Luby's, Inc. (NYSE:LUB) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Jul 15, 2019 • 11:00 am ET

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Luby's, Inc. (NYSE:LUB) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Luby's Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Mr. Steve Goodweather, VP of Financial Planning and Analysis. Thank you, Mr. Goodweather. You may begin.

Executive
Steve Goodweather

Thank you. And again, welcome everyone to Luby's 2019 fiscal third quarter earnings conference call. This call is also being webcast and can be accessed through the audio link on Luby's website, lubysinc.com. Information recorded on this call speaks only as of today, July 15, 2019.

Before we continue, I'd like to remind you that the statements in this discussion, including statements made during the question-and-answer session, regarding Luby's future financial and operating results are forward-looking statements. Those statements include risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to general business conditions, the impact of competition, success of operating initiatives, changes in commodity costs and supply of food and labor as well as seasonality of the Company's business, taxes, inflation, governmental regulations and availability of credit as well as other risks and uncertainties disclosed in the Company's periodic reports on Forms 10-K and Forms 10-Q.

With that, I would like to now turn the call over to Luby's President and CEO, Chris Pappas. Chris?

Executive
Chris Pappas

Steve, thanks. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us on today's conference call. I'll begin with an update on our turnaround progress and comments about the quarter. I'll then turn the call over to our COO, Todd Coutee; followed by remarks from our CFO, Scott Gray.

As I discussed with you last quarter, we're focused on our turnaround plans for the Company and we are making progress. Our turnaround plan is two-fold. One, establishing appropriate cost structures for our business. And two, growing guest traffic and sales. First on the cost side, we continue to make progress with efficiently managing the restaurant level expenses, resulting in store level profit margin improvement, despite the decline in same-store sales in the third quarter. In addition to streamlining these restaurant operational expenses throughout fiscal 2019, we have also been steadily rightsizing our corporate support structure and we've constrained some of our capital expenditures to more of a maintenance level at times.

Second, with regard to growing guest traffic and sales, we fully recognize that our turnaround success depends on this critical aspect. Our guests are loyal to our brands and we are marketing to capture more frequent visits and attract more of these guests especially. From an operations and marketing perspective, we're providing and promoting menu price points that offer compelling everyday value option -- value options starting in the $7 to $9 range, while still including additional premium offerings at higher price points.

The value orientation is aimed at improving guest traffic trends, which can then translate into increased sales. Our sales -- same-store sales have not yet achieved the improvement