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Guest traffic declines continue at Luby’s, Fuddrucker’s

Parent company focuses on value to drive metrics in third quarter

Luby’s Inc. continued to report declines in guest traffic and same-store sales in the third quarter at its Luby’s Cafeteria and Fuddruckers brands, the company said Monday.

Guest traffic declined 1.2% at its cafeteria units at 8.7% at its company-owned Fuddruckers, the Houston-based company said in reporting earnings for the third quarter ended June 5. Luby’s systemwide same-store sales declined 4% in the quarter for company owned locations of the two brands.

“We recognize that our turnaround depends on growing guest traffic and sales,” said Chris Pappas, Luby’s president and CEO, in a statement. “While our same-store sales have not yet achieved the improvement we are striving for, we do see a number of positive developments based on our recent efforts and initiatives aimed at growing guest traffic.”

Pappas said cafeteria sales have seen trending improvements through the fiscal year.

“At both of our core brands, we are providing menu price points that offer compelling everyday value options starting in the $7 to $9 range, while still including additional premium offerings at higher price points,” Pappas said. “This value orientation is helping to improve our guest traffic trends and will be central to growing sales.”

Average spend per guest declined 2% in the third quarter at Luby’s, but it increased 2.8% at Fuddruckers, the company reported.

For the third quarter ended June 5, Luby’s narrowed its loss to $5.3 million, or 18 cents a share, from $14.6 million, or 47 cents a share, in the same period last year. Sales declined 13.1% in the quarter, to $74.8 million, from $86 million in the prior-year period.

Luby’s said it refranchised five company-owned Fuddruckers units in the quarter as part of a program announced earlier in the fiscal year.

As of June 5, Luby’s owned and operated 80 cafeterias, 49 Fuddruckers and one Cheeseburger in Paradise. The company also franchised 107 Fuddruckers and managed contract foodservice at 32 locations, including healthcare, corporate dining, sports stadiums and sales through retail groceries.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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