10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now

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10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc (PLKI)

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc, formerly AFC Enterprises, Inc. incorporated on July 27, 1992, develops, operates, and franchises quick-service restaurants (QSRs or restaurants) under the trade names Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (collectively Popeyes). Within Popeyes, it manages two business segments: franchise operations and ompany-operated restaurants. Within the QSR industry, Popeyes distinguishes itself with a Louisiana style menu, which features spicy chicken, chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, fried shrimp and other seafood, red beans and rice and other regional items. As of December 25, 2012, the Company operated and franchised 2,104 Popeyes restaurants in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Cayman Islands and 26 foreign countries. As of December 25, 2012, of its 1,634 domestic franchised restaurants, approximately 70% were concentrated in Texas, California, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Georgia , Virginia and Mississippi. Of its 425 international franchised restaurants, approximately 60% were located in Korea, Canada, and Turkey. Of its 45 Company-operated restaurants, approximately 80% were concentrated in Louisiana and Tennessee. In November 2012, the Company acquired 27 restaurants in Minnesota and California.

As of December 25, 2012, the Company had 340 franchisees operating restaurants within the Popeyes system. During the fiscal year ended December 25, 2012 (fiscal 2012), the Popeyes system opened 141 restaurants, which included 75 domestic and 65 international restaurants. During fiscal 2011, the Popeyes system permanently closed 75 restaurants, resulting in 66 net restaurant openings, compared to 65 net openings. As of December 25, 2012, it leased 12 restaurants and subleased 44 restaurants to franchisees. In addition, it leased three properties to unrelated third parties. Of the restaurants leased or subleased to franchisees, 29 were located i n Texas and 16 were located in Georgia. On November 7, 2012,! the Company entered into a new agreement with the King Features Syndicate Division of Hearst Holdings, Inc., licensor of the Popeye the Sailorman and associated cartoon characters.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Alamy Fried chicken and waffles is a staple menu item at countless soul food and comfort food restaurants, but that’s not stopping Burger King (BKW) from trying to give the meal a fast-food spin. Burger King is testing a new sandwich in the Northeast that takes the breaded chicken patty used in its Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich from its King Deals Value Menu and replaces the bun with a split waffle. Burger King’s Chicken & Waffle Sandwich isn’t as hearty as the meal that it’s based on. It’s selling for as little as $2.29. But the chain’s latest attempt to turn heads with a unique menu item will at least attract curious nibblers if it does decide to broaden the offering across the country. Waffling About Burger King isn’t the first popular chain to attempt to reinvent this classic dish. As Nation’s Restaurant News points out, last summer, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) offered Chicken Waffle Tenders — consisting of chicken tenders dipped in a vanilla maple-scented waffle batter, served with a honey maple dipping sauce. DineEquity’s (DIN) IHOP did it three years ago by combining its chicken strips with Belgian waffle quarters. Yum! Brands (YUM) tried to breathe new life into its breakfast business last summer by testing a Waffle Taco — an egg, sausage, and waffle breakfast sandwich. Even if it doesn’t succeed — and some of the early taste tests haven’t been very flattering to the chain’s new sandwich — it’s at least comforting to see that Burger King isn’t just copying McDonald’s (MCD) the way that it has for the past couple of years. Burger King followed McDonald’s in offering fancy coffee drinks, fresh fruit smoothies, and popcorn chicken. It has gone on to roll out doppelgangers of the Egg McMuffin and McRib sandwiches. In November, it introduced the Big King, which any patron will quickly recognize as a body double to the Big Mac. Then again, it’s not as if following McDonald’s lead is such a clever idea right now. The world’s largest re

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Planet Platinum Ltd (PPN)

Planet Platinum Limited is an Australia-based company engaged in the operation of Showgirls Bar 20 and the on-going rental of property in Elsternwick. The Company operates in two segments: hospitality and entertainment and property rental businesses. The Company’s hospitality and entertainment segment comprises operations of Showgirls Bar 20 in Melbourne and is engaged in the nightclub through the provision of beverages and adult entertainment. Property segment comprise maintaining of rental property at Home Street, Elsternwick. The Company continues to receive lease rentals from its Home Street property. The investment property is located at 12 Home Street, Elsternwick Victoria. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tabitha Jean Naylor]

    Americans consume a lot of chicken. It estimated that Americans consume about 81 pounds of poultry per year, per capita. With there being upwards of 310 million people living in the United States, it is no wonder why poultry production is big business. Two of the biggest names in poultry production are Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) and Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ: PPN).

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Noodles & Co (NDLS)

Noodles & Company, incorporated on December 19, 2002, is a casual restaurant concept offering lunch and dinner. The Company offers noodle and pasta dishes, staples of many cuisines, with the goal of delivering fresh ingredients and flavors globally under one roof from Pad Thai to Mac & Cheese. The Company’s globally inspired menu includes a variety of cooked-to-order dishes, including noodles and pasta, soups, salads and sandwiches, which are served on china by its friendly team members.

