Ignite Restaurant Group Looks to Reverse Declining Sales
Ignite Restaurant Group reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 2.
- Highlights for the fourth quarter of 2015 were as follows:
- Total revenues were $93.3 million, compared to $97.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.
- Comparable restaurant sales decreased 2.8 percent at Brick House Tavern + Tap and decreased 2.9 percent at Joe’s Crab Shack.
Highlights for the fiscal year of 2015 were as follows:
- Total revenues were $492 million, compared to $503.5 million in 2014.
- Comparable restaurant sales increased 1 percent at Brick House Tavern + Tap and decreased 4.5 percent at Joe’s Crab Shack.
Robert S. Merritt, chief executive officer of Ignite Restaurant Group, says, “We continued to experience declining sales at Joe’s during the fourth quarter and we also began to see sales declines at Brick House later in the year. In order to reverse the negative sales trends, we have narrowed the focus of the operations team to three core areas that we believe provide the best opportunity to increase sales and operating margins in both brands—execution, people, and food. We believe that these core areas are critical to making sure that we are providing a more consistent dining experience for our guests including high quality food and excellent service on every visit. We also initiated several new weekday value programs at Joe’s, including All-You-Can-Eat crab on Wednesdays, which have contributed to increases in comparable sales and guest traffic in sequential periods at Joe’s since being rolled out system-wide in mid-November.”
Review of Fourth Quarter 2015 Operating Results
- Total revenues were $93.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, a decrease of 4.7 percent compared to $97.9 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
- Revenues at Joe’s Crab Shack were $74.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2015 versus $80 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Comparable restaurant sales at Joe’s Crab Shack decreased 2.9 percent.
- Revenues at Brick House Tavern + Tap were $19.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to $17.9 million in the prior year fourth quarter. Comparable restaurant sales at Brick House Tavern + Tap decreased 2.8 percent.
During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company closed one Joe's restaurant, which will be converted to a Brick House, and opened one Joe's franchise restaurant in Dubai. For the year, the company opened two Brick House restaurants and closed nine Joe's restaurants, of which three were converted to Brick Houses and opened in the first quarter of 2016. The three converted Brick House restaurants are located in Latham, New York, Sugarland, Texas, and Methuen, Massachusetts.
At December 28, the company had $7.8 million of cash and approximately $26.4 million of available borrowing capacity under its current credit facility. The Company was in compliance with the financial covenants under the credit facility.