No respite yet for Logan's

Fiscal Q1 brings big same-store drop, $12M loss

The road to recovery for Logan's Roadhouse didn't get any easier this fall, with the restaurant chain's parent posting a loss that was 20 percent larger than the number from a year ago even though sales fell 2 percent.

Nashville-based Logan's lost $12.1 million in the three months ended Oct. 27. Same-store sales fell 5.2 percent, with traffic falling off more than 6 percent and the average check rising 1.4 percent. Total sales for the quarter came in at $147 million versus $150 million in 2012's fiscal first quarter.

Chairman, President and CEO Mike Andres said his team's priorities continue to be improving execution and repositioning the Logan's brand but that the company's core customers continue to be strapped.

"Also, as we focus on providing our guests with a better quality dining experience, we continue to work through some difficult sales comparisons as we lap over heavy discount promotions that drove traffic in the prior year, but sometimes at the detriment of the overall guest experience," Andres said. "This has produced choppy sales results this year and is compounded by increased promotional activity from our competitors."

On an operating level, Logan's lost $1.8 million during the quarter versus a year-ago profit of more than $4 million. Adjusted EBITDA, which excludes $1.8 million in impairment charges and expenses related to closed restaurants, fell to $6.7 million from $12.1 million.

The numbers put up by Logan's are reflective of the industry's struggles, albeit to an extreme degree. An index created by research firm Black Box Intelligence shows that restaurant-sector traffic has been firmly in the red for most of this year, troughing at about -2.5 percent in June.