As of May 28, 2013, including the 16 Company owned restaurants and one franchise restaurant opened in 2013. The Company opened 39 new company owned restaurants and six franchise restaurants. In 2012, the Company began using Your World Kitchen to describe the breadth of its offering and its customers’ dining experience.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images March hasn’t been a good month for the quick-service industry. Sbarro — the pizza and pasta chain that’s a staple in many malls — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier this month. A few days later it was toasted-sandwich maker Quiznos following suit. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never have another slice of Sbarro’s New York-style pizza or a French dip sub at Quiznos. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where cash-strapped companies wind down their operations, Chapter 11 gives companies another chance to get it right after negotiating with creditors. It’s not a good place to be — and this is the second time Sbarro has gone this route in the past three years. However, things have to be pretty bad if you’re willing to risk upsetting creditors and potentially hand over ownership in the pursuit of a cleaner balance sheet. Sbarro and Quiznos hope that a fiscal makeover will turn the tide. Sbarro will surrender ownership to lenders in a move that will replace 80 percent of its debt with equity. Quiznos filed a prepackaged restructuring plan that would shave $400 million of debt. Both chains will live on, but they may not be the same. Mauled at the Mall Sbarro has shut 180 company-owned locations with plans to shutter dozens more. There are now less than 800 units. Quiznos has 2,100 largely franchisee-owned locations, but we’ll have to see how that holds up over time. Sbarro cited an “unprecedented decline in mall traffic” as a factor in its slide. As shoppers migrate online, there has been slower foot traffic at the suburban mall and hence to the food court. Quiznos relies on standalone locations and strip-mall outlets that haven’t necessarily suffered from the thinning shopping mall crowds that have hurt Sbarro. However, Quiznos has been hit by everything from the larger Subway following it into toasted subs to folks scaling back on carbohydrates. It didn’t seem as if this was a problem last year. Two of the hotte

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    What happens when noodles gets overcooked? They turn into a gooey, mushy mess. What happens when Noodles & Co (NDLS), which trades at a 78.5 times forward earnings, releases disappointing results? It too turns into a gooey, mushy mess.

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Chanticleer Holdings Inc (HOTR)

Chanticleer Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 1999, is a business operator focused on expanding the Hooters casual dining restaurant brand in international markets. Chanticleer has rights to develop and operate Hooters restaurants in South Africa and has joint ventured with the current franchisee in Australia. The company also has franchise rights to develop Hungary and parts of Brazil while evaluating several additional opportunities internationally. During the year ended December 31, 2011, Chanticleer and a group of private equity investors acquired Hooters of America, Inc. (HOA). HOA is the franchisor and operator of over 450 Hooters restaurants in 44 states and 28 foreign countries. In October 2013, Chanticleer Holdings Inc purchased American Roadside Burgers, Inc. In December 12, 2013, Chanticleer Holdings Inc acquired a 51% interest in JF Restaurants LLC, an owner and operator of restaurants. In February 2014, it acquired Hooters’ United States Pacific Northwest franch ise rights and two existing restaurants in Oregon and Washington.

The Company operates in two business segments: Hooters franchise restaurants, and investment management and consulting services businesses. Hooters has also branched out to other areas, including licensing its name to a golf tour and the sale of packaged food in supermarkets. Its subsidiaries include Chanticleer Advisors, LLC, (Advisors), Avenel Ventures, LLC (Ventures), Avenel Financial Services, LLC (AFS), Chanticleer Holdings Limited (CHL), Chanticleer Holdings Australia Pty, Ltd. (CHA), Chanticleer Investment Partners, LLC (CIP), DineOut SA Ltd. (DineOut), Kiarabrite (Pty) Ltd (KPL), Dimaflo (Pty) Ltd (DFLO), Tundraspex (Pty) Ltd (TPL), Civisign (Pty) Ltd (CPL), Dimalogix (Pty) Ltd (DLOG) and Crown Restaurants Kft. (CRK).

South Africa

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had four Hooters locations in South Africa in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg (two locations), which are owned by four companies, which it control. The Com! pany formed a management company to operate the current South African Hooters locations. It owns 80% of the management company, with two members of local management owning the remaining 20%. The management company charges a management fee of 5% of net revenues to the Hooters locations in South Africa.

Other Countries

The Company has acquired development rights for Hooters in five states of Brazil, which would include Rio de Janeiro. It has applied to HOA for franchise rights in Hungary, where it own 80% of the entity the Company anticipate will hold the franchise rights and its local partner owns the remaining 20%. The Company has partnered with the Hooters franchisee in a joint venture in which it owns 49% and its partner 51%. The first Hooters restaurant under this joint venture (which would be the third Hooters restaurant open in Australia) opened in January 2012 in Campbelltown, a suburb of Sydney. It has a non-binding letter of intent with a fr anchisee to purchase 100% of an existing Hooters location.

