Restaurant Finance Across America
Archived postings from February, 2013...
Thanks To Cracker Barrel, Biglari Gets A Nice Bonus
Posted: Thu, February 28, 2013 at 3:14pm (CST)
As we’ve said more than once, Cracker Barrel’s run-up in stock recently has been good for its largest shareholder, Biglari Holdings. But, apparently, it’s also been quite good for Biglari Holdings’ biggest shareholder, chairman and its namesake, Sardar Biglari. ...continue reading.
Del Frisco's Owner Selling Some Stock
Posted: Thu, February 28, 2013 at 2:38pm (CST)
Some solid financials and a couple of good concepts weren’t enough to keep Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group from struggling out of the gate when it went public last summer. But since then, those financials have taken over, the stock is up, and now its controlling shareholder is selling off a chunk of shares. ...continue reading.
Higher Taxes Are Hurting Subway, Too
Posted: Wed, February 27, 2013 at 1:59pm (CST)
Is the payroll tax hurting Subway, too? Perhaps. Fred DeLuca, founder of the sandwich giant, said during an interview on CNBC this morning that the end of the payroll tax holiday is having a roughly 2-percent impact on his chain’s same-store sales. But he said a bunch of other stuff, too. ...continue reading.
The Payroll Tax Is Hurting Casual Dining
Posted: Wed, February 27, 2013 at 11:45am (CST)
Yup, the end of the payroll tax break is hurting casual dining chains. DineEquity, the Glendale, California-based owner of Applebee’s and IHOP today said that the tax hike is hurting consumer spending, joining a chorus of dine-in concepts that are feeling the heat as consumers suddenly find less in their paychecks. ...continue reading.
Cracker Barrel Flourishes, And Biglari Profits
Posted: Tue, February 26, 2013 at 11:00am (CST)
Sardar Biglari is making a lot of money today. Cracker Barrel, in which Biglari Holdings owns 20 percent of the stock, is having a spectacular day on Wall Street after it released a quarterly report showing steady traffic and increased sales and an improved outlook for 2013. ...continue reading.
Fidelity Spins Off J. Alexander's, Sort Of
Posted: Mon, February 25, 2013 at 4:03pm (CST)
J. Alexander’s has been part of American Blue Ribbon Holdings for a few months and already it’s being spun off. Fidelity, American’s owner, said today that it is forming a company in Nashville focused exclusively on the upscale segment, with J. Alexander’s and the 10-unit Stoney River Legendary Steaks concept. ...continue reading.
Ark Rejects The Landry's Offer
Posted: Fri, February 22, 2013 at 9:42am (CST)
Your move, Mr. Fertitta. Ark Restaurants this morning turned down a buyout offer from Landry’s Chairman Tilman Fertitta, calling the $22-per-share offer from Houston’s serial restaurant acquirer “inadequate, not compelling and not in the best interests of Ark Restaurants shareholders.” ...continue reading.
Do Wing Execs Fear McDonald's Mighty Wings?
Posted: Thu, February 21, 2013 at 11:08am (CST)
There are rumors that McDonald’s will come out with a national chicken wing offer this summer. The idea that the world’s biggest restaurant chain will suddenly start competing for that growing market while taking a huge bunch of chicken wings off the market has to scare chains like Wingstop, right? ...continue reading.
Red Robin Stands Out In A Weak Field
Posted: Wed, February 20, 2013 at 2:12pm (CST)
We found ourselves a bit amazed at the performance of Red Robin’s stock yesterday. The company reported 1.4-percent same-store sales growth, predicted better growth this year, and beat estimates on revenue and earnings. And its stock exploded to the tune of 20 percent. ...continue reading.
Why Biglari Is Waiting On Cracker Barrel
Posted: Mon, February 18, 2013 at 4:47pm (CST)
In his letter to Cracker Barrel last week, San Antonio investor Sardar Biglari denied that he had any exit strategy in mind for his investment in the Tennessee-based chain. And we sort-of believe him. After all, we still think his ultimate goal is a merger of that chain with his own company, Biglari Holdings. But there’s a backup plan. ...continue reading.
How Much Is Ark Restaurants Worth?
Posted: Mon, February 18, 2013 at 2:17pm (CST)
Last week, Landry’s Chairman Tilman Fertitta griped that the board at Ark Restaurants hasn’t been quick enough to respond to his offer to buy the company, and Ark responded by saying, in so many words, “Hold your horses.” Which gives us time to decide whether Fertitta is offering a fair price. ...continue reading.
Biglari To Cracker Barrel: I'm Not Going Anywhere
Posted: Fri, February 15, 2013 at 9:29am (CST)
UPDATED: We’ve been speculating for weeks now about what Sardar Biglari would do with his investment in Cracker Barrel after losing his second straight proxy fight against the company. We now know what one of the options won’t be: the company buying out his nearly 20-percent share of Cracker Barrel stock. ...continue reading.
