For many people, Willie Degel might be most recognizable from his time as the host of Food Network’s popular series Restaurant Stakeout. But the opinionated, intense, and authentic food professional remains on the front lines of the restaurant industry, a place he says resembles a figurative battlefield these days.
In president John Cywinski’s first 120 or so days at the helm of Applebee’s, he’s arrived at some stinging conclusions. Chief among them is what he referred to as “perhaps one of the brand’s strategic missteps.
Even the best-intentioned critics called Justin Carlisle stupid.“When you fail, we’ll have a job for you.”“How will you make enough money to survive?”Carlisle figured they might be right. But there was a more pressing issue nagging him.
July cooked any optimism the restaurant industry might have felt from a promising June. Same-store sales dropped 2.8 percent across the landscape, a significant 1.8 percentage point decline from the previous month, when traffic and sales reached their best marks since 2016.
DineEquity’s earnings per share and revenue beat analyst estimates Thursday, but it came with the news that flagship brand Applebee’s will shutter up to 135 restaurants in fiscal 2017. This expectation from the company, which also operates IHOP, is more than three times the lower end of its first-quarter range of 40–60 restaurants.
Ignite Restaurant Group’s assets appear headed for familiar hands. Tilman Fertitta, head of Landry’s Inc., won the bankruptcy court action Monday to assume ownership of fledging casual dining chains Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap.
When sales and traffic turned negative for Red Robin in the fourth quarter of 2015, the casual dining chain looked to its most loyal guests for answers. Research within its Red Robin Royalty base showed four major concerns: Speed and quality of service; value perception; ineffective advertising; and, lastly, the absence of carryout and delivery.
It’s probably safe to say Brad Haley’s first few days at his new job will look a little different than his last. The former longtime CKE Restaurants chief marketing officer is assuming the same role at IHOP Restaurants, a move announced Tuesday and taking effect August 14.
J. Alexander’s Holdings, Inc., parent company of J. Alexander’s, Redlands Grill, Stoney River Steakhouse and Grill, and Lyndhurst Grill, announced it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 99 Restaurants, LLC in an all-stock transaction valued at about $199 million.
Call it a lack of communication. On Wednesday afternoon, following The Cheesecake Factory’s earnings review, the brand responded to its first negative gains after 29 positive quarters with a leveled view.
Texas Roadhouse’s first-quarter performance surprised financial pundits. There was no such effect Monday as the brand’s second-quarter financials lined up with Wall Street expectations. That fact, however, was far from a negative one.
Throughout the course of casual dining history, the path to profitability resembled a restaurant-arms race. If a company wanted to grow sales or EBITDA, it built more units. The larger the scale, the fatter the bottom line.
BJ’s Restaurants was off to a strong second quarter before mid-May arrived. That’s when business started to soften and “tall industry challenges” weighed down the casual dining chain, which has seen its same-store sales decline for five straight quarters.