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BJ's Opens One More Restaurant in Calif.

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Casual dining restaurant chain, BJ's Restaurants, Inc. (BJRI) recently opened another restaurant in Mission Valley, Calif., its 16th restaurant opening this year. The restaurant, opened under the company’s popular brand name BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse, is spread over an area of 9,000 square feet.

The restaurant, located in the heart of Mission Valley, can accommodate 290 guests and serves the popular BJ's menu of pizzas, beers, appetizers, entrees, pastas, sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

California is the home-court of BJ’s. As of Oct 31, 2013, the company operated a total of 144 restaurants across the U.S., of which 64 are located in California alone.

Among the casual dining chains, BJ’s Restaurants is one of the few that have been expanding in an uncertain economy. With the resurgence of consumer confidence, management accelerated its unit openings. Its previous opening was a BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse outlet in Tysons Corner, Va. The company had set a target of 17 restaurant openings in 2013 and is set to meet it soon by opening its last restaurant very soon in Frederick, Md.

The Californian restaurant market is highly competitive as the gradual recovery of the economy has resulted in several restaurant openings. Additionally, higher sales tax, state income tax and gasoline prices limit discretionary spending. Although, BJRI’s Californian units have started reporting improved same-store sales, we are yet to see substantial improvements.

The company presently has a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Among the stocks worth considering in the restaurant industry are Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD), Bob Evans Farms, Inc. (BOBE) and Burger King Worldwide, Inc. (BKW).  While Buffalo Wild Wings carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Bob Evans Farms and Burger King Worldwide hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).


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