Bravo Brio Restaurant Group Inc. plans to close at least six restaurants this year, the first three this spring, as part of a strategy to analyze the viability of each of its 116 restaurants, the company said Tuesday. “By critically reviewing each individual location, we can best ensure we meet our targeted financial returns,” Bravo Brio CEO Brian O’Malley said in a statement. The company previously said it planned to close half a dozen locations in February. The closures come as the owner of 51-unit Bravo Cucina Italiana and 65-unit Brio Tuscan Grille said it has seen some signs of life in its sales. Same-store sales at the two Italian brands declined 2.3 percent in the first quarter ended March 26. Bravo same-store sales fell 2.9 percent, while Brio’s declined by 1.9 percent. The results were markedly better than the previous quarter, when the brands’ same-store sales fell 7.5 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively. “The casual-dining industry remains challenging, but we are gaining traction,” O’Malley said. Growth in Bravo Brio’s banquet business, as well as increases in to-go and delivery orders, all “expanded meaningfully” in the period, especially at Brio, he said. Net income was $500,000, or 4 cents per share, down 77 percent from the same period a year ago, when Bravo Brio generated $2.2 million in net income, or 15 cents per share. Revenue fell 1.9 percent, to $106.7 million, from $108.8 million the previous year. Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze
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