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Operator of Chuy’s Tex Mex reports comp sales nearly 70 percent of 2019 levels

74 restaurants now open for dine-in service

Chuy’s Tex Mex comparable restaurant sales are now nearly 70 percent of what they were in the same period last year, according to a new COVID-19 business update released by its operator. The reopening of restaurants for dine-in services and the aggressive acquisition of off-premises business have led to a recent increase in the chain’s comp(arable) sales. As of May 24, 74 Chuy’s locations had reopened dining rooms, and takeout business, including delivery, pickup and curbside had doubled compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, announced Chuy’s Holdings.

A total of 92 restaurants are open in some fashion and nine remain closed. For the week ending May 24, comp sales were down 31.3 percent from the same period last year. For the last four weeks ending May 24, May 17, May 10 and May 3, comp sales were down 31.3, 45.4, 39.4, and 61 percent versus last year, respectively.

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The company has deferred some rent payments and reported $32M of cash and cash equivalents were on hand as of May 24, and $28M remained on May 29. Beyond the 74 restaurants that are now open for dine-in service, 18 Chuy’s Tex Mex restaurants are operating in takeout mode only. Five of the 18 takeout locations are open for “enhanced off-premises service” only.

Chuy’s also said that it can produce positive EBITDA at $43,000 average sales per week in a hybrid takeout/restricted dine-in model. However, the company needs $57,000 weekly once takeout initiatives are reduced and dining capacity is expanded, due to staffing and additional operating costs.

Photo credit: Chuy’s Holdings (featured preview image)

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