Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Aug 12, 2020 • 10:00 am ET
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Brinker International Q4 2020 Earnings Conference Call.
It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to your host, Mika Ware. Ma'am, the floor is yours.
Thank you, Paul, and good morning everyone. With me on today's call are Wyman Roberts, Chief Executive Officer and President; and Joe Taylor, Chief Financial Officer. Results for the fourth quarter were released earlier this morning and are available on our website at brinker.com. Wyman and Joe will first make prepared comments related to our operating performance and strategic initiatives. Then we will open the call for your questions.Before beginning our comments, I must remind everyone of our safe harbor regarding forward-looking statements. During our call, management may discuss certain items, which are not based entirely on historical facts. Any such items should be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those anticipated. Such risks and uncertainties include factors more completely described in this morning's press release and the Company's filings with the SEC.
And of course on the call, we may refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures that management uses in its review of the business, and believes will provide insight into the Company's ongoing operations.
And with that said, I will turn the call over to Wyman.
Thanks, Mika. And thanks everyone for joining us this morning. John and I'll share highlights of our fourth quarter performance and what we're seeing quarter-to-date.
And by now, you've heard most others in our space and despite the volatility we're all facing, it's good to see the category and the industry moving in the right direction. You'll hear some of the same themes from us, like progressive improvements throughout the quarter as dining rooms reopened, growth in off-premise and digital expansion. The biggest difference you'll hear is in our level of performance, by staying true to our strategy and making aggressive moves to grow the business, our team has navigated this pandemic very well.
Chili's generated significant top line progress throughout the quarter and with our operators' disciplined margin management, we delivered positive cash flow for the quarter, which we used to pay down debt. Our debt load is now below our pre-pandemic level. We continued this momentum into July, ending the month with Chili's down just 10.9%. And in the 84% of our Company-owned restaurants with open dining rooms were down just 3.8%. And 36% of our Company-owned Chili's restaurants ran positive comp sales for the month.
It wasn't our quick reaction to the crisis that enabled us to deliver these results. It was our choice to stay true to the strategy we've been working for more than two years. We had already made significant progress in the areas required to thrive in this environment, off-premise, digital, value and scale.
We didn't have to scramble when the pandemic