Chuy’s Holdings furloughed 80 percent of its hourly staff and 40 percent of store management by the end of the first quarter as it shifted to an off-premises model amid the pandemic.
On March 30, Chuy’s said it furloughed 40 percent of its corporate and administrative staff. Non-furloughed staff members’ salaries were reduced by 25 percent to 50 percent. Senior management pay was cut by 50 percent to 75 percent and compensation for board members was suspended.
CEO Steve Hislop said the company is providing support to employees facing financial hardship through the Redfish Relief Fund. Chuy’s is also paying health insurance for eligible furloughed employees.
The brand is operating with limited menus at 92 of its 101 locations where off-premises sales are growing and negative comps are slightly increasing.
Here’s how Chuy’s same-store sales have trended through Q2:
- Through March 8: 3.3 percent
- Week ending March 15: (16.8 percent)
- Week ending March 22: (67 percent)
- Week ending March 29: (63.5 percent)
- End of Q1: (9.7 percent)
- Week ending April 5: (60.8 percent)
- Week ending April 12: (57.4 percent)
- Week ending April 19: (49.7 percent)
Since the brand’s move to off-premise only, takeout and delivery sales have more than tripled compared to pre-pandemic numbers, with alcohol mixing 6 percent.
Chuy’s provided the following off-premises average sales per restaurant:
- Week ending March 8: $12,000
- Week ending March 15: $12,500
- Week ending March 29: $20,300
- Week ending April 5: $32,656
- Week ending April 12: $33,873
- Week ending April 19: $42,660
As of April 17, the company estimated that it’s burning about $500,000 per week. The company suspended payment of rent and is in the midst of negotiating rent concessions, abatements, and deferrals. The brand said on March 30 that it had over $28 million in cash at the time.
Chuy’s expects $3 million in tax refunds thanks to an administrative correction in the CARES Act. The company also said it’s in a good position to extend its credit facility through 2021 and temporarily ease covenant requirements.
“I’m proud of our team members who have worked tirelessly to transform our business to a safe and efficient off-premise model, including enhanced take-out and curbside pick-up,” Hislop said in a statement. “Their commitment and ability to skillfully adapt in the face of the COVID-19 crisis has been nothing short of amazing. Their efforts are evident in the steady improvement of our sales in recent weeks.”