May 7, 2021

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Tightened California COVID restrictions dent BJ’s Q4 sales

BJ’s Dining establishments Inc. noticed tightening pandemic dining limits, especially in its residence state of California, squeeze what had been strengthening very same-retail outlet sales developments in the fourth quarter, the firm mentioned late Thursday in a enterprise update.

The Huntington Beach, Calif.-based mostly relaxed-eating brand on Friday mentioned it experienced completed a $30 million “at-the-marketplace,” or ATM, stock offering, which it increased from a stated $25 million just a working day earlier.

So considerably in BJ’s 1st quarter, very same-keep revenue had been down 36.2% in the week ended Jan. 5, down 38.4% in the week finished Jan. 12 and down 36.9% in the week finished Jan. 19.

In the fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, exact-keep revenue had been down 20.6% in the period of time finished Oct. 27, down 27% in the interval finished Nov. 24 and down 45.3% in the period finished Dec. 29. For the entire quarter, the company claimed, same-retail outlet gross sales ended up down 32.3%.

BJ’s has its major share of open up eating places, or 62, in California, which in December imposed severe constraints on both indoor and outside dining for the reason that of a coronavirus surge.

“BJ’s fourth quarter final results were remarkable in light-weight of the raising limitations on our dining space ability,” claimed Greg Trojan, BJ’s CEO, in a assertion. “October outcomes were potent with weekly gross sales for every restaurant averaging more than $83,000 and similar cafe product sales of [negative] 20.6%, despite remaining minimal to only outdoor seating and off-premise income at 34 of our 62 California restaurants for at least part of the month and dining=place capability limitations at our remaining 175 dining places.”

Trojan mentioned that a range of states in November in December rolled back dine-in re-openings simply because of increasing COVID-19 instances.

“Sales in November and December averaged $77,600 and $60,300 for every restaurant week, respectively, which equated to similar restaurant sales of [negative] 27.% in November and [negative] 45.3% in December,” Trojan said. “Despite these troubles, the productiveness and effectiveness initiatives applied at the start out of the pandemic authorized us to generate constructive dollars movement from operations for the quarter.”

So much in 2021, he reported, gross sales have been improving, “which we imagine reflects each significant amounts of pent-up visitor demand from customers and the easing of specific ability restrictions.”

Trojan claimed BJ’s has quite a few profits-building initiatives underway, together with a membership-dependent beer club, which it started testing in 2019, and a virtual model targeted on gradual-roasted and other protein items.

“Both of these revenue driving initiatives are performing properly in early examination,” Trojan explained. “We also prepare to continue on leveraging the solid excellent and benefit of the BJ’s manufacturer as a result of our catering enterprise, which we believe features sizeable upside for our off-premise revenue channel.”

In preliminary final results for the fourth quarter, BJ’s mentioned revenues totaled  $197 million.

The corporation predicted impairment charges in the fourth quarter of among $2.5 million and $4.5 million, which were “related primarily to handheld tablets disposal expenses and an impairment cost connected to one particular or two eating places.”

In its $30 million ATM equity supplying, BJ’s stated it intended to use the share-sale proceeds for functioning money and other general company reasons, new restaurant enlargement and to bolster its equilibrium sheet.

Alexander Slagle, an analyst with Jefferies, mentioned in a observe to buyers said the featuring “adds useful flexibility” to the company’s finances.

In May perhaps, BJ’s agreed to market $70 million in typical shares to Boston-dependent Act III Holdings LLC, an financial investment fund operate by former Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich and T. Rowe Price tag Associates Inc.

BJ’s, started in 1978, owns and operates 210 everyday-dining restaurants in 29 states.

Up to date Jan. 22, 2021: This story has been up to date with BJ’s completion of the $30 million stock offering.

Get in touch with Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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