Leadership

Martha Stewart leaves the BurgerFi board

The lifestyle media maven, who gave the Florida-based company a big name when she joined the board in 2021, quietly stepped down as director last month.
Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart was brought on to help BurgerFi's menu development. | Photo: Shutterstock

Martha Stewart’s dalliance with chain restaurant burgers did not last long.

The lifestyle maven quietly stepped down from the board at BurgerFi last month, according to a recent federal securities filing. The resignation “was not a result of any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices,” the filing said.

The move came two and a half years after Stewart was named to the company’s board of directors along with the promise that she work alongside the company’s chef as head of the board’s Product and Innovation Committee.

Stewart gave BurgerFi a marquee name less than a year after it went public through a reverse merger with a publicly traded shell company, known as a SPAC or special purpose acquisition company. The company used her to highlight its plant-based VegeFi burger and its commitment to using meat without antibiotics.

Same-store sales at the fast-casual burger chain have declined each of the past three quarters and four of the past seven periods, including 10% in the most recent quarter. System sales at the chain declined 3.2% last year, according to data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. It operates 114 locations.

The company acquired the 60-unit Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in early 2022. Same-store sales at that chain rose 1% last quarter.

The company reported a net loss of $6 million last quarter, on $43.4 million in revenue.

BurgerFi’s stock was hit with early difficulties with Nasdaq compliance issues and never really recovered. The stock soared to nearly $20 per share shortly after it went public. It traded at around $15 per share when Stewart joined the board.

But amid performance and other challenges its stock slid and hasn’t recovered. The company’s shares were priced at just over $1 on Monday.

BurgerFi in May lured former Smashburger President Carl Bachmann to take over as CEO, a position he assumed in July.

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