Restaurant Finance Across America
Archived postings from December, 2012...
Plenty Of Interest In The Tully's Chain
Posted: Mon, December 31, 2012 at 10:23am (CST)
On Thursday, a federal bankruptcy court will auction off what’s left of the Tully’s Coffee chain, and it could be a late night. Six bidders will be vying for the venerable concept—not bad for a chain that has never made an operating profit and which sold off some of its best assets to stay afloat. ...continue reading.
Activist Investor Urges DineEquity To Pay A Dividend
Posted: Fri, December 21, 2012 at 12:23pm (CST)
DineEquity is like a tobacco company, only better because it doesn’t have that whole threat of diminished business and lawsuits hanging over its head. So says Marcato Capital Management, a two-year-old fund that owns 5.5 percent of the IHOP and Applebee’s owner and is agitating the company to start paying a dividend. ...continue reading.
Could Caribou Get A Higher Offer?
Posted: Wed, December 19, 2012 at 4:18pm (CST)
We can’t remember the first thing that came into our minds when we heard that Caribou Coffee was sold to a German conglomerate two days ago, but we can tell you what we didn’t think: that the Minneapolis-based chain was undervalued. Yet at least one big investor thinks it is: Mario Gabelli. ...continue reading.
Bankrupt UFood Grill Had A Cost Problem
Posted: Tue, December 18, 2012 at 2:55pm (CST)
When Boston-based UFood Grill filed for federal bankruptcy protection late last week, it largely blamed the economic downturn and the company’s slow recovery, which kept it from growing to the extent that it needed to maintain profitability. But we have another suggestion: it had a cost problem. ...continue reading.
Caribou Gets A Premium Multiple
Posted: Mon, December 17, 2012 at 10:27am (CST)
In late December 2008, a share of Caribou’s stock cost less than a small cup of the company’s coffee—$1.11 a share. Suffice it to say, the lucky few who bought shares at that price are a pretty happy bunch today, now that the company is being sold to a German conglomerate for $16 a share. ...continue reading.
Biglari Buys More Cracker Barrel Stock
Posted: Fri, December 14, 2012 at 9:20am (CST)
When Sardar Biglari lost his second straight proxy fight against Cracker Barrel last month, many observers, including us, thought he’d carefully look for a way out of his massive investment in the Nashville-based family chain. That, apparently, isn’t happening just yet. ...continue reading.
Another Chain Says Obamacare Won't Be All That Bad
Posted: Thu, December 13, 2012 at 2:14pm (CST)
Andrew Puzder, the outspoken CEO for CKE Restaurants, didn’t exactly have kind words for Obamacare on the last day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference last month—effectively blaming it for his company’s failed IPO. So we were a bit surprised today to see that he now says the federal health mandate won’t be all that bad. ...continue reading.
California's Improving Economy Good For Restaurants
Posted: Wed, December 12, 2012 at 4:38pm (CST)
How important is California to the restaurant industry? According to the National Restaurant Association, about $1 out of $10 restaurant dollars next year will be spent there, or $67.3 billion. Suffice it to say, numerous states suffered when the state’s economy fell into a depression. Now, at least, there’s some slow improvement. ...continue reading.
Sterling Investment Partners Buys Big Pizza Hut Franchisee
Posted: Tue, December 11, 2012 at 10:45am (CST)
Another day, another big, private equity-owned franchisee changed hands. The latest acquisition in what continues to be a busy year for franchisee M&A is Los Angeles-based Southern California Pizza, the 224-unit Pizza Hut operator that's been sold by the New York-based Sentinel Capital Partners to Connecticut-based Sterling Investment Partners. ...continue reading.
How Much Is Mimi's Café Worth?
Posted: Mon, December 10, 2012 at 11:50am (CST)
Late last month, Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans admitted something most of us have known for months: that it is indeed marketing its struggling Mimi’s Café chain. Since then, there’s been considerable speculation about how much the chain would fetch in a sale. The answer: not much. ...continue reading.
Tully's Gets Another Offer
Posted: Fri, December 07, 2012 at 3:43pm (CST)
Various groups are interested in Tully’s, including the chain’s founder, Tom O’Keefe, a private equity group named Kachi Partners and some big coffee chains poking around the company’s leases. But they could get competition from an unlikely source: the 11-unit Seattle chain Barista’s Coffee Company. ...continue reading.
Darden Ends Its Health Care Test
Posted: Thu, December 06, 2012 at 10:03am (CST)
So much publicity surrounded Darden Restaurants’ four-market test of a plan to cut worker hours to see if it could save the company money when new health insurance rules go into effect in 2014 that it was called “The Darden Plan” at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference last month. Now there’s no such thing. ...continue reading.
Here's One Reason Fast-Casuals Succeed
Posted: Wed, December 05, 2012 at 5:02pm (CST)
Want to know why fast-casual concepts succeed? Look at the bottom. On a conference call earlier this week with Goldman Sachs analyst Michael Kelter, Smashburger CEO Dave Prokupek noted that even his chain’s weakest performing concepts report EBITDA in the double digits. ...continue reading.
Obamacare Comments May Be Hurting Darden
Posted: Tue, December 04, 2012 at 3:50pm (CST)
Could Darden’s stance on health care reform hurt the company’s sales? It might. Clarence Otis, CEO of the Orlando-based casual dining operator, said in a release this morning that the company may be losing sales because of “negative media coverage” aimed at how it may deal with health care reform. ...continue reading.
Tully's Founder May Try To Get His Chain Back
Posted: Tue, December 04, 2012 at 11:22am (CST)
Tom O’Keefe might try to take his company back. The founder and former CEO of Tully’s Coffee said this week that he is considering a bid to buy the chain out of bankruptcy, one week after the Seattle-based coffee chain reached a deal with a stalking horse bidder for just $4.3 million. ...continue reading.