A minor mistatement: higher chicken prices are NOT due to avian flu. They are due to increased demand (think Atkins, high beef prices). This is not my opinion but opinion of Dept of Ag. A question: if there is so much cannibalization in GC, and if they never plan to build additional units in Cincinnati, and if in other areas people drive many miles to get to a GC, why did they build so many in one area. I know about advertising economies, and trying to forestall competition, but it seems to show a lack of adaptability when expected sales did not materialize.
I think GC is a mini flop. Low ROIC. As it builds out and opening costs fall and advertising economies are achieved, they will start adding to bottom line, but the return on money that could have been given to shareholders in the form of higher dividends will not be statisfactory. Lucky for them, they only have another 2 years of building low return GCs. Hopefully, tbey end it there - which they probably will unless higher returns materialize.