Ruth’s Hospitality Group today reported unaudited financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 29, 2013.

For 2013, the company reported net income of $22.5 million and revenues of $406.6 million, a hike of 2.5 percent, compared to a net loss of $20.0 million and $396.1 million in 2012. 

The boost in revenues was due to additional company and franchise restaurants and year-over-year increases in comparable restaurant sales, partially offset by one less operating week in fiscal and fourth-quarter 2013 compared to 2012. 

Also helping the bottom line were shrinking food and beverage and operating expenses. Food and beverage costs decreased to 31.1 percent of restaurant sales, the result of menu changes coupled with a cumulative menu pricing increase of 2.0 percent. Restaurant operating expenses dropped to 50.1 percent of restaurant sales, due to cost management and the effect of higher sales on fixed costs.

However, general and administrative expenses increased $2.1 million to $30.4 million, mostly due to performance-based compensation and higher professional fees in 2013.

The group, headquartered in Winter Park, FL, consists of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Mitchell’s Steakhouse, and Cameron’s Steakhouse. There are currently more than 150 company- and franchisee-owned restaurants worldwide. In 2015, Ruth Chris Hospitality will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

At Ruth’s Chris Steak House, average unit volume at company-owned restaurants for 2013 was $4.9 million, increasing 5.3 percent on a 52-week basis. For Mitchell’s Fish Market restaurants, the average unit volume was $3.6 million, increasing 0.3 percent on a 52-week basis.

Franchise income for 2013 increased 8.5 percent to $15.0 million in 2013, driven by an increase in equivalent franchise restaurant sales and new franchised unit development, partially offset by one less operating week in fiscal 2013. Restaurant sales increased 1.8 percent for the year.

Net income for the 13-week fourth quarter of 2013 was $4.2 million, compared to net income of $3.7 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of 2012.

While overall restaurant sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 dipped 3.6 percent compared to the prior year fourth quarter, company-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Mitchell’s Fish Market both posted increases. Ruth’s Chris Steak House climbed a solid 5.5 percent, and Mitchell’s Fish Market, 2.6 percent.

“As we look to 2014, we remain very excited about the long-term health and consistency of our business,” says Michael P. O'Donnell, Ruth's Hospitality Group chairman, president and CEO. “Our strategic initiatives and guest-focused culture have us well-positioned to continue to drive traffic growth across our three core customer bases, which include business, special occasion guests, and high-frequency regulars. Our development pipeline continues to strengthen and is expected to include four new company-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak Houses this year, one of which has already opened."


By Joann Whitcher

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Finance, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse