Logan's losses grow

Drop in traffic, absence of tax benefit means red ink more than triples

The parent of the Logan's Roadhouse restaurant chain posted a fiscal first-quarter loss of $10 million versus $3.3 million last year. Total sales grew 4.5 percent but food and labor costs rose more quickly, and a year-ago tax benefit that turned into a $4.1 million this time around dragged down the bottom line.

Same-store sales at the Nashville-based company fell 2.3 percent even after a 2.4 percent rise in the average check. Total guest counts fell 4.5 percent during the quarter as diners pulled back on spending.

"While the economic sensitivities of our guest base are impacting our ability to rebuild traffic, we are making strategic progress to improve the differentiation and effectiveness of our advertising, and we have been successful in increasing our alcohol sales through our bar refresh program," said Chairman, President and CEO Tom Vogel. "We are hopeful that over time, these efforts will lead to attracting new guests and encouraging more repeat visits."

Vogel said his team plans to open 13 new stores in its existing footprint this year fiscal year, which is down from the 15 he forecasted two months ago. The company runs about 250 locations in 23 states.