Management and consulting services

The Company provides management and consulting services for small companies, which are seeking to become publicly traded. The Company also provides management and investment services for Investors LLC and Investors II, which are affiliates of the Company.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Konrad Kuhn]

    Chanticleer Holdings (HOTR), a franchisee of international Hooters restaurants, has exploded through its upside target prices; however, in our view, the stock has a long way to go, as it expands its restaurants abroad, and in the US.

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Sodexo SA (SW)

Sodexo SA, (formerly Sodexho Alliance SA), is a global provider of services in three primary business areas: The On-site Services Solutions offer various services that range from food services to construction management, reception to the maintenance of scanners and laboratory equipment, management of data centers, leisure cruises and provides housekeeping to rehabilitation services at correctional facilities. The Motivation Solutions division provides passes and vouchers, comprising Restaurant Pass, Gift Pass, Sport Pass, Training Voucher, Service Card and Book Card, among others. The Company also provides Personal and Home Services in the form of childcare, tutoring, concierge services and in-home service care facilities. The Company is present in 80 countries in a number of geographic areas, such as North America, South America, Continental Europe and United Kingdom and Ireland. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Glenwoods]

    Recently giant food conglomerate, Cargill announced it had partnered with the Swiss biosynthetic pharmaceutical company, Evolva (EVE:SW), to develop a more consistent and less expensive stevia sweetener via Evolva’s microbial fermentation-based process.  This is big news for the future of stevia because a microbial fermentation-based process does not have to rely on soil conditions or weather, and stevia can be manufactured anywhere, thus having the potential of guaranteeing an endless supply line of stevia.  Through the microbial fermentation, the manufacturer has the capability to process the key sweet individual components of stevia using low-cost plant sugars, and allows for the individual components of stevia, regardless of how minute, to be developed creating blends in any volume, which then could open the door for these manufacturers to fine-tune its stevia to local tastes.  But what would be most attractive is that, because the fermentation process does not require the entire plant, the method could conceivably shave upwards of 70% off the cost of producing stevia extracts. 

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: BAB Inc (BABB)

BAB, Inc., incorporated on July 12, 2000, franchises and licenses bagel and muffin retail units under the Big Apple Bagel (BAB) and My Favorite Muffin (MFM) trade names. At November 30, 2012, the Company had 100 franchise units and 6 licensed units in operation in 24 states. The Company additionally derives income from the sale of its trademark bagels, muffins and coffee through nontraditional channels of distribution including under licensing agreements with Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard, Kaleidoscoops, Green Beans Coffee, Sodexo and through direct home delivery of specialty muffin gift baskets and coffee. The Company has two wholly owned subsidiaries: BAB Systems, Inc. (Systems) and BAB Operations, Inc. (Operations). At November 30, 2012, the Company had 100 franchise units and six licensed units in operation in 24 states.

The Company additionally derives income from the sale of its trademark bagels, muffins and coffee through nontraditional channels of distribu tion including under licensing agreements with Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard, Kaleidoscoops, Green Beans Coffee, Sodexo and through direct home delivery of specialty muffin gift baskets and coffee. The BAB franchised brand consists of units operating as Big Apple Bagels, featuring daily baked bagels, flavored cream cheeses, premium coffees, gourmet bagel sandwiches and other related products. Licensed BAB units serve the Company’s par-baked frozen bagel and related products baked daily. BAB units are primarily concentrated in the Midwest and Western United States. The MFM brand consists of units operating as My Favorite Muffin, featuring a variety of freshly baked muffins, coffees and related products, and units operating as My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe, featuring these products as well as a variety of specialty bagel sandwiches and related products.

The Company’s BAB offering franchises in all 50 states, its initial development focus is targeted for the Mid west, specifically Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. A! s part of its introductory development plan, BAB will be donating 10% of the initial franchise fee from its 50 SweetDuet units to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, of which BAB is a corporate sponsor. SweetDuet, as its name implies, is a fusion concept, pairing self-serve frozen yogurt with BAB’s exclusive line of My Favorite Muffin gourmet muffins, broadening the shop’s offering and therefore differentiating itself from the numerous frozen yogurt outlets already populating the market. SweetDuet shops include BAB’s Brewster’s Coffee and a streamlined breakfast menu. The concept is designed to work in 1600 square feet of space.

BAB franchised stores daily bake a variety of fresh bagels and offer up to 11 varieties of cream cheese spreads. Stores also offer a variety of breakfast and lunch bagel sandwiches, salads, soups, various dessert items, fruit smoothies, gourmet coffees and other beverages. A typical BAB store is in an area with a mix of both residential and commercial properties and ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet. The Company’s current store design is approximately 1,800 square feet, with seating capacity for 20 to 30 persons, and includes approximately 750 square feet devoted to production and baking. A satellite store is typically smaller than a production store, averaging 800 to 1,200 square feet. Although franchise stores may vary in size from other franchise stores, store layout is generally consistent.

