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Financial roundup: Latest results from Famous Dave’s, Fat Brands, Nathan’s

Third-quarter results were mixed for smaller-cap public restaurant companies.
Photo courtesy of Famous Dave's

Famous Dave’s: Q3 co. comps rise 2%
Same-store sales at company-operated Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurants rose 4.6% for the third quarter ended Sept. 27, far outstripping the 10% decline for franchised units, according to franchisor BBQ Holdings. Sister brand Granite City Brewing, a brewpub concept, was far behind the barbecue chain, with comparable sales falling 25.9% below the year-ago levels. All units of that chain are operated by BBQ.

Famous Dave’s comps remained positive during the first month of Q4, rising by 2% for the four weeks ended Oct. 25. Granite City narrowed its decline for that timeframe to 23.8%.

Revenues rose 47.9%, to $35.5 million, yielding a net income of $58 million, compared with a year-ago loss of $50 million.

The two chains had 16 more restaurants in operation than they did a year ago, with a total of 144, 49 of which were company-operated.

Fat Brands: Net loss of $568,000
The parent of Fat Burger and Johnny Rockets posted a net loss of $568,000 for the third quarter ended Sept. 27 despite opening 45 restaurants across its nine brands. The franchisor generated a net profit of $1.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Results for the most recent quarter also reflect the $25 million acquisition of Johnny Rockets during Q3.

Revenues fell 36.9%, to $4.1 million. With the addition of Johnny Rockets, Fat Brands now franchises 700 restaurants across its brand portfolio, which consists of Fatburger, Johnny Rockets, Buffalo’s Cafe, Buffalo’s Express, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Elevation Burger, Yalla Mediterranean and Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses.

Nathan’s Famous: Sales halved by the pandemic
Sales at company-operated Nathan’s Famous restaurants fell by about half in the third quarter ended Sept. 27, to $4.9 million, while franchise revenues fell 74.1%, to $667,000. The hot dog maker attributed both declines to closures and steep traffic drop-offs triggered by the pandemic. The diversified company posted a net loss for its restaurant operations of $138,000, compared with a net income for the year-ago quarter of $2.1 million.

Results for the second quarter show that Nathan’s is more of a restaurant supplier today than it is a restaurant operator and franchisor. Sales of Nathan’s-brand hotdogs and other food products to other restaurant companies totaled $14.4 million, compared to an aggregate $32.3 million for Q3 of 2019. The sheer drop was attributed to a drop-off in customers’ traffic and sales.

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