Following a promising third quarter due to initiatives like off-premise sales and value offerings, BJ’s Restaurants and Brewhouse remains optimistic about its plans to bring the concept to more markets nationwide.
Total revenue for the company grew 5.7 percent to $247 million while same-store sales declined 1.7 percent, which BJ’s attributed primarily to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
“Notwithstanding last quarter’s challenges, we are achieving significant progress on our sales driving initiatives and they are beginning to deliver meaningful top-line results,” BJ’s president and CEO Greg Trojan said in a statement. “In fact, excluding the estimated impact on sales from Hurricane Irma in September, our comparable restaurant sales were positive in September at approximately 1 percent with flattish guest counts. These trends have improved in October as our comparable restaurant sales and traffic for the first three weeks of October are both positive in the 2 percent range.”
BJ's has seen its same-store sales decline for six straight quarters, but the company's recent initiatives seek to combat a challenging casual dining environment. A focus on off-premise sales through a recent partnership with DoorDash, Daily Brewhouse Specials, and everyday value offerings boosted sales, while BJ’s slow roasted menu items continue to perform well with guests. The brand’s prime rib is the top entree item when it is available on weekend menus.
The company opened eight new restaurants during the quarter and is on schedule to open two more restaurants through the rest of the year to achieve its goal of 10 restaurants in fiscal 2017. BJ’s plans to target four to six restaurant openings in 2018.
“With only 195 restaurants in 25 states currently open and estimated national capacity for at least 425 BJ’s restaurants, we remain excited about the significant ongoing mid-and long-term growth opportunity for the BJ’s brand and concept,” Trojan said in a statement.