Steak n Shake Co. extended its bad run into the new year, reporting a $3.4 million loss for its first fiscal quarter yesterday, up from a $1.2 million loss in the prior-year period.
It was the Indianapolis-based restaurant chain’s fifth consecutive quarterly loss.
Total revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 17 was $131.7 million, off from $136.4 million the previous year.
Sales were down in part because Steak n Shake operated 20 fewer stores than it had the year before; it has closed 14 company-owned locations and franchised others.
Steak n Shake now has 415 company-owned restaurants and 75 franchised units.
Same-store sales fell 1.4 percent – the company’s 14th consecutive decline. In a news release, Steak n Shake attributed the loss to fewer guests, who spent less.
Despite the disappointing results, the company said it reduced general and administrative expenses by about $1.5 million during the quarter and expects additional savings throughout the rest of the year.
Steak n Shake has been attempting a turnaround since activist investor Sardar Biglari took over as executive chairman in June and was named CEO two months later. He has halted development of new locations, closed underperforming stores and is looking for additional ways to trim expenses.
“While we are pleased with our progress thus far, we will remain dissatisfied with our performance until … we generate increased customer traffic and ultimately the per-share intrinsic value of the company,” company officials said in a news release.