BOSTON — System-wide comparable restaurant sales at fast casual restaurant chain Cosi, Inc. fell 0.3% during the third quarter compared with a year ago. Sales at company-owned units fell 0.3%, while sales at franchise locations decreased 0.2% during the quarter.
Cosi said comparable restaurant sales for the third quarter of 2015 as compared to the third quarter of 2014 were “distorted” by certain non-recurring events, including: the year-over-year shift of the Labor Day holiday, business interruptions resulting from the Pope’s visit on Sept. 22-26, and the termination of a franchise agreement that resulted in the closing of two franchise locations in California prior to the end of the 2015 third quarter.
“I continue to be encouraged by the progress we are seeing in restaurants where the Hearthstone Model has been fully implemented,” said RJ Dourney, president and chief executive officer. “While I am disappointed in the overall sales results this quarter, I am confident about the momentum I continue to see. We continue to receive positive feedback from our guests in these markets, and we are ready to invite our guests back while we continue to layer all the levers of our strategy throughout the rest of the system.”
Mr. Dourney said one of Cosi’s priorities is to ensure that its franchise restaurants uphold the integrity of the brand and are profitable.“We are prepared to make tough calls when necessary, as we continue welcoming new franchise partners into the system,” he said. “I am also excited at the continued growth of our existing franchise system and the opening of our new franchise restaurant in the D.C. area.”