MFM franchised stores daily bake 20 to 25 varieties of muffins from over 250 recipes, plus a variety of bagels. They also serve gourmet coffees, beverages and, at My Favorite Muffin and Bagel Cafe locations, a variety of bagel sandwiches and related products. The typical MFM store design is approximately 1,800 square feet, with seating capacity for 20 to 30 persons.The Company advertises its franchising opportunities in directories, newspapers and the Internet.

The Company competes with E instein Noah Restaurant Group, Panera Bread Company and Brue! gger’s Ba! gel Bakery.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By CRWE]

    Today, BABB remains (0.00%) +0.000 at $.800 thus far (ref. google finance July 11, 2013).

    For the quarter ended May 31, 2013, BAB had revenues of $658,000 and net income of $125,000, or $0.02 per share, versus revenues of $826,000 and net income of $267,000, or $0.04 per share, for the same quarter last year. For the quarter ended May 31, 2012, the Company received a $171,000 payment for the buyout of the Franchise Agreement from its Minot, ND franchisee so the franchisee could pursue its other business interests associated with the local energy boom. In that acceptance by the Company of the voluntary buyout is unique, no such transaction occurred nor was such income earned in the quarter ended May 31, 2013.

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Burger King Worldwide Inc (BKW)

Burger King Worldwide, Inc., incorporated on April 2, 2012, is a fast food hamburger restaurant, under the Burger King brand. The Company generates revenues from three sources: franchise revenues, consisting primarily of royalties based on a percentage of sales reported by franchise restaurants and fees paid by franchisees; property income from properties that it leases or subleases to franchisees, and retail sales at Company restaurants. In September 2012, it sold 41 Company-owned BURGER KING restaurants in Singapore to Rancak Selera Sdn Bhd. As of December 31, 2012, it owned or franchised a total of 12,997 restaurants in 86 countries and United States territories. In April 2013, it announced the sale of Burger King Restaurants of Canada (BKRC), including 94 Company owned BURGER KING restaurants in the Canada market to Redberry Investments Corp.

The Company operates in the FFHR category of the quick service restaurant (QSR), segment of the restaurant industry . In the United States, the QSR segment is the segment of the restaurant industry and has demonstrated steady growth over a long period of time. The Company launched four new menu platforms (salads, wraps, smoothies and desserts) and expanded its chicken, coffee and ancillary menu platforms. It has established a data driven marketing process, which is focused on driving restaurant sales and traffic, while targeting a broader consumer base with more inclusive messaging to reach women, parties with children and seniors.

United States and Canada (U.S. and Canada)

As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 7,293 franchise restaurants and 183 Company restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. During the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company refranchised 752 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, bringing the region to 98% franchised. During the year ended December 31, 2012, it also continued to implement its Four Pillars strategy to improve comparable sales gro wth and franchise profitability by enhancing its Menu, Marke! ting Communications, Image, and Operations.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)

As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 2,989 franchise restaurants and 132 Company restaurants in EMEA. While in Germany continues with 684 restaurants as of December 31, 2012, Turkey and Russia are two of its growing markets with net openings of 78 restaurants and 47 restaurants, respectively, during the year ended December 31, 2012.

Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)

As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 1,290 franchise and 100 Company restaurants in LAC. In 2011, the Company entered into a joint venture agreement with Vinci Partners for Brazil and granted franchise and development rights to the joint venture. The Company received a minority stake and board seats in the joint venture without deploying its own capital.

Asia Pacific (APAC)

As of December 31, 2012, the Company had 1,007 franchise and 3 C ompany restaurants in APAC. As of December 31, 2012,the Company had 357 restaurants in Australia. It contributed 44 Company restaurants in China. In September 2012, the Company sold 38restaurants to Rancak Selera, the Burger King franchisee in Malaysia.

The Company competes with McDonald’s Corporation, Wendy’s Company, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box and Sonic.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bloomberg Businessweek]

    Alamy McDonald’s (MCD) may recently have struggled to lure customers, but it still does far more business at each location than rival burger chains. The average McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. drew $2.6 million in revenue last year. Average sales for No. 2 chain Burger King (BKW): $1.2 million, according to data from its largest franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST). What accounts for this more-than-a-million gap? “Everything from marketing and site selection to product initiatives and franchisee selection have been historical factors,” said Nick Setyan, vice president in charge of equity research at Wedbush Securities, in an email. Here are four factors that drive higher sales volumes at McDonald’s: 1. McDonald’s gets more customers during off-peak hours. Look no further than the strength of its breakfast business relative that of Burger King, says Darren Tristano, executive vice president at restaurant consultancy Technomic. Egg McMuffin is part of the fast-food vocabulary in a way Burger King can’t match. And beverage and snack offerings such as McCafe and wraps have helped increase McDonald’s sales between meals. The dramatic impact from off-peak business explains why chains such as Taco Bell (YUM) are entering the battle for morning customers, while others such as Starbucks (SBUX) are seeking more afternoon and evening business. 2. The power of the Happy Meal. McDonald’s has the largest share of kids meal sales in the fast-food industry and gets about 10 percent of total sales from Happy Meals, the most commonly advertised child-oriented fast-food item on television. Burger King, meanwhile, is still trying to win back “parties with kids and seniors and women,” said Josh Kobza, Burger King’s chief financial officer, at a conference last year. One way to do that: “We got rid of the creepy king character that tended to scare away women and children.” 3. McDonald’s has an edge on efficiency. Despite recent operational challenges at McDonald’s,

