Brinker International Inc. saw a “choppy” first quarter, with same-store sales falling at its Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy brands, the company reported Tuesday.
Net income fell 30 percent at Dallas-based Brinker International, to $23.2 million, or 42 cents per share, from $33.2 million, or 54 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Sept. 28. Revenue declined 0.5 percent, to $758.5 million, from $762.6 million the previous year.
Chili's company-owned same-store sales declined 1.4 percent, and Maggiano's same-store sales slipped 0.6 percent. Traffic at Chili’s company-owned locations fell 4.1 percent in the quarter.
Chili's franchised same-store sales fell 0.6 percent, which included a 1.6-percent decrease at U.S. franchised restaurants, partially offset by an increase of 0.9 percent at international franchised restaurants
“We remain optimistic about our growth plans despite a choppy first quarter, and are seeing traction with stronger comparable-restaurant sales for Chili's in October,” said Wyman Roberts, Brinker president and CEO, in a statement.
“In the first quarter, the casual-dining category was more challenging than we anticipated, but we are gaining share and are rolling out multiple growth platforms — craft beer taps, happy hour, To Go, Plenti points for My Chili's Rewards loyalty program — that we expect will build through the second half and beyond,” he said.
As of Sept. 28, Brinker owned, operated and franchised 1,652 restaurants, including 1,601 Chili’s units and 51 Maggiano’s locations.