Best Restaurant Companies To Buy Right Now

Alaska’s oil industry has been suffering a long, slow decline. Once the premier state for oil production in the U.S., it has now fallen to fourth place, and there doesn’t appear to be any change in that trend anytime soon. Alaskan legislators think otherwise, though. They are looking to finalize a bill that would ease taxes on the oil industry by $750 million a year. They hope that by lowering the tax burden on oil producers in the region, it will spur more investment.

While this will certainly help oil production in Alaska, there are several other factors that are holding back the oil industry there. From high-risk exploration to cheaper options in the Lower 48, it will require a lot for Alaskan oil to be competitive again. In this video, Fool.con contributor Tyler Crowe looks at some of the factors keeping Alaska back and at the plans for some of the major players in the state. 

If oil majors ever expect to see improved production in the Arctic, it will need to rely on advanced offshore drilling rigs to get it done, much like the rigs from Seadrill. To help you size up this stock, one of The Motley Fool’s top Stock Advisor analysts have authored a premium research report on the company, covering everything from its strengths and weaknesses to what to expect going forward. Simply click here now to claim your copy and determine whether Seadrill deserves a place in your portfolio

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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.

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy Right Now: Brinker International Inc (EAT)

Brinker International, Inc. (Brinker), incorporated on September 30, 1983, owns, develops, operates and franchises the Chili’s Grill & Bar (Chili’s) and Maggiano’s Little Italy (Maggiano’s) restaurant brands. As of June 27, 2013 (fiscal 2013), the Company’s system of Company-owned and franchised restaurants included 1,591 restaurants located in 50 states, and Washington, D.C. It also has restaurants in the Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Chili’s Grill & Bar

Chili’s operates in the Bar and Grill category of casual dining. The Company has operations worldwide, with locations in 32 foreign countries and two United States territories. Chili’s menu fea tures items, such as Baby Back Ribs smoked in-house, Big Mouth Burgers, Sizzling Fajitas, hand-battered Chicken Crispers and house-made Chips and Salsa. The all-day menu offers a range of appetizers, entrees and desserts. A special lunch section is available on weekdays. In addition to its flavorful food, Chili’s offers a line of alcoholic beverages available from the bar, including Margaritas and draft beer. During fiscal 2013, food and non-alcoholic beverage sales constituted approximately 86.1% of Chili’s total restaurant revenues, with alcoholic beverage sales accounted for the remaining 13.9%.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Maggiano’s is a full-service, casual dining Italian restaurant brand. Its Maggiano’s restaurants feature individual and family-style menus, and its restaurants also have banquet facilities designed to host party business or social events. It has lunch and dinner menu offering chef-prepared, classic Italian-American fare i n the form of appetizers, entrees with portions of pasta, ch! icken, seafood, veal and prime steaks, and desserts. The Company’s Maggiano’s restaurants also offer a range of alcoholic beverages, including wines. In addition, Maggiano’s offers a full carryout menu, as well as local delivery services. During fiscal 2013, food and non-alcoholic beverage sales constituted approximately 83.0% of Maggiano’s total restaurant revenues, with alcoholic beverage sales accounted for the remaining 17.0%.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    As we can see, the firm has a higher ROE than Wendy´s and Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (BWLD), but far less than the ones from Dunkin Brands Group Inc (DNKN) and Brinker International, Inc. (EAT).

  • [By Damian Illia]

    The restaurant industry has not been easy these days, as many setbacks seem to have interfered with companies’ performance. Holiday seasons, bad weather and other challenges lead to under top-line results for many. Firms such as Chili’s of Brinker International (EAT) or McDonald’s (MCD) have complained about the hostile weather conditions striking their business.

  • [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

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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.

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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.

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy Right Now: Ignite Restaurant Group Inc (IRG)

Ignite Restaurant Group, Inc., incorporated on February 4, 2002, operates two restaurant brands, Joe’s Crab Shack (Joe’s) and Brick House Tavern + Tap (Brick House). The Company’s Joe’s Crab Shack and Brick House Tavern + Tap operate in a diverse set of markets across the United States. Joe’s Crab Shack is a national chain of casual seafood restaurants serving a variety of seafood items, with an emphasis on crab. Brick House Tavern + Tap is a casual restaurant brand that provides guests a gastro pub experience by offering a blend of menu items. As of December 31, 2012, the Company owned and operated 144 restaurants in 33 states. In September 2013, Ignite Restaurant Group Inc announced the opening of its newest Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant, located in Newark, New Jersey.

