Shake Shack announced Friday an “at-the-market” equity program in which it can offer and sell up to $75 million in shares to strengthen cash flow as it battles COVID-19 setbacks. The move is similar to the one Dave & Buster’s unveiled earlier in the week in an effort to shore up its balance sheet.
Shake Shack said the money would be used for “general corporate purposes,” and to further enhance its ability to “resume execution of its long-term strategic growth plan.” The timing of any sales depends on a variety of factors determined by corporate.
Shake Shack is offering the shares through J.P. Morgan as the leads sales agent. BofA Securities and Wells Fargo Securities will also be acting as sales agents.
In tandem, the burger fast casual shared first-quarter preliminary results Friday, providing another window into COVID-19’s dramatic effect on day-to-day business. Shake Shack also revealed it received a $10 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program through J.P. Morgan on April 10.
In Q1, which ended March 25, Shake Shack reported total revenue of $143 million. Same-store sales fell 12.8 percent versus the prior-year period. However, it’s really a three-part equation.
January and February aligned with management’s expectations, the company said. March, though, saw a 28.5 percent drop compared to last year.
Shake Shack swung an operating loss of about $800,000 in the period, or 5 percent of total revenue. That included $1.1 million of impairment on property and equipment.
The company’s store-level operating profit was about $26 million, or 19.1 percent of sales. Shake Shack had $104 million in cash and marketable securities at quarter’s end. It also opened four domestic company restaurants and eight licensed units during the period.
Here’s a look at what’s happening today:
Shake Shack said domestic sales (excluding close locations) have tracked consistent week-over-week growth over the last 14 days.
While there’s no assurances this uptick will continue, the company said, it is a welcomed sign nonetheless. On April 2, Shake Shack said sales across its U.S. footprint were down between 50–90 percent, with the average sitting at 70 percent.
The fast casual did not provide exact weekly trends, only to say they’ve improved.
It did, however, list a few initiatives at work:
Shake Shack said it’s pivoted to new, modified drive-thru, curbside, and digital ordering/takeout models. It’s also increased marketing on the company’s social, mobile applications, and web channels.
Shake Shack expanded delivery reach to include DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar, and Postmates. Pre-COVID-19, the chain was in the procession of moving to an exclusive deal with Grubhub—which it has since abandoned.
“Given the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our business, our Shack teams have demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit and continued to adapt our operating models and business strategy,” CEO Randy Garutti said in a statement. “As a result, we’ve seen strong sequential sales increases on a weekly basis since the last week in March. We’ve taken this time to double down on our digital toolbox, and have increased engagement and messaging in our own channels over recent weeks, while also successfully expanding new and existing integrated delivery partnerships with DoorDash, UberEats, Caviar and Postmates. We’re encouraged that these and other crucial business pivots have driven an improvement in recent sales trends, and continued to leverage the strength of our brand.”
Shake Shack said its own channels continue to represent the largest proportion of sales, with digital options (mobile application and web) experiencing significant growth over recent weeks.
As of Friday, the company said, 17 Shake Shacks were temporarily closed. That’s up from nine in early April. About half of those closures are a result of mandated shut downs by local officials, or due to closed developments, the company said. The remaining closed restaurants operate in heavy tourist or travel restricted zones.
Shake Shack furloughed or laid off more than 1,000 employees across its operations and home office. Additionally, HQ employees and Shake Shack’s executive teams are taking reduced pay for an indefinite period.
The brand said it’s committed to providing full pay for general managers during the crisis, regardless of whether their store remains open or not, in addition to paying out PTO, and covering 100 percent of medical benefits through July for all furloughed managers and home office employees.
Shake Shack’s licensed business has taken a bigger hit, closures wise. Currently, 57 of its 120 stores are open. All restaurants within the U.K., Turkey, and Japan have closed. So have domestic stadium venues.
U.S. airport locations have also either fully closed or significantly slowed as air travel diminished to a near standstill, Shake Shack said.
There are some positive signs, though. Dining rooms are open in Korea, Hong Kong, and mainland China. Singapore is open for delivery and takeout and, after several weeks of closure, the Philippines and certain units in the Middle East have reopened for delivery and takeout. The company said average weekly sales in mainland China and Hong Kong have continued to steadily rise in recent weeks.
Shake Shack broadened its distribution channels lately, too. The company struck a relationship with online marketing place Goldbelly. And is also selling cook-at-home packs for pick-up in the San Francisco Bay area. Since inception, Shake Shack and Goldbelly have shipped and delivered more than 8,000 at-home kits across the country, the company said.
As of April 16, Shake Shack had $112 million in cash and marketable securities.
Based on current sales levels and with cost reductions in place, the company’s current cash burn rate is estimated to be between $1.3 million and $1.5 million per week. This includes roughly $800,000 of cash rent payments, which are currently planned for discussion, or already under discussion with Shake Shack’s landlords for potential deferral or abatement.
The cash burn rate excludes new restaurant capital expenditures, which have been temporarily suspended. Shake Shack expects future cash outflow of $12 million related to construction expenses for work previously incurred or already completed but unopened units, or restaurants that were close to being completed at the time of the outbreak.
There are 33 additional signed leases, which Shake Shack said it intends to complete and open as soon as the business environment “improved to more normalized levels.”
The company also hinted toward future growth opportunities opened up by COVID-19, noting, “the company has an identified pipeline of leases in negotiation for continued growth in 2021 and beyond, and believes additional and improved development opportunities may be available over time due to the impact of COVID-19 on the overall retail and real estate environment.”
Shake Shack drew down on its $50 million evolving credit facility on March 24. In respect to future quarter, it said it’s been in talks with its RCF lender regarding potential modifications that would create additional financial flexibility throughout the COVID-19 impacted period and further enhance its ability to resume strategic growth.