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Taco Bell/AP There will be a new player in the escalating battle for breakfast on Thursday when Yum Brands’ (YUM) Taco Bell rolls out its new morning menu, and the stakes are huge. McDonald’s (MCD) is the name that most people associate with breakfast fast food. Ever since it introduced the Egg McMuffin in 1972, the world’s largest burger flipper has set the bar for convenient morning meals for people on the go. The Waffle Taco will likely be Taco Bell’s signature breakfast item. The taco-shaped waffle wrapped around a sausage patty, scrambled eggs and cheese turned heads when it was tested in select locations late last year. However, it’s just one of the many items wooing commuters. Naturally there will be eggy breakfast burritos and grilled tacos with either bacon or sausage. The A.M. Crunchwrap gives a morning spin to the Crunchwrap Supreme by blanketing hash browns, scrambled eggs and either bacon or sausage in a pressed and folded flour tortilla. Tough Competition McDonald’s is struggling these days, but it’s still a fierce competitor when it comes to the first meal of the day. Just ask Burger King (BKW), which finds itself copying McDonald’s more often than not, including hotcakes served with sausage and the Egg McMuffin. Just ask Wendy’s (WEN), which retreated from its nationwide breakfast menu a couple of years ago. It’s starting to work its way back in by introducing breakfast in some markets. Even Starbucks (SBUX) has been feeling the threat of McDonald’s as the burger giant beefs up its McCafe line, offering guests drive-thru convenience that many Starbucks locations cannot. Earlier this month Starbucks ran a three-day promotion where it offered free coffee to anyone ordering a breakfast sandwich. It was meant to remind customers that it offers more than just java. Breakfast seems like an easy decision for a fast food leader. Who wouldn’t want to milk more revenue out of a location by extending its operating hours? However, with Wendy’s coming

  • [By Nickey Friedman] We probably should have seen this coming. After all, for the last few months, Burger King Worldwide (ticker: BKW) has taken its royal crown back amid strategic moves aimed directly at dethroning its larger rival McDonald’s (MCD) . The latest policy change from Burger King threatens a key McDonald’s demographic as the Home of the Whopper ups the stakes.

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc (FRGI)

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (Fiesta Restaurant Group), incorporated on April 27, 2011, owns, operates and franchises two fast-casual restaurant brands, Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana. The Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants offer a range of tropical and Caribbean inspired food, while the Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants offers a range of fresh, authentic Mexican food. As of December 30, 2012 , the Company owned and operated a total of 251 restaurants across four states, which included 91 Pollo Tropical and 160 Taco Cabana restaurants. The Company franchises its Pollo Tropical restaurants internationally. As of December 30, 2012 , the Company had 35 franchised Pollo Tropical restaurants located in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Honduras, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama and on several college campuses in Florida. As of December 30, 2012 , the Company had eight Taco Cabana franchised restaurants located in Georgia, New Mexico and Texas.

Pollo Tro pical

The Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants offer tropical and Caribbean inspired menu items, featuring grilled chicken marinated in the Company’s blend of tropical fruit juices and spices. The Company’s diverse menu also includes a line of TropiChops (a casserole bowl of grilled chicken, roast pork or grilled vegetables served over white, brown or yellow rice and red or black beans and topped with a range of condiments and sauces), a range of chicken sandwiches, wraps, salads, roast pork, grilled ribs and wings offered with a range of salsas, sauces and Caribbean style made from scratch side dishes, including black beans and rice, Yucatan fries and sweet plantains, as well as menu items, such as french fries, corn and salads. The Company also offers Hispanic desserts, such as flan and tres leches, and at certain locations, the Company offers a range of sangria, wine and beer.

The Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants feature signature dining ar eas. In additiona, the Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants ! provide its guests the option of take-out, as well as the convenience of drive-thru windows. The Company’s Pollo Tropical restaurants are open for lunch, dinner and late night orders seven days per week. As of December 30, 2012, its company-owned Pollo Tropical restaurants were freestanding buildings. The Company’s typical free-standing Pollo Tropical restaurant ranges from 2,800 to 3,500 square feet and provide interior seating for approximately 70 guests. As of December 30, 2012 , the Company owned and operated a total of 91 Pollo Tropical restaurants, of which 89 were located in Florida and two were located in Georgia. The Company is franchising its Pollo Tropical restaurants internationally. As of December 30, 2012, the Company had 35 franchised Pollo Tropical restaurants located in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Honduras, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama and on college campuses in Florida. The Company also has agreements for the future development of franchis ed Pollo Tropical restaurants in Tobago, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Guatemala and India.

