Granite City hires restructuring firm

MINNEAPOLIS Struggling Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd., warned Friday that if it cannot win concessions from equipment lessors, landlords and other creditors, it “may be forced to curtail or reduce the scale of our operations.”

Steven J. Wagenheim, chief executive of the company with 26 casual-dining restaurants in 11 states, said his company has hired MorrisAnderson of Chicago to help it restructure its debt.

Last month, Granite City reported a net loss of $2.7 million, or 17 cents a share, for the first quarter ended March 31. In the year-ago quarter, the company posted a net loss of $4.3 million, or 27 cents a share. First-quarter revenue fell 10.8 percent to $21.4 million.

Same-store sales were down 11.2 percent, Granite City reported. The company said it had reduced food, labor and administrative costs in the quarter to help offset the sluggish sales.

“While we are beginning to see positive results from improved operating efficiencies, reductions of expenses and menu pricing strategies, sales have not improved over comparable periods in 2008, further weakening our cash position,” Wagenheim said Friday.

He noted, “Given that it has been difficult to raise capital in this economic environment, all options are under consideration.”

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected] [3].