 at 2:47pm (CDT)
Since March, stock in Minneapolis-based barbecue chain Famous Dave’s is up more than 22 percent. This isn’t entirely unusual—most restaurant stocks are up, after all. But this is coming in spite of weak financials, including declining sales, especially for franchisees, and profits. And now we know why. ...continue reading.
Why No Restaurant IPOs This Year?
Posted: Mon, May 13, 2013 at 2:07pm (CDT)
By all accounts, this should be a perfect time for a privately owned restaurant to jump into the IPO market. The market has rallied all year, and the vast majority of publicly held restaurant companies are up big so far in 2013. And still we have yet to see the first restaurant industry IPO. Why not? ...continue reading.
Pizza Inn Stock Takes A Big Tumble
Posted: Thu, May 09, 2013 at 2:35pm (CDT)
Pizza Inn shareholders must have a nasty case of whiplash. The Texas-based pizza buffet chain’s stock is getting hammered today, down more than 30 percent, after the company reported a steep decline in same-store sales, unit counts and earnings, continuing the stock’s 27-month roller coaster ride. ...continue reading.
Cosi Tries A Reverse Stock Split
Posted: Wed, May 08, 2013 at 4:58pm (CDT)
Well, I guess that’s one way to keep the Nasdaq Stock Price Police off your back. Cosi, the Deerfield, Illinois-based bakery/café chain, today said it is planning a 1-for-4 reverse stock split, effective tomorrow, as the chain’s stock has languished at 70 cents for months has kept it under the threat of a delisting. ...continue reading.
An Applebee's Franchisee Files For Bankruptcy
Posted: Wed, May 08, 2013 at 2:31pm (CDT)
The recession’s impact is still working its way through the restaurant industry. Case in point: AppleIllinois, a 33-unit franchisee based in Crestview Hills, Kentucky that suffered steep sales declines during the recession, began losing money to the point it fell behind on payroll and is now up for auction. ...continue reading.
Soft Leverage Ratios Make A Comeback
Posted: Wed, May 08, 2013 at 12:55pm (CDT)
The lending markets really have returned. Want some evidence? Just look at some of the terms in the amended credit agreement at LRI Holdings, the owner of the Logan’s Roadhouse steak chain. The amendments gave LRI a pair of covenants that are decidedly borrower friendly. ...continue reading.
Prices Are Going Up For Restuarant Properties
Posted: Tue, May 07, 2013 at 12:57pm (CDT)
This might be a good time to do a sale-leaseback. Thanks to a dearth of supply, combined with improving economics, cap rates for restaurants have come down nearly 20 percent—more than a full percentage point—bringing those rates down to levels not seen since before the recession. ...continue reading.
Chuck E. Cheese Stock Joins The Party
Posted: Mon, May 06, 2013 at 2:35pm (CDT)
Restaurant stocks have had a strong 2013 so far, with a few key exceptions like Irving, Texas-based CEC Entertainment, better known as Chuck E. Cheese. The pizza-and-games chain’s stock has fallen slightly this year, continuing two years of underperformance. That all changed late last week. ...continue reading.
Famous Dave's Shareholders Endorse The Activist
Posted: Thu, May 02, 2013 at 4:21pm (CDT)
Shareholders really wanted some new blood on the Famous Dave’s board. Patrick Walsh, the 37-year-old activist investor who has targeted mid-sized restaurants, was elected to the Minneapolis barbecue chain’s board in a landslide, receiving by far the most votes of any other nominee to the company board. ...continue reading.
First Bennigan's, Next Steak And Ale?
Posted: Wed, May 01, 2013 at 4:29pm (CDT)
Paul Mangiamele is leading one of the most unlikely comebacks in the restaurant industry, helping lead the Bennigan’s system back to growth less than five years after the half the chain’s restaurants were padlocked and many of the rest were going out of business. But now he’s looking toward a comeback that’s even less likely: Steak and Ale. ...continue reading.
Does Tim Horton's Stock Need A Push?
Posted: Wed, May 01, 2013 at 1:41pm (CDT)
Tim Horton’s has an agitator. According to Reuters, the Boston-based hedge fund Highfields Capital Management has raised its stake in the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain to 4 percent and is pushing the company to use a debt-funded stock buyback to improve returns. But does Tims really need a kickstart like that? ...continue reading.
Buffalo Wild Wings Burdened By Big Chickens
Posted: Tue, April 30, 2013 at 10:41am (CDT)
In the first quarter, Buffalo Wild Wings paid a record $2.10 a pound for chicken wings. So far in the second quarter, that price is down to $1.75. By June, the company expects wing prices to fall to $1.50 a pound. And yet the company’s stock is down and it got an analyst downgrade. The reason? Big chickens. ...continue reading.