Taco Cabana

The Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants serve Mexican food, including flame-grilled beef and chicken fajitas served on sizzling iron skillets, quesadillas, hand-rolled flautas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fresh-made flour tortillas, a selection of made from scratch salsas and sauces, customizable salads served in a Cabana bowl, traditional Mexican and American breakfasts and other Mexican dishes. The Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants also offer a range of beverage choices, including soft drinks, frozen margaritas and beer.

The Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants feature interior dining areas, as well as semi-enclosed and outdoor patio areas. In addition, the Company’s Taco Cabana restaurants provide its guests the option of take-out. The Company’s freestanding Taco Cabana restaurants average approximately 3,500 square feet (exclusive of th e exterior dining area) and provide seating for approximatel! y 80 gues! ts, with additional outside patio seating for approximately 50 guests. As of December 30, 2012, its company-owned Taco Cabana restaurants were freestanding buildings. As of December 30, 2012, the Company owned and operated 160 Taco Cabana restaurants, of which 156 are located in Texas and four in Oklahoma.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By GURUFOCUS]

    Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI) was the Fund’s best performing position in the fourth quarter and for all of 2013. Over the past year the stock g ained over 240 percent and added 212 basis points of return. The fast-food chain has con tinued to restructure after spinning off Burger King restaurants and is now successfully ach ieving organic growth. We continue to believe the stock is undervalued and expect further growth ahead.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on Fiesta Restaurant Group (Nasdaq: FRGI  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Fiesta Restaurant Group (FRGI) owns, operates and franchises fast-casual restaurants under the Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana brand names. This stock closed up 10.5% to $34.73 in Friday’s trading session.

    Friday’s Volume: 552,000

    Three-Month Average Volume: 220,525

    Volume % Change: 140%

    From a technical perspective, FRGI ripped sharply higher here right off some near-term support at $30.89 and back above its 50-day moving average of $34.23 with strong upside volume. This move pushed shares of FRGI into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance at $33.14. Shares of FRGI are now starting to move within range of triggering another key breakout trade. That trade will hit if FRGI manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance at $35.73 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in FRGI as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $34.23 or above $33 and then once it sustains a move or close above $35.75 with volume that hits near or above 220,525 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then FRGI will set up to re-test or possibly take out its all-time high at $38.84. Any high-volume move above that level will then give FRGI a chance to trend north of $40.

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI)

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (Darden), incorporated in March 1995, is a company owned and full-service restaurant company. As of May 27, 2012, the Company operated through subsidiaries 1,994 restaurants in the United States and Canada. In the United States, it operated 1,961 restaurants in all 50 states, including 677 Red Lobster, 786 Olive Garden, 386 LongHorn Steakhouse, 46 The Capital Grille, 30 Bahama Breeze, 23 Seasons 52, eight Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and three Wildfish Seafood Grille restaurants, and two test synergy restaurants, which house both a Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurant in the same building. In Canada, the Company operated 33 restaurants, including 27 Red Lobster and six Olive Garden restaurants. Through subsidiaries, it owns and operates all of its restaurants in the United States and Canada, except for three restaurants located in Central Florida that is owned by joint ventures it manages. On November 14, 2011, it acquired eight Eddie V’s Prime Seafo od restaurants and three Wildfish Seafood Grille restaurants.

As of May 27, 2012, the Company had 28 restaurants outside the United States and Canada operated by independent third parties pursuant to area development and franchise agreements, including five LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants in Puerto Rico, 22 Red Lobster restaurants in Japan, and one Red Lobster restaurant in Dubai. During fiscal year ended May 27, 2012, it opened 89 net new restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Red Lobster

Red Lobster is a full-service dining seafood specialty restaurant operator in the United States. It offers a menu featuring fresh fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops and other seafood. The menu includes a variety of specialty seafood and non-seafood entrees, appetizers and desserts. Red Lobster maintains different lunch and dinner menus and different menus across its trade areas.

Olive Garden

Olive Garden is a full s ervice dining Italian restaurant operator in the United Stat! es. Olive Garden’s menu includes a range of authentic Italian foods featuring fresh ingredients and a wine list that includes a selection of wines imported from Italy. The menu includes flatbreads and other appetizers, soups, salad and garlic bread sticks, baked pastas, sauted specialties with chicken, seafood and fresh vegetables, grilled meats, and a variety of desserts. Olive Garden also uses coffee imported from Italy for its espresso and cappuccino.

LongHorn Steakhouse

LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants are full-service establishments serving both lunch and dinner. With locations in 35 states, primarily in the Eastern half of the United States, LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants feature a range of menu items, including signature fresh steaks, as well as salmon, shrimp, chicken, ribs, pork chops, burgers and prime rib.

