A pick-up in catering sales and strength in some franchise markets could not completely offset weakness in traffic for barbecue specialist Famous Dave’s of America Inc. in the first quarter, as net income fell 32 percent compared with a year earlier.
For the April 1-ended first quarter, Famous Dave’s earned $817,000, or 11 cents per share, compared with $1.2 million, or 14 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2011.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $37.5 million, compared with $37.1 million a year earlier, reflecting a same-store sales decrease of 1.6 percent at company-operated restaurants and flat sales at franchised locations.
“While first-quarter sales in general fell short of expectations, we were pleased with the increase in catering sales,” president and chief executive Christopher O’Donnell said in a statement. “We are seeing pockets of economic strength nationwide, as evidenced by continued sales improvement from our franchise-operated restaurants.”
Results included a charge of 1 cent per share for closure costs related to the sale of one company-owned location. They also included an impairment charge of 1 cent per share for nonrecoverable assets in a company-owned restaurant that is scheduled to be relocated in early 2013.
Franchise revenue rose 10 percent to $4.4 million, from $4 million a year earlier, reflecting six franchised openings and four franchised closures since the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Famous Dave’s operates 53 company-owned restaurants and franchises another 133 locations in 35 states. Its first international location is scheduled to open in Canada’s Manitoba province in June.