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Zoes Kitchen’s Q3 comps grow

Same-store sales at Zoes Kitchen increased 4.5 percent year over year during the third quarter, rising on gains in both the lunch and dinner dayparts, as well as catering and to-go orders, the fast-casual chain said Thursday.

New menu items, including the chain’s Hummus Trio and Mediterranean dinner, were also key sales drivers, CEO Kevin Miles told investors.

Inclement weather had a negative impact during Q3, as Hurricane Joaquin slowed sales for a few weeks in the Carolinas region, where the chain has strong market penetration, Miles said. One restaurant in Columbia, S.C, was “severely damaged” during the storm and has been temporarily closed, he added.

Total revenues at Zoes Kitchen rose 29 percent from the year-ago quarter, to $56.4 million. In spite of this increase, the chain posted a net loss of $2.8 million, due in part to higher administrative costs and a $0.4 million loss related to the hurricane-damaged unit.

The fast casual anticipates comps growth in the 5.5 percent to 6 percent range for the full fiscal year. 

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