The Capital Grille

The Capital Grille has locations in metropolitan cities in the United States. The Capit al Grille offers seafood flown in daily and culinary specials created by its chefs. The restaurants feature a wine list offering over 350 selections, personalized service, and private dining rooms.

Bahama Breeze

Bahama Breeze restaurants bring guests the feeling of a Caribbean escape, offering the food, drinks and atmosphere found in the islands. The menu features Caribbean-inspired seafood, chicken and steaks, as well as signature specialty drinks. During fiscal 2012, it opened four Bahama Breeze restaurant.

Seasons 52

Seasons 52 is a grill and wine bar with seasonally inspired menus offering ingredients to meals that are lower in calories than comparable restaurant meals. It offers a wine list of more than 90 wines with approximately 60 available by the glass. As of May 27, 2012, there were 23 Seasons 52 restaurants in the United States.

Synergy restaurant

Synergy restaurant houses both a Red Lo bster and Olive Garden restaurant in the same building, but ! with sepa! rate front doors, dining rooms and brand-specific menus. It opened a second synergy test location during fiscal 2012.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By John Kell var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach(func]

    Activist investor Barington Capital Group LP on Wednesday called for the Darden Restaurants Inc.(DRI) to consider seeking out a new chief executive, saying it has “lost confidence” in current chief Clarence Otis’ ability to run the company.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The gloves are off. Barington Capital Group, which first proposed restructuring Darden Restaurants (DRI) by working with management, has changed course and asked Darden’s independent directors to name an independent chairman and consider hiring a new CEO.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) is the world’s largest publicly held casual dining restaurant company. It owns and operates the Olive Garden®, Red Lobster®, LongHorn Steakhouse®, The Capital Grille®, Yard House®, Bahama Breeze®, Seasons 52®, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood® and Wildfish Seafood Grille® restaurant brands.

  • [By Michael Lewis]

    Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI  ) reported quarterly results late last week, and the numbers were pretty much as expected, with lower profit and rough same-store sales figures. For investors, the focus should not be on these short-term trends but the long-term trajectory of the business. The sale of Red Lobster continues to generate controversy, both from existing shareholders and outside pundits. The company is spending big money on a revamp plan, trying to juice up its mature, slow-growing assets (mainly Olive Garden) while accelerating the expansion of its appetizing ones. There is so much potential here for the world’s largest casual-service restaurant business, but management has not delivered in recent times. Is that about to change?

10 Best Restaurant Stocks To Own Right Now: DineEquity Inc (DIN)

DineEquity, Inc., incorporated on May 07, 1976, owns franchise and operate two restaurant concepts: Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, (Applebee’s), in the bar and grill segment of the casual dining category of the restaurant industry, and International House of Pancakes (IHOP), in the family dining category of the restaurant industry. As of December 31, 2012, the franchise operations segment consisted of 2,011 restaurants operated by Applebee’s franchisees in the United States, one United States territory and 15 foreign countries and 1,569 restaurants operated by IHOP franchisees and area licensees in the United States, two United States territories and five foreign countries. As of December 31, 2012, the Company restaurant operations segment consisted of 23 Applebee’s Company-operated restaurants, 10 IHOP Company-operated restaurants and two IHOP restaurants reacquired from franchisees and operated by IHOP on a temporary basis until refranchised. Financing operations r evenue primarily consists of interest income from the financing of franchise fees and equipment leases, as well as sales of equipment associated with refranchised IHOP restaurants and a portion of franchise fees for restaurants taken back from franchisees not allocated to IHOP intellectual property. In October 2012, it completed the refranchising program and completed the transitioning to a 99% franchised restaurant system.

Applebee’s

The Company develops, franchises and operates restaurants in the bar and grill segment of the casual dining category of the restaurant industry under the name Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar. As of December 31, 2012, 68 franchise groups operated 2,011 of these restaurants and 23 restaurants were Company-operated. The restaurants were located in 49 states, one United States territory and 15 countries outside of the United States. During the year ended December 31, 2012, 20 domestic franchise restaurants opened, six domestic franchise restaurants closed. 154 Company-operated! restaurants were franchised. The number of restaurants held by an individual franchisee ranges from one to 438 restaurants. As of December 31, 2012, it is focusing on international franchising primarily in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean/Middle East. As of December 31, 2012, there were 149 international Applebee’s franchise restaurants. During 2012, 14 international franchise restaurants opened and 13 international franchise restaurants closed.