Joe’s Crab Shack

The Company’s Joe’s Crab Shack offers an outdoor patio for guests to enjoy eating and drinking and a children’s playground. Joe’s also has many locatio ns that are located on waterfront property. Interior design elements include a nautical, vacation theme to invoke memories of beach vacations and a genuine crab shack experience. Joe’s Crab Shack restaurants have over 200 seats. Many of the Company’s restaurants also include a small gift shop where guests can purchase souvenirs to commemorate their dining experience. Joe’s Crab Shack also leverages its crab-forward menu with other crab items, including Made-From-Scratch Crab Cakes, Crab Nachos and Crazy-Good Crab Dip. In addition to its core crab-focused menu, Joe’s also offers a range of entrees featuring a variety of seafood, including the Get Stuffed Snapper, Surf ‘N Turf Burger and The Big Hook Up, as well as a range of traditional seafood entrees like the Fisherman’s Platter. Joe’s also offers several out of water options, such as Pan Fried Cheesy Chicken and Whiskey Smoked Ribs. In addition, alcoholic beverages include the Shark Bite, Category 5 Hurricane and Mason J ar cocktails emerging as guests’ top choices. Joe’s menu inc! ludes more than 29 items made with either Queen, Snow, Dungeness or King Crabs sourced from government regulated and sustainable fisheries. Its menu offers 14 appetizers, including Made-From-Scratch Crab Cakes, Crab Nachos and Crazy-Good Crab Dip, and over 50 entrees, including Steampots, Crab in a Bucket, Skillet Paella, Stuffed Snapper and out of water options like Whiskey Smoked Ribs.

Brick House Tavern + Tap

The Company’s Brick House’s interior decor includes custom lighting, dark mahogany woods, open sight lines, high definition television (HD TVs), and an inviting fireplace. In addition to a traditional dining room and bar area, Brick House also offers large communal tables and a section of leather recliners positioned in front of large HD TVs, where guests receive their own TV tray for dining. Outdoor seating is also available on the patio or around an open fire pit at nearly all locations. Both food and beverages are served by personable and engaging service staff. The typical Brick House restaurant is approximately 8,500 square feet and averages approximately 250 seats, which includes both traditional tables and seating options. Brick House offers its guests a selection of contemporary tavern food. Brick House’s menu includes 17 appetizers and over 53 entrees. Handcrafted appetizers include Deviled Eggs, Meatloaf Sliders, Brick Pizza, Meat and Cheese Board and Fried Stuffed Olives. Brick House offers an array of burgers, including The Kobe, which is hand formed from American Wagyu beef. Guests can also choose from a selection of homemade entrees, such as Drunken Chops, BBQ Baby Backs, Chicken & Waffles, and its Prime Rib Sandwich. In addition, Brick House’s Brick Burgers, include the Gun Show Burger and the Black & Bleu Burger. Brick House’s beverage selection includes imported and domestic beers along with hand-pulled cask beer. All Brick House restaurants have a bar that supports a variety of liquor drin ks, wine and beer cocktails like the Shandy and Bee Sting, a! s well as! specialty cocktails like the Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule and The Zombie.

The Company competes with Red Lobster, Bonefish Grill, Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, BJ’s Restaurants, Yard House, Cheesecake Factory, Bravo Brio and Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Victor Selva]

    The firm is currently Zacks Rank # 3 – Hold, and it also has a longer-term recommendation of “Underperfom.” For investors looking for a Zacks Rank # 1 – Strong Buy, Ignite Restaurant Group Inc. (IRG) and The Wendy’s Company (WEN) could be the options.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Margins matter. The more Ignite Restaurant Group (Nasdaq: IRG  ) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That’s why we check up on margins at least once a quarter in this series. I’m looking for the absolute numbers, so I can compare them to current and potential competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Ignite Restaurant Group’s competitive position could be.

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy Right Now: Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc (BAGL)

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (ENRGI), incorporated on October 21, 1992, is an owner/operator, franchisor and licensor of bagel specialty restaurants in the United States. ENRGI operates under the Einstein Bros. Bagels (Einstein Bros.), Noah’s New York Bagels (Noah’s) and Manhattan Bagel Company (Manhattan Bagel) brands. ENRGI operates in three business segments: the Company-owned restaurants segment, the manufacturing and commissary segment, and the franchise and license segment. The Company-owned restaurants segment includes the restaurants that it owns. The manufacturing and commissary segment produces and distributes bagel dough and other products to its Company-owned restaurants, licensees and franchisees and other third parties. The franchise and license segment earns royalties and other fees from the use of trademarks and operating systems developed for the Einstein Bros., Noah’s and Manhattan Bagel brands.

During the fiscal year ended Jan uary 1, 2013 (fiscal 2012), ENRGI acquired eight restaurants and opened an additional 15 Company-owned restaurants. It closed one Company-owned restaurant during fiscal 2012. On January 31, 2012, the Company sold a Company-owned restaurant. As of January 1, 2013, it had 816 restaurants in 39 states and in the District of Columbia. In January 2013, the Company opened an Einstein Bros. franchise in Montana. Its product offerings include fresh-baked bagels and other bakery items baked onsite, ma de-to-order breakfast and lunch sandwiches on a range of bagels, breads or wraps, gourmet soups and salads, assorted pastries, premium coffees and an assortment of snacks. Its manufacturing and independent distribution network delivers ingredients that are delivered fresh to its restaurants.