Remodelings May Weaken Market for Some Franchisees
Posted: Thu, February 14, 2013 at 4:54pm (CST)
Few things can upend a franchise acquisition much like a remodel project. If a franchisee has a remodeling coming due on any of its locations but wants to sell, the negotiations over who pays for the project can upend a sale process. But remodels may also be keeping some buyers from the market altogether. ...continue reading.
Stir Crazy, Flat Top Grill Go Bankrupt
Posted: Wed, February 13, 2013 at 4:36pm (CST)
This is the story of the owner of a pair of small, Midwestern Asian chains that once had high hopes of getting bigger, only to realize that its bigger size didn’t yield success. The company is Flat Out Crazy, which recently went bankrupt amid heavy losses and substantial debt and at least one broken promise. ...continue reading.
Quiznos Faces Some New Lawsuits
Posted: Wed, February 13, 2013 at 2:02pm (CST)
When Quiznos settled a number of lawsuits in 2010, agreeing to pay $200 million, the company surely hoped it was a signal that its days of being a legal pincushion were coming to an end. Not so. The Denver-based franchisor is facing a new crop of litigation that, once again, centers on what it charges franchisees for food. ...continue reading.
Cracker Barrel Saves Biglari's Quarter
Posted: Mon, February 11, 2013 at 11:51am (CST)
Cracker Barrel’s 2012 fiscal year was a good one. The Lebanon, Tennessee-based family dining chain improves sales and profits during the 12 months that ended in September, and so the company doubled its dividend to 50 cents a share. This was really good for its largest shareholder, Biglari Holdings. ...continue reading.
Investors Shrugging Off Ignite's Mac Grill Purchase
Posted: Fri, February 08, 2013 at 2:42pm (CST)
There’s little doubt that Ignite Restaurant Group got Macaroni Grill on the cheap. The Texas-based owner of Joe’s Crab Shack overnight became a nearly $1 billion company, adding $385 million in revenue for about 14 cents on the dollar after the $55 million purchase. And yet its stock has stumbled. ...continue reading.
What Problems? Restaurants Still Adding Jobs
Posted: Thu, February 07, 2013 at 11:58am (CST)
We’ve heard a substantial amount of consternation in connection with the restaurant industry in recent months, largely because of cost concerns. Obamacare will hammer labor costs. Commodity costs will make matters worse. And yet, the industry’s job growth last year hit a 17-year high. ...continue reading.
Landry's Wants To Buy Ark Restaurants
Posted: Thu, February 07, 2013 at 9:39am (CST)
With the mergers and acquisition market flourishing, we were wondering when we’d ultimately hear from Tilman Fertitta. We’re no longer wondering. Yesterday, the chairman of Landry’s Restaurants sent a letter to the chairman of New York-based Ark Restaurants, offering to buy the company for $22 per share. ...continue reading.
Joe's Crab Shack Owner Buys Macaroni Grill
Posted: Wed, February 06, 2013 at 5:13pm (CST)
Ignite Restaurant Group executives during their IPO road show last year indicated that they were built to add additional brands. On Wednesday, the Houston-based company did exactly that, buying the 210-unit Macaroni Grill from Golden Gate Capital for a mere $55 million. ...continue reading.
Biglari Wants Some Playing-Around Money
Posted: Tue, February 05, 2013 at 3:52pm (CST)
Biglari Holdings wants to make some more investments. The San Antonio-based owner of Steak N Shake, among other things, said today that it plans to raise $50 million through a rights offering. The company said the funds would be used for investment, acquisitions or “general corporate purposes.” ...continue reading.
Antibiotics Give Yum A Headache
Posted: Tue, February 05, 2013 at 10:46am (CST)
Nothing keeps customers away from a restaurant like fear over what is happening with its food, a lesson Yum Brands is learning the hard way right now amid a steep sales decline at its KFC China operations over concerns that poultry farmers have been a little loose with their use of antibiotics. ...continue reading.
Johnny Rockets Is Up For Sale
Posted: Mon, February 04, 2013 at 4:33pm (CST)
Red Zone Capital is looking to get out of the burger business. The private equity group, started by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, is exploring a possible sale of Johnny Rockets, the 50s-themed burger chain it has owned for nearly six years. ...continue reading.
Cracker Barrel Hit With A Cheesy Lawsuit
Posted: Fri, February 01, 2013 at 3:11pm (CST)
Somehow, Cracker Barrel, the highwayside chain of family dining restaurants-slash-rocking chair retailers, has managed to coexist in the same universe with Cracker Barrel, the brand of cheese one can find in a grocery store. No more. Cracker Barrel, the cheese, is suing Cracker Barrel, the restaurant, over the Cracker Barrel trademark. ...continue reading.