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Cosi Inc. Message Board

  • golfer18us golfer18us Sep 13, 2013 12:43 PM Flag

    Here's what's cooking at Cosi.....cash!

    This concept has only had 2 profitable quarters since it started in 1996. Perhaps it's just a bad model and not simply due to bad service. Unfortunately, they've burned cash most quarters unless they do a one-time sale of stores (or rights). You can't keep doing that forever. At some point, your operations have to deliver cash that can be spent on remodels/capital investments and still have some left over. Well, they are really far away from being able to do that. If you look at their detailed P&L, they are 9-10 margin points away from breaking even on operations. Add back the non-cash stuff and you get 6-9 points away. Given that food costs seem to be going up (look at the cost of goods sold increases) and that they sound like they plan on adding more labor to improve service, it would seem to me that to close the profit gap, it is primarly going to come from revenue increases and not cost reduction. I also don't think it will come from price increases as I feel like they are already pushing the price/value boundary....so it has to come from more customer visits. Given their size (which limits their ability to do advertising or spend a bunch of money remodeling/reinvesting) combined with the competitive landscape, one has to really question whether this can survive? If things don't improve (and they don't get an injection of liquidity), they may have 3-5 quarters of liquidity left. Tred carefully on this one.

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