BJ's, Cheesecake Factory report increase in same-store sales

Quarter marks third consecutive increase for both companies

Casual-dining stalwarts BJ’s Restaurants Inc. and The Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Thursday both reported that same-store sales rose in their respective third quarter as a result of escalating guest traffic.

This marks the third consecutive quarter of increases for both brands.

While analysts have been warning that the “jobless recovery” is likely to result in flat to positive same-store sales, both BJ’s and The Cheesecake Factory are seen as best positioned to rebound first — in part because neither company franchises and both have maintained an emphasis on customer experience rather than discounting.

The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory’s third quarter ended Sept. 28 beat analysts’ earnings expectations of about 34 cents per share. The company reported net income of $22 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with $16.3 million or 27 cents per share for the same quarter a year ago.

Third-quarter revenues increased 4.4 percent to $418.4 million versus $400.6 million in the same quarter a year ago. Blended same-store sales for the company’s Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Café brands increased 2.8 percent for the quarter. Separately, same-store sales rose at The Cheesecake Factory by 2.9 percent and at Grand Lux by 1.4 percent.

“We believe that our continuing ability to raise the bar with menu innovation and food quality, coupled with a high level of guest service and value, keep our restaurants on our guests’ list of favorite dining destinations,” said David Overton, The Cheesecake Factory Inc.’s chairman and chief executive. “As a result, our sales productivity remains among the strongest in the entire restaurant industry.”

One new Cheesecake Factory restaurant opened during the third quarter in Bridgewater, N.J., meeting the company’s goal of three new locations for the fiscal year.

Based in Calabasas Hills, Calif., The Cheesecake Factory Inc. operates 149 namesake restaurants and 13 Grand Lux locations, as well as one RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen.

BJ’s Restaurants

Also beating analysts’ expectations of 15 cents per share for the third quarter ended Sept. 28, BJ’s Restaurants Inc. reported that net income jumped 75 percent to $5.5 million, or 20 cents per share, versus $3.2 million, or 12 cents per share, in last year’s quarter.
 
Revenues for the quarter rose 24 percent to $128.8 million, the company said. Same-store sales increased 6.7 percent.

Jerry Deitchle, BJ’s chairman and chief executive, said, “We continue to make prudent investments in the very core of the BJ’s concept to more solidly position our restaurants as a higher quality, more differentiated ‘dining out for fun’ experience with outstanding value, while keeping BJ’s exceptionally approachable by all consumers.”

The company opened four new restaurants during the third quarter, and two more are planned before the end of the fiscal year, which will bring BJ’s to its goal of 10 new stores this year. Another 12 to 13 are planned in 2011.

Based in Huntington Beach, Calif., BJ’s Restaurants operated 101 locations under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery; BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse or BJ’s Pizza & Grill brands.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected] [3].