Multi-concept operator Ark Restaurants is looking to make an acquisition

Photography: Shutterstock

Multi-concept operator Ark Restaurant Group has limped through the pandemic, watching its 1,000-seat restaurant in New York’s Bryant Park languish along with many of its other establishments.

In a major reversal of fortune, however, Ark said this week that it ended the second quarter with nearly $19 million in cash (a number that had swelled to $28 million in the six weeks following the end). of the period), noted that he was paying reduced his debt and said he was ready to buy another restaurant to add to his fold.

The operator of 17 full-service locations and an equal number of quick-service locations also said it was able to resume dividend payments without affecting its growth plans.

“Last week may have been one of the best weeks this company has ever had in terms of sales,” Michael Weinstein, CEO and founder of Ark Restaurants, told investors, according to a transcript from the services site. financial Sentieo. “The balance sheet is strong enough to do whatever we think we can absorb.”

Weinstein said the company is considering potential deals on well-established restaurants with at least $1 million in cash and considering an option that sells at 3-4x operating profit, with others that are a bit more expensive. He is also looking for restaurants that own the land on which they are located.

Ark has an advantage in acquisitions that the big chains don’t, he said.

“We’re not interested in whether or not we think we can expand the brand,” Weinstein said. “We only care about your cash flow and try to make you more efficient once we acquire you. So that’s our business now, quite honestly. And so far we have been successful in this endeavor.

Ark said he was open to acquisitions in much of the country, but not in New York, where he already owns four restaurants.

“The real answer is to stop putting capital in the Northeast,” Weinstein said, adding that Ark’s New York restaurants remain solid investments and he has no plans to sell them. “The reason for not being in New York is that we have a very progressive legislature in New York. To some extent, I would call them socialists. And their labor laws are such that it’s very, very difficult to operate restaurants in New York profitably.

For the quarter ended April 2, Ark reported total revenue of $39.58 million, compared to $25.76 million a year earlier.

In addition to New York, Ark has five full-service restaurants in Las Vegas, one in Washington, DC, four on the East Coast of Florida, two on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, and one in Atlantic City. It also operates four quick-service restaurants in Tampa, Florida, six in Hollywood, Florida, one at Foxwoods Resort Casino and six food courts in Las Vegas.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all our content. Register here.

Comments are closed.