Kona Grill wants to become “America’s best happy hour." Getting there is going to take some heavy lifting. The polished 44-unit chain witnessed a same-store sales drop of 14.1 percent in the third quarter, driven primarily by a double-digit decrease in customer traffic.
Tilted Kilt and its retracting unit count are being sold for $10. ARC Group, Inc., a restaurant holding company that owns 26-unit Dick’s Wings & Grill, outlined its plans to acquire the brand this week after first announcing the deal in June.
While The Cheesecake Factory works to regain sales momentum, the company’s investments are heating up. Matthew Clark, EVP and chief financial officer, outlined the brand’s plans Tuesday afternoon to possibly acquire 14-unit North Italia.
When Chili’s nixed its LTO strategy in April 2017, it wasn’t solely about reducing menu complexity, size, and shifting operational focus to core items—there was a longer-term value play at hand. But developing a loyal base that expects everyday value, as opposed to those who seek it on a case-to-case and promotion-to-promotion basis, took some time to mature.
For some time now, Texas Roadhouse’s guarded approach and its ability to control costs have toed a fine line. Has that challenge finally caught up to the high-performing steakhouse? Shares plunged 11 percent in after-hours trading Monday afternoon following Texas Roadhouse’s third-quarter review.
Bloomin’ Brands chief executive officer Liz Smith saw no reason to downplay Outback’s recent performance. “I have never felt more confident in the brand health, and where Outback is,” Smith said during an October 29 conference call.
Put a mobile device or tablet in every consumer’s hands and what happens to the sports bars and grills that once thrived in America’s dining scene? “The times have changed,” says Bob Barry, president and CEO of 47-unit legacy brand The Greene Turtle, “which means we have to change as well.
Activist investor Barington Capital Group, L.P. has pushed Bloomin’ Brands for change before. Back in February, the company sent a letter to Bloomin’s chairman and chief executive officer, Liz Smith, along with a detailed presentation that outlined how Barington felt Bloomin’ could improve shareholder value and the performance of its casual brands, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s.
You never want to hear the words “restaurant” and “recall” in the same sentence. All things considered, though, Cracker Barrel’s recent run-in with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was a mild one.
Often when publicly traded brands report quarterly results, the performance is relative to their own success or troubles. Same-store sales, traffic—these indicators measure year-over-year progress or declines, and stack over fiscal calendars to paint a picture of a chain’s financial health.
Outback has, mostly, taken its business off the discounting track. Across Bloomin’ Brands entire portfolio, which includes Carrabba’s, Bonefish, and Fleming’s, discounting dropped 19 percent in the second quarter.
Despite a continued lull in traffic, the restaurant industry put together its best quarter in three years, according to TDn2K’s latest Black Box report. Same-store sales grew 1.2 percent in the third quarter—the best since the Q3 2015.