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Bojangles’ to shutter and refranchise stores following weak sales

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Bojangles’ is closing 10 stores with negative cash flow, refranchising some 30 others and is slowing overall unit growth as the breakfast-focused quick-service chain looks to stabilize after sluggish performance.

The brand has also cut four underperforming, operationally complex items from its menu with the hope of increasing speed of service and reducing waste. The eliminated items include a jambalaya bowl, smoked sausage biscuit, barbecue pork sandwich and Cheddar Bo biscuit.

Bojangles’ reported systemwide same-store sales declines of 0.2% for the second quarter ending July 1. That includes a 0.8% decrease in comps for company-operated units and a 0.1% increase at franchised units.

The refranchised stores are largely in Tennessee. The deal is still pending, but the 30 units are expected to be purchased by a large Bojangles’ franchisee, company officials said.

The chain lowered its earnings predictions for 2018, along with a plan to slow growth of future stores, after already shuttering eight franchised units in the first quarter of the year.

Bojangles’ plans to step up the pace of its restaurant remodels, though the refreshed units will not follow the futuristic Biscuit Theater prototype the chain rolled out in early 2017. The Bojangles’ of the Future prototype has not performed well, company officials said during a conference call.

The chain continues to search for a CEO following the abrupt departure of Clifton Rutledge in March. Former CEO James “Randy” Kibler continues to serve in the interim role.

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