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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

BJ’s Upbeat on COVID Actions, Prospects

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BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said Friday measures its taken to reduce expenses the past few weeks have helped, and its locations are positioned well as states slowly lift shelter-in-place orders.

The Huntington Beach-based restaurant operator continues to see sales declines across the 205 locations that continue to do business. But the trough bottomed out in the week ended March 24 with same-store sales off 82%. Comparable sales for the week ended April 21 declined 70%.

Takeout and delivery, which are the only channels for restaurants during the pandemic, notched growth in the mid-teens each week.

The chain also noted growth in check size and demand for meal packs, such as Family Feast, as well as beverages.

The company said its cash burn rate stands at $2.5 million and it is in talks with landlords on rent deferrals.

BJ’s restaurant footprints, CEO Greg Trojan said in a statement, should help it as businesses enter the next phase of the coronavirus operating environment. Its large layouts, Trojan noted, will be helpful in promoting social distancing as state stay-at-home orders lift.

BJ’s on Thursday filed a shelf offering with the Securities & Exchange Commission, outlining some 125 million in common stock and 5 million in preferred stock authorized.

Steps taken earlier this month included the furloughing of some 16,000 restaurant workers, followed by another round of temporary layoffs affecting restaurant managers and corporate staff.

Go here for more updates on how OC companies are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

For ongoing, in-depth coverage of COVID-19’s effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.

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