Chili’s owner says restaurant business will be fine post coronavirus pandemic

Chili’s owner Brinker International (EAT) is among the few in the sit-down restaurant space to show glimmers of hope that life after COVID-19 will be OK for the sector. It won’t be back to business as usual right away, but OK may be just enough for investors.

For Chili’s, driving the business down a path toward recovery has consisted of reconfiguring the inside of restaurants (think fewer tables to sit at) and also meeting demand for takeout or eating inside the car in the company’s parking lot.

“Since the pandemic, the priority once we started opening dining rooms — similar to the focus we had when we were doing takeout and delivery — has been safety first. So it’s all about observing the guidelines and restrictions we’ve been placed under to keep everybody safe. So when you walk in, everybody is in masks. There is social distancing and sanitation stations

Read More

Historic jobs report signals fragile recovery. ‘I didn’t hire a single person back,’ says NYC restaurant owner

The U.S. labor market added 2.5 million jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced, surprising many who forecast another terrible month as the economy – broadly shut down in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic – limps back to life.

The unemployment rate dropped to 13.3% from 14.7% in April. 

“These outcomes are huge surprises relative to expectations for several million more jobs lost and another large increase in the unemployment rate,” wrote JP Morgan analyst Michael Feroli.

While the slow reopening of the U.S. economy gets credit for the historic job gains, the Independent Restaurant Coalition warns that the employment gains are fragile.

Food services and drinking places accounted for half of the job gains in May, but employment only rose by 1.4 million. Restaurants and bars, among the businesses hit hardest by the coronavirus shutdown, lost 6.1 million jobs in March and April. 

“I have

Read More

Small-business owner says she succeeded by going from ‘tremendous fear’ to ‘new normal’

Forced business closures and a decline of economic activity have wreaked havoc on small companies amid the coronavirus outbreak, causing over 100,000 of them to go out of business in the aftermath of the disease’s spread, according to a study published by a group of economists in April.

In a newly released interview, small-business owner Christina Stembel, CEO of San Francisco-based flower company Farmgirl Flowers, told Yahoo Finance that she kept her company open by quickly accepting the disruption to her business and making difficult changes that allowed her to keep serving customers.

The company, founded 10 years ago and initially based out of Stembel’s home, employed 197 people before the outbreak. Suddenly, she had to furlough all but six, she said.

“The feeling is just tremendous fear,” she says. “It’s just an outside circumstance that nobody budgets, you know, or puts in their financial model.”

As the

Read More

CEO of North Face and Vans owner says he is hunting for deals

Armed with a ton of cold-hard cash and seeing valuations on once hot retailers amid the COVID-19 pandemic crash, the always acquisitive owner of powerhouse retail brands The North Face, Vans, Timberland and Dickies is on the hunt for its latest big buy.

At this point in the Great Retail Shakeout of 2020, V.F. Corporation will have its pick of a fallen litter.

“M&A is the number one priority,” V.F. Corp. CEO Steve Rendle said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. The company has taken steps to doing something big before yearend. It recently completed a $3 billion bond offering and with $2.2 billion open on a pre-existing credit facility, the company has total liquidity of more than $5 billion.

Rendle is no stranger to V.F. Corp.’s historically acquisitive nature, having joined the company in 1999 ahead of a major buying streak. In fact, buying well-known brands at a great

Read More

PA pub owner on COVID-19

As the coronavirus continues to batter the U.S. economy, mom-and-pop operations are struggling to stay afloat despite the federal government’s efforts to distribute $659 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses.

“It’s going to be a wash in the next six months — we’ll see who survives and who doesn’t,” Pennsylvania pub owner Pat Ryan told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move last week. “But it’s going to take at least a year to get out of this hole.”

Paul and Pat Ryan own and operate four restaurants in Pennsylvania: Ryan’s Pub, which has two locations, Smokey Joe’s, and PJ Ryan’s Pub. The Ryan brothers say they have attempted to apply for a loan for all four of their locations under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small business coronavirus relief. So far, they have been approved for three loans.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 02: A business stands closed on

Read More