Famous Dave’s names new CEO

Famous Dave’s names new CEO

Jeffery Crivello to succeed Mike Lister as company narrows 3Q loss

Famous Dave's of America Inc. has named Jeffery Crivello as CEO to succeed Mike Lister, the company said Monday as it reported narrowing its loss in the third quarter.

Crivello’s appointment, which will be effective Tuesday, was announced along with a $1.5 private placement of 418,169 shares of Famous Dave’s common stock at $3.50 per share with PW Partners LLC. Crivello has served as PW Partners Capital Management LLC chief financial officer since January 2015 and on the board of Famous Dave’s since August.

“Over the last year, I have been intently focused on improving restaurant operations while closing underperforming restaurants that do not meet our financial standards,” Lister said in a statement. He had served as CEO since October 2016.

Since Oct. 2 of last year, the casual-dining brand closed 22 restaurants. The company ended the third-quarter on Oct. 1 with 154 total restaurants, 129 of those franchised and 25 company-owned.

Lister said the closures allowed “for the refranchising of our company-owned restaurants to franchisees” and the change in leadership made “strategic sense.”

Crivello said Lister’s work was “evident in the improving restaurant sales trends as well as the successful refranchising of eight company-owned restaurants and closures of 13 underperforming company-owned restaurants since the beginning of the year.”

For the third quarter, Famous Dave’s narrowed its loss to $1.8 million, or 26 cents a share, from $2.5 million, or 35 cents a share, in the prior-year period. Revenues fell 13.7 percent, to $21.9 million from $25.4 million in the same quarter last year.

Systemwide same-store were down 1.5 percent, including a decline of 2.1 percent at franchised units and increase of 0.9 percent at company restaurants.

Crivello said he would address the development and evolution of the Famous Dave’s concept.

“Additionally, although the team has made substantial progress with their general and administrative optimization plan,” Crivello said, “I believe that we can strategically reduce G&A expenses to approximately an $8 million run-rate within the next 90 days, while continuing to improve upon the franchisor services that we provide.”

The company named Geovannie Concepcion, who had served as chief development and franchise officer, as chief operating officer.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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