A stated in earlier posts, I am not an owner of this stock. I have concerns about the aggressive forecasts they have for attaining their 108 to 112 million dollars for the year. Especially since they need to have their largest Q these last 3 months. If they pull it out, I will be an owner.
I had dinner in a BOBE last night, and I was able to determine why they are so excited about the increase in their carry-out business. They have obviously focused on building carry-out business, but I'm afraid it been at the cost of their sit-down business.
No greeter at the door. They were helping a customer with their carry-out order and another was one was on the phone taking an order. Meantime, 8 people were waiting for a table while no employees or manager would make eye contact with them.
We sat at the counter after waiting too long to be greeted. My meal took 20 minutes, my wife's took 30 minutes. After seeing my food sit in the window for more than 5 minutes, I asked if I could begin eating it before it dried out any more. I was nearly done with mine when my wife was served.
It looks like BOBE is trying to hit the big Q4 by reducing labor costs. The location was short-staffed and servers couldn't handle the load. Dining room customers were bumping into me while coming up to the service area to ask a waitress for more cream, drink refills, or "How much longer for my food?" All the while, the manager and other servers were handling carry-out.
The cooks are so overwhelmed with the business that is being called in over the phone, they can no longer provide any speed of service to those customers who take the time to walk in and sit down for a nice meal.
When I went to pay, none of the people handling carry-out would make eye contact with me. The same person bagging the orders is also the cashier, so I had to wait to get out of there. I had to loudly ask if there was anyone who could take my money so I could leave.
So yes, I'm sure BOBE likes to hang their hats on the positive moves in carry-out business as a percentage of total sales. If what I experienced last night is any indication, I can envision carry-out becoming an even larger part of their business, because they are forsaking their dine-in customers. As they continue to lower the expectations of dine-in customers, and the dine-in customer traffic and sales wane, the carry-out sales as a percentage of the total business will grow. But with the model I saw last night, I don't see how overall customer traffic and sales could possibly increase.
Finally, you and I are the same page Chicken. Another reason why traffic is down is prices. Too many items on the menu are costing the share holders. But hey, if the company can afford millions of dollars for a new headquarters to the CEO has a shorter commute, what do they care what stockholder's think.
I think your analysis is of a BOBE in your area, because the once here in Hickory, NC is as stellar as any I ever ate at. Most of the staff and two managers know us by name and whatw e even drink when we come in to dine there which is once a month with the family minimum.
However, They have cut portions down I noticed and you MUST ask for extras or certain things if you want them, as they no longer hand out rolls, etc as they used too because too many get wasted. So They are cutting costs surely, and we have always had good experience at them, and noticably sadly, prices have been heavily increased here this year on the menus from what they were same time alst year.
Investrman.....great insight on BOBE in your neck of the woods. I have always had wonderful experiences in each and every store Ive visited...from Chicago to Cleveland - and as far South as Columbus, OH. I state that only to illustrate that I travel often. I am not happy about price increases...but I promise you we are not the only biz doing so. I was at a quick biz dinner last night at Applebees (AWFUL) and paid about $11.00 for a burger! So there you are...a crap-hole place like Applebees...with below average food...zero atmosphere...$11.00+ for a burger. I dont think we are doing so bad with our increases.