Sales losses continue at Così

Sales losses continue at Così

Fast-casual chain looks at cost cuts, sale of assets

Declines in same-store sales this year will keep Così Inc. from generating the positive cash flow it had expected by the third quarter, the company said on Thursday.

As a result, CEO R.J. Dourney said in a statement, Così will focus on building sales and cutting costs, and he hinted at a sale of assets.

“While we believe restaurant sales will improve in the third quarter as a result of existing and new operational and marketing initiatives, we do not expect to reach the range required to turn cash flow positive in the third quarter,” Dourney said.

“As a result, we are focused on increasing the depth and scale of our sales-building efforts, implementing further cost reduction initiatives, continue exploring the sale of assets, and pursue initiatives to strengthen the balance sheet.”

Still, the Boston-based fast-casual chain narrowed its net loss in the quarter ended June 27. The company recorded a net loss of $3.1 million, or 7 cents per share, an improvement from the $3.9 million (8 cents) net loss in the quarter a year ago.

The Boston-based fast-casual concept has never generated a profit in its history as a public company, but under Dourney had planned to generate positive cash flow this year.

Yet same-store sales fell 4.5 percent in the quarter ended June 27, the company said. Revenue, meanwhile, decreased to $22.8 million from $24.4 million in the same period a year before.

“While we appreciate that we are operating in a challenging external environment, we are relentlessly focused on increasing guest satisfaction, driving trial and increasing guest frequency, and ultimately improving the disappointing sales in the quarter,” Dourney said.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

TAGS: Sales Trends
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