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.
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.
(UPDATED) 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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the Restaurant Finance Monitor's unique blend of restaurant industry news, analysis and opinion. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more in-depth analysis and commentary on the restaurant business.