IHOP

The Company develops franchises and operates restaurants in the family dining category of the restaurant industry under the names IHOP and International House of Pancakes. As of December 31, 2012 there were a total of 1,581 IHOP restaurants of which 1,404 were subject to franchise agreements, 165 were subject to area license agreements, 10 were Company-operated restaurants and two restaurants were reacquired from franchisees and operated by IHOP on a temporary basis. The Company owns and operates 10 IHOP restaurants in the Cincinnati market area primarily to test new remodel programs, operating procedures, products, technology, cooking platforms and service models. IHOP restaurants are located in all 50 states of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands and internationally in Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates. As of December 31, 2012, the area licensee for the state of Florida and certain counties in Georgia operated or sub-franchised a total of 152 IHOP restaurants, and the area licensees for the province of British Columbia, Canada operated or sub-franchised a total of 13 IHOP restaurants. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had signed commitments and options from franchisees to build 245 IHOP restaurants over the next 17 years, comprised of 5 restaurants under single-restaurant or non-traditional development agreements, 120 restaurants unde r multi-restaurant development agreements and 63 restaurants! under in! ternational development agreements. As of December 31, 2012, there were 1,525 domestic IHOP franchise and area license restaurants. During 2012, its franchisees and area licensees opened 40 domestic franchise restaurants and 17 domestic franchise and area license restaurants were closed. As of December 31, 2012, there were 44 international IHOP franchise and area license restaurants. During 2012, its franchisees opened eight international franchise restaurants and no restaurants were closed.

The Company competes with Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday’s, Denny’s, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Bob Evans Restaurants.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    As outlined in this article, the company underperformance in its core brands, Red Lobster and Olive Garden resulted in lower sales in the last quarter. Darden was not the only one facing trouble, other restaurants such as Dine Equity (DIN) and Yum! Brands (YUM) have also fallen short. On the other hand, we see we think Darden can continue to get benefitted from the acquisitions.

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    AP/Jae C. Hong For all the talk about drones replacing parcel carriers or self-driving cars disrupting the taxi industry, there’s a bigger tech revolution happening in the restaurant industry right now that may displace workers far sooner than anything futurists foresee in those other industries. The arrival of tablets and smartphone apps that detail menu items, take orders, and let you settle up your tab at the en of the meal will be a big theme among casual dining chains and even a few independent foodie haunts this year. Brinker International’s (EAT) Chili’s, DineEquity’s (DIN) Applebee’s, and a handful of San Francisco fine dining establishments are leading the push to add the technology, which will make waiters and waitresses less necessary. None of the chains have said that these tech initiatives will lead them to reduce waitstaff headcount — but it doesn’t take a lot of foresight to connect the dots. If folks are using table-side tablets to place orders and ask for drink refills, or firing up a smartphone app to pay at the end of a meal, that naturally translates into fewer front-of-house employees needed to keep an eatery going. Order Up In fact, some industry leaders outright deny that mobile tech will displace staff. “This really isn’t a labor play,” DineEquity CEO Julia Stewart said on CNBC late last year, explaining Applebee’s move to deploy 100,000 tablets this year — one at every table. “It’s not about saving labor. This is really about creating an opportunity to talk to our guest, have an interactive conversation with our guest, and give our guest a lot more opportunities.” At first, a waitstaff will be instrumental in assisting customers as they use the tablets to place orders or pay their bills. There will also be patrons who are apprehensive about embracing the technology, and Applebee’s will still have waiters taking orders the old-fashioned way for people who prefer talking to a person. Chili’s is going with a less-comprehensive table

  • [By Rick Aristotle Munarriz]

    Alamy Fried chicken and waffles is a staple menu item at countless soul food and comfort food restaurants, but that’s not stopping Burger King (BKW) from trying to give the meal a fast-food spin. Burger King is testing a new sandwich in the Northeast that takes the breaded chicken patty used in its Classic Crispy Chicken Sandwich from its King Deals Value Menu and replaces the bun with a split waffle. Burger King’s Chicken & Waffle Sandwich isn’t as hearty as the meal that it’s based on. It’s selling for as little as $2.29. But the chain’s latest attempt to turn heads with a unique menu item will at least attract curious nibblers if it does decide to broaden the offering across the country. Waffling About Burger King isn’t the first popular chain to attempt to reinvent this classic dish. As Nation’s Restaurant News points out, last summer, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLKI) offered Chicken Waffle Tenders — consisting of chicken tenders dipped in a vanilla maple-scented waffle batter, served with a honey maple dipping sauce. DineEquity’s (DIN) IHOP did it three years ago by combining its chicken strips with Belgian waffle quarters. Yum! Brands (YUM) tried to breathe new life into its breakfast business last summer by testing a Waffle Taco — an egg, sausage, and waffle breakfast sandwich. Even if it doesn’t succeed — and some of the early taste tests haven’t been very flattering to the chain’s new sandwich — it’s at least comforting to see that Burger King isn’t just copying McDonald’s (MCD) the way that it has for the past couple of years. Burger King followed McDonald’s in offering fancy coffee drinks, fresh fruit smoothies, and popcorn chicken. It has gone on to roll out doppelgangers of the Egg McMuffin and McRib sandwiches. In November, it introduced the Big King, which any patron will quickly recognize as a body double to the Big Mac. Then again, it’s not as if following McDonald’s lead is such a clever idea right now. The world’s largest re