Company-owned restaurants

Einstein Bros. offers a menu that provides food for breakfast and lunch, including fresh-baked bagels and hot breakfast sandwiches, freshly prepa red lunch sandwiches, cream cheese and other spreads, specia! lty coffees and teas, soups, salads and other menu offerings. Noah’s is a neighborhood-based bakery/deli restaurant that serves fresh-baked bagels, hot breakfast sandwiches, made-to-order deli-style sandwiches, cream cheese and other spreads, specialty coffees and teas, soups, salads and other menu offerings. Manhattan Bagel provides a traditional New York style boil and baked bagel. Manhattan Bagel also serves a range of grilled sandwiches, freshly made deli sandwiches, freshly prepared breakfast sandwiches, soups, and a range of other fresh-baked sweets. Similar to Einstein Bros. and Noah’s, Manhattan Bagel also features a line of fresh brewed coffees and specialty coffee/espresso beverages. During fiscal 2012, ENRGI generated approximately 90% of its total revenue from restaurant sales at its Company-owned restaurants.

Manufacturing and Commissaries

ENRGI operates a bagel dough manufacturing facility in Whittier, California and has contracts with two suppliers to produce bagel dough and sweets to the specifications. These facilities provide frozen dough, partially-baked frozen bagels and fully baked sweets for its Company-owned restaurants, franchisees and licensees. These operations provide the restaurants with food products, such as sliced meats, cheeses, and/or certain salad ingredients. It has recipes and production processes for the bagel dough, cream cheese and coffee. Frozen, or partially baked and frozen, bagel dough is shipped to all of its Company-owned, franchised and licensed restaurants where the dough is then baked onsite. Its purchases other ingredients used in the restaurants, such as meat, lettuce, tomatoes and condiments, from a select group of third party suppliers.

Franchise and Licensing

ENRGI offers Einstein Bros. franchises to qualified area developers. As of January 1, 2013, the Company was registered to offer Einstein Bros. franchises in 49 states and the Distr ict of Columbia. It also has a franchise base in the Manhatt! an Bagel ! brand. Its licensees are located primarily in colleges and universities, hospitals, airports and military bases. As of February 25, 2013, it had 28 development agreements in place for 136 total restaurants, 34 of which have already opened. During fiscal 2012, it opened 13 franchised locations and 27 licensed locations. During fiscal 2012, approximately 3% of its total revenue was generated by the Company’s franchise and license operations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Wall Street hedge-fund investor David Einhorn was active in the last quarter of 2013, taking new stakes in technology and energy companies, while trimming existing holdings in insurer Aetna (AET) , NCR Corp (NCR) and WPX Energy (WPX) , according to an SEC filing Friday. Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital picked up stakes in Anadarko Petroleum (APC) , BP (BP) , McDermott Intl. (MDR) , Micron Technolgy (MU) and Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) , according to the latest 13F filing. He trimmed stakes in Aetna, Einstein Noah (BAGL) and WPX Energy, according to the filing.

  • [By John Udovich]

    At the end of last week, small cap sandwich stock Potbelly Corp (NASDAQ: PBPB) had a delicious surge of 120% for its IPO – meaning its probably a good idea to see whether its still worth getting in on the action plus take a look at the performance of peers Cosi Inc (NASDAQ: COSI), Panera Bread Co (NASDAQ: PNRA) and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc (NASDAQ: BAGL) as Subway remains private. I should mention that competing with Subway in the sandwich business is a tall order as they have 40,229 restaurants in 102 countries and territories as of early September – making them the largest single-brand restaurant chain and the largest restaurant operator globally. However, Potbelly Corp and its peers Cosi Inc, Panera Bread Co and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group aren’t slugging it out directly with Subway.

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy Right Now: Blue Water Global Group Inc (BLUU)

Blue Water Global Group, Inc. (Blue Water), incorporated on March 3, 2011, is a development-stage company. The Company focuses on developing a chain of casual dining restaurants in tourist destinations throughout the Caribbean region. The Company’s initial restaurant is going to be called Blue Water Bar & Grill and will be located in St. Maarten, Dutch West Indies.

As of February 7, 2013, the Company did not operate any restaurant properties, and did not have any ownership or leaseholds in any restaurant properties. As of February 7, 2013, the Company did not have any ownership or leaseholds in any restaurant properties.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks Naturalnano Inc (OTCMKTS: NNAN), Global Payout, Inc (OTCMKTS: GOHE) and Blue Water Global Group Inc (OTCBB: BLUU) were either jumping higher or diving lower yesterday. To complicate matters for investors, two of these small cap stocks have been subjects of disclosures about paid promotion or investor relation campaigns. So what will these three small caps do for the rest of this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on a trading or investing strategy:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Last Friday, small cap Digital Brand Media & Marketing Group Inc (OTCMKTS: DBMM) surged 22.22% while Blue Water Global Group Inc (OTCBB: BLUU) sank 18.42% and Medina International Holdings, Inc (OTCMKTS: MIHI) sank 50%. However, one of these small caps (Blue Water Global Group) appears to be reversing course in early morning trading today. So with it and the rest of these small cap stocks either sink or swim in trading this week? Here is a closer look to help you decide on an investing or trading strategy:

Best Restaurant Companies To Buy 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.