First-quarter profits at J. Alexander's more than doubled from a year ago as the restaurant chain was able to combine higher sales with lower input costs.
J. Alexander's earned $2.4 million during the first three months of this year, while revenues rose almost 5 percent to $42.7 million. Operating margins rose more than three points  to 13.6 percent. Chairman, President and CEO Lonnie Stout said his team was able to hike prices about 2 percent late last year, which helped boost the impact of stable food and labor costs in Q1.
Going forward, Stout remains a bit cautious about fuel and beef prices, but said his team will stay the course with its current strategy.
"We will avoid any discounting, a policy we strictly followed during the recession," Stout said. "Instead, we believe our narrow focus on quality food and professional service will continue to benefit us as it has during the last several quarters."
At about noon, shares of J. Alexander's (Ticker: JAX ) were down slightly to $8.50. Year to date, they've risen more than 35 percent.