Danny Klein

Willie Degel on Why Politics are Killing Restaurants, and Why He Keeps Fighting

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.

Inside Milwaukee's Ardent: The Quality-of-Life Restaurant

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.

Restaurant Sales Crash in July

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.

Applebee's: 135 Restaurants Could Close in 2017

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.

Landry's, Tilman Fertitta Win Joe's Crab Shack in Auction

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.

Is Red Robin Making a Comeback?

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.

IHOP Taps Former CKE Exec as New Marketing Leader

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 Agrees to Acquire Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub

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.

As Expected, Sales Slide at The Cheesecake Factory

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.

Why Texas Roadhouse is Sizzling Right Now

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.

Red Robin's Data-Driven Approach to Decision Making

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.

How BJ's Restaurants is Tackling 'Tall Industry Challenges'

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.