Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. will close “at least six underperforming restaurants” as part of an overall review of its portfolio, the company said Tuesday, amid consistent same-store sales declines.
The Columbus, Ohio-based operator of Bravo Cucina Italiana and Brio Tuscan Grille said cumulative same-store sales at the two concepts fell 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 25. That includes a 7.5-percent decline at Bravo and a 4.3-percent drop at Brio.
For the year, same-store sales fell 7 percent at Bravo and 4.1 percent at Brio.
Net income adjusted to factor out one-time events was cut in half in the period, to $1.8 million, or 12 cents per share, from $3.6 million, or 23 cents per share the previous year.
Revenue in the quarter fell 3.2 percent, to $410.3 million, from $424 million.
Bravo Brio has been wrestling with declining same-store sales for years. The company operates 51 Bravo units and 65 Brio locations.
The company said it has plans in place to reverse the sales slide. Bravo Brio is working to bolster delivery and hopes to add banquet business by adding private dining rooms to its locations.
To-go sales, including delivery, increased 7.6 percent in the quarter.
“While the overall results were disappointing and the casual-dining environment remains challenging, we believe these initiatives are already strengthening our brands and will ultimately lead to improved financial performance,” CEO Brian O’Malley said in a statement.
He said that “optimizing our restaurant portfolio” is “critical to achieving our strategic objectives.” By adding banquet rooms, the company would better use underutilized space inside of its restaurants, he said.
There have been growing numbers of casual-dining restaurant closures in recent months, as operators from Ruby Tuesday Inc. to Buffets LLC seek to combat years of weak traffic.
Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze