Famous Dave's 4Q comps rise


Famous Dave’s of America Inc., the operator or franchisor of the 186-unit Famous Dave’s casual-dining brand, reported gains in revenue and same-store sales for both the fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2011.

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 1, Famous Dave’s reported a 20-percent decline in net income, due to asset impairment charges. Net income fell to $414,000, compared with $517 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $37.5 million, compared with $36.2 million a year earlier. Same-store sales for the quarter increased 3.6 percent at company-owned locations and 2.1 percent at franchised restaurants.

“This has been both a challenging and satisfying year for Famous Dave’s,” Christopher O’Donnell, chief executive of the Minneapolis-based brand, said in a statement. “Challenging, as a result of continued economic uncertainty, fluctuations in consumer confidence and volatile commodity markets. Satisfying, because we continue to evolve our brand and deliver improved financial performance.”

Full-year net income decreased 23 percent to $5.56 million, compared with $7.22 million in fiscal 2010. For fiscal 2011, full-year revenue rose 4.4 percent to $154.8 million, from $148.3 million a year earlier. Full-year same-store sales rose 1.5 percent at corporate units and were flat at franchised locations.

Famous Dave’s also hired Brett Larrabee as its new director of franchise sales and development, the company said. Larrabee most recently was director of franchise development for Toppers Pizza and previously was director of New York City operations for Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

The company projected that it would open 10 to 12 franchised restaurants in 2012, including some units of its fast-casual prototype, designed to help current and future franchisees diversify their portfolios. Two to three company-owned units are also planned.

The barbecue specialty chain operates in 36 states.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
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