In this file:


·         Luby’s permanently closes 3 Fuddruckers, 13 cafeterias so far in fiscal year

·         Restaurant outlook grim, according to operators in Black Box Intelligence survey



Luby’s permanently closes 3 Fuddruckers, 13 cafeterias so far in fiscal year

While seeking sale, company restores some operations after coronavirus closures


Ron Ruggless, Nation's Restaurant News 

Jul 21, 2020


Luby’s Inc., the parent to the Luby’s Cafeteria and Fuddruckers hamburger chains that is seeking a sale of part or all of the company, has closed 16 units in this fiscal year and is gradually restoring some operations after coronavirus restrictions, the company reported Monday.


The Houston-based company, in releasing third-quarter earnings, said it had closed three of its Fuddruckers units and 13 of its Luby’s Cafeterias so far in the first three quarters of the fiscal year.


Related: Luby’s puts assets, operating divisions up for sale


The company ended the third quarter on June 3 with 108 restaurants, including 76 cafeterias, 31 Fuddruckers and one Cheeseburger in Paradise, though many remained closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


On June 3, Luby’s said its board was seeking a sale of its operating divisions, real estate, and/or the company as a whole. It said many restaurants would remain open during the process.


The publicly traded company had been seeking strategic alternatives since last September.


Luby’s said it began reopening dining rooms in May as state and local governments eased closure mandates aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus.


As of June 3, the company had opened 31 Luby’s Cafeterias and combo Luby’s-Fuddruckers locations, as well as eight Fuddruckers units, with limited capacity. Franchisees had opened 59 Fuddruckers locations by the same date.


“We are continuing a gradual reopening of our restaurants and as of the date of this release there were 46 stand-alone Luby’s Cafeterias and combo locations and 17 Fuddruckers restaurants operating with dining rooms open at limited capacity, and there were 64 franchise locations in operation,” Luby’s said Monday.


In the fiscal third quarter, operating stores were achieving weekly sales levels of more than 80% of prior-year levels at the cafeteria brand and in excess of 70% at the Fuddruckers brand, the company said...





Restaurant outlook grim, according to operators in Black Box Intelligence survey

Two-thirds of polled executives expect environment to worsen in next 3 months


Ron Ruggless, Nation's Restaurant News 

Jul 17, 2020


Restaurant operators and executives have grown pessimistic about the next three months in the face of coronavirus-related fears, according to an informal survey Thursday.


Black Box Intelligence, the Dallas-based analytics firm, polled nearly 300 operators and executives on a “Q3 State of the Industry” webinar, and found two-thirds “expect things to get worse for restaurants over the next three months.”


The restaurant industry has been struggling with state and local restrictions and stay-at-home orders since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.


With surges in coronavirus infections reported across a number of states, the operators surveyed Thursday expect “the environment for restaurants over the next 90 days will continue to be challenging.”


The topmost concern among the polled operators was safety, with a growing number taking visible precautions.


Of the nearly 300 operators polled Thursday: