Tucson steakhouse launches ghost kitchen for rapper Wiz Khalifa | Caliente

“One of the big challenges a lot of operators face during the pandemic is they were not set up for delivery, or their food does not deliver well and those restaurants are in big trouble,” said Nextbite CEO Geoff Madding, who said the virtual kitchens are given the recipes and are responsible for providing the ingredients; the restaurant and Nextbite then split the profits. “We give them a whole lot of brands and the cool thing about the model is it allows them to do what they are already doing but they don’t have to create a new brand or create something specifically for delivery. It allows that restaurant to do what they are already doing.”

Garrett’s Family Steakhouse, 9431 E. 22nd St., is the first restaurant in Arizona to join Nextbite’s virtual restaurant program, which is in major cities across the country including Los Angeles, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Denver. Lopuszynski said that when he rolled out the program on Sept. 22, he made $22 in sales the first day. Every day after, sales increased — $60 on the second day, then $300, then $350; one day he had $444 in sales for HotBox and Mother Cluckers, all generated through an invisible third party.

“It has been amazing to the point where on Friday night we had to shut it down,” he said last week. “We did not anticipate the amount of orders.”

Garrett’s is adding staff to keep up with demand. 

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What Olive Garden And LongHorn Steakhouse Tell Us About Darden



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Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the parent company of Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse among others, reported Thursday fiscal first-quarter results highlighted by a continued sales recovery and the reinstatement of its dividend. The stock traded sharply higher and sits around $96.24 per share.

Here is a summary of how some of the Street’s top analysts reacted to the print.

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The Analysts

Raymond James analyst Brian Vaccaro maintains an Outperform rating on Darden’s stock with a price target lifted from $100 to $115.

Credit Suisse analyst Lauren Silberman maintains an Outperform rating on Darden with a price target lifted from $95 to $112.

MKM Partners analyst Brett Levy maintains a Buy rating on Darden with a price target lifted from $110 to $115.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Andrew Strelzik maintains a Market Perform rating on Darden with a price target lifted from $84 to $96.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Eric Gonzalez maintains an Overweight rating on Darden with a price target lifted from $102 to $108.

See Also: Darden’s Earnings Report Signals Improving Trends, Dividend Reinstated

Raymond James: Quarter Recap

Darden’s sales were down 28.4% year over year to $1.53 billion and this was short of expectations by $16 million, Vaccaro wrote in a note. Olive Garden’s revenue was down 29% in the quarter and this compares unfavorably to the broader casual dining industry that recorded a 25.8% decline, according to Knapp Track data. The underperformance can be attributed to a lack of exposure to third-party delivery platforms.

There were some positive takeaways in the quarter, including store margins falling just 23 basis points to 17.8% due to “surprising” labor leverage and lower marketing costs. The company also reinstated its 30 cents per share quarterly dividend and closed a $270 million one-year term loan.

Credit Suisse: Recovery Story

Darden’s report showed sales continued to recover from COVID-19 lows although same-store sales were still down 29% in the quarter, including negative 28.2% at Olive Garden and negative 18.1% at LongHorn, Silberman wrote in a note. But same-store sales at restaurants open for limited capacity fared better at negative 21.1% at Olive Garden and negative 11.3% at LongHorn.

Management guided its fiscal second-quarter Adjusted EBITDA at $200 million to $215 and this is “well above” expectations for $155 million. The company also noted it can recover 100% of EBITDA when it regains just 90% of prior level sales. The company deserves credit for this outlook and reinforces the longer-term top- and bottom-line outlook.

MKM: Sales Recovery

Olive Garden and LongHorn’s triple-digit off-premise growth is credited with supporting a sales recovery as it accounted for 45% of sales and 28% of sales, respectively, Levy wrote in a note. This signals the “strength” of Darden’s large brands during an uncertain landscape.

Management’s comments that a full EBITDA recovery requires 90% of prior sales is encouraging moving forward. Darden noted it expects 5% to 15% of competitors’ stores could close in the future while Darden proceeds with plans to

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