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Morton's 3Q traffic, sales up

Chicago-based Morton’s Restaurant Group Inc. reported quarterly increases in traffic, same-store sales, revenue and improved operating margins, despite special charges that contributed to a net loss in the third quarter.

For the third quarter ended Oct. 2, Morton’s net loss was $2.4 million, or 15 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $2.1 million, or 13 cents per share, a year earlier. The company took aggregate charges in the quarter for the settlement of wage-and-hour lawsuits, fees to consultants for the exploration of strategic alternatives, and a non-cash charge related to the effect of a local tax law change on deferred tax liability.

Revenue for the quarter rose 7.8 percent to $71.4 million, compared with $66.2 million a year earlier.

Same-store sales at the chain’s steakhouses rose 5.1 percent, its seventh consecutive quarter of same-store sales increases.

“We also experienced an increase in overall traffic during the quarter, and our higher sales volumes were accompanied by improved operating margins,” said Chris Artinian, Morton’s president and chief executive. “Despite market volatility and East Coast storms, our business continues to grow. Business travel and entertaining continue to trend positively.”

For the year, Morton’s opened one new restaurant in uptown Dallas and has remodeled four locations to include its Bar 12-21 concept.

Morton’s Restaurant Group operates 77 steakhouses in 64 cities across 26 states and Puerto Rico; Toronto, Mexico City and Singapore; and Hong Kong, Macau and Shanghai, China.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN

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