El Pollo Loco, Inc.
El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (Form: 10-Q, Received: 08/05/2016 06:10:29)

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 10-Q

 

(Mark one)

x

QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the quarterly period ended June 29, 2016

or

o

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from                      to                     

Commission File Number: 001-36556

 

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

20-3563182

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)

 

3535 Harbor Blvd., Suite 100, Costa Mesa, California

 

92626

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

(714) 599-5000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

N/A

(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     x   Yes     o   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).     x   Yes     o   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

o

Accelerated filer

x

 

 

 

 

Non-accelerated filer

o  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)

Smaller reporting company

o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     o   Yes     x   No

As of July 25, 2016, ther e were 38,419,933 shares of the issuer’s common stock outstanding.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Table of Contents

 

Page

PART I—FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

3

Item 1. Financial Statements.

 

3

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)

 

3

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)

 

4

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows (Unaudited)

 

5

Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements (Unaudited)

 

7

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

 

16

Item 3. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

 

29

Item 4. Controls and Procedures.

 

30

PART II—OTHER INFORMATION

 

31

Item 1. Legal Proceedings.

 

31

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

 

31

Item 2. Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds.

 

33

Item 3. Defaults Upon Senior Securities.

 

33

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

 

33

Item 5. Other Information.

 

33

Item 6. Exhibits.

 

33

Signatures

 

34

 

 

 

2


 

PART I—FINANCI AL INFORMATION

Item 1. Financial Statements.

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands, except share data)

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2015

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

$

9,496

 

 

$

6,101

 

Restricted cash

 

125

 

 

 

125

 

Accounts and other receivables, net

 

6,682

 

 

 

6,186

 

Inventories

 

1,751

 

 

 

1,899

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

5,357

 

 

 

2,656

 

Deferred tax assets

 

12,940

 

 

 

21,656

 

Total current assets

 

36,351

 

 

 

38,623

 

Property and equipment owned, net

 

110,970

 

 

 

102,421

 

Property held under capital leases, net

 

76

 

 

 

89

 

Goodwill

 

248,674

 

 

 

248,674

 

Trademarks

 

61,888

 

 

 

61,888

 

Other intangible assets, net

 

535

 

 

 

638

 

Deferred tax assets

 

6,891

 

 

 

6,891

 

Other assets

 

1,633

 

 

 

1,804

 

Total assets

$

467,018

 

 

$

461,028

 

Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current portion of obligations under capital leases

$

172

 

 

$

177

 

Accounts payable

 

9,050

 

 

 

11,046

 

Accrued salaries and vacation

 

7,048

 

 

 

6,693

 

Accrued insurance

 

4,973

 

 

 

5,021

 

Accrued income taxes payable

 

28

 

 

 

67

 

Accrued interest

 

230

 

 

 

245

 

Accrued advertising

 

 

 

 

204

 

Other accrued expenses and current liabilities

 

13,098

 

 

 

16,126

 

Total current liabilities

 

34,599

 

 

 

39,579

 

Revolver loan

 

116,500

 

 

 

123,000

 

Obligations under capital leases, net of current portion

 

378

 

 

 

461

 

Deferred taxes, net of current portion

 

8,740

 

 

 

8,740

 

Other intangible liabilities, net

 

1,125

 

 

 

1,248

 

Other noncurrent liabilities

 

47,375

 

 

 

43,367

 

Total liabilities

 

208,717

 

 

 

216,395

 

Commitments and contingencies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stockholders' Equity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized; none  issued or

   outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

Common stock, $0.01 par value—200,000,000 shares authorized; 38,419,933

   and 38,284,435 shares issued and outstanding

 

384

 

 

 

383

 

Additional paid-in-capital

 

370,592

 

 

 

369,635

 

Accumulated deficit

 

(112,675

)

 

 

(125,385

)

Total stockholders' equity

 

258,301

 

 

 

244,633

 

Total liabilities and stockholder’s equity

$

467,018

 

 

$

461,028

 

 

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

 

 

 

3


 

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands, except share data)

 

 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Revenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Company-operated restaurant revenue

$

90,877

 

 

$

83,575

 

 

$

179,246

 

 

$

168,308

 

Franchise revenue

 

6,597

 

 

 

5,879

 

 

 

12,582

 

 

 

11,572

 

Total revenue

 

97,474

 

 

 

89,454

 

 

 

191,828

 

 

 

179,880

 

Cost of operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food and paper cost

 

27,032

 

 

 

27,055

 

 

 

53,800

 

 

 

54,178

 

Labor and related expenses

 

24,361

 

 

 

21,089

 

 

 

48,868

 

 

 

42,671

 

Occupancy and other operating expenses

 

19,496

 

 

 

17,388

 

 

 

38,330

 

 

 

34,524

 

Company restaurant expenses

 

70,889

 

 

 

65,532

 

 

 

140,998

 

 

 

131,373

 

General and administrative expenses

 

8,287

 

 

 

6,405

 

 

 

17,524

 

 

 

13,890

 

Franchise expenses

 

1,239

 

 

 

840

 

 

 

2,163

 

 

 

1,695

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

3,964

 

 

 

3,200

 

 

 

7,722

 

 

 

6,346

 

Loss on disposal of assets

 

267

 

 

 

85

 

 

 

466

 

 

 

166

 

Expenses related to fire loss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48

 

 

 

 

Gain on recovery of insurance proceeds

 

(600

)

 

 

 

 

 

(889

)

 

 

 

Asset impairment and closed-store reserves

 

60

 

 

 

(190

)

 

 

134

 

 

 

(139

)

Total expenses

 

84,106

 

 

 

75,872

 

 

 

168,166

 

 

 

153,331

 

Gain on disposition of restaurants

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

 

Income from operations

 

13,401

 

 

 

13,582

 

 

 

23,695

 

 

 

26,549

 

Interest expense-net of interest income

 

830

 

 

 

1,014

 

 

 

1,656

 

 

 

2,225

 

Expenses related to selling shareholders

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

Income tax receivable agreement (income) expense

 

(35

)

 

 

226

 

 

 

229

 

 

 

477

 

Income before provision for income taxes

 

12,606

 

 

 

12,292

 

 

 

21,810

 

 

 

23,797

 

Provision for income taxes

 

5,339

 

 

 

5,062

 

 

 

9,100

 

 

 

9,776

 

Net income

$

7,267

 

 

$

7,230

 

 

$

12,710

 

 

$

14,021

 

Net income per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.37

 

Diluted

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.18

 

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.36

 

Weighted-average shares used in computing net income per share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

38,294,575

 

 

 

37,812,767

 

 

 

38,289,505

 

 

 

37,618,756

 

Diluted

 

38,962,802

 

 

 

39,085,206

 

 

 

38,981,610

 

 

 

39,002,974

 

 

See notes to condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

 

 

 

4


 

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands)

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Cash flows from operating activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

$

12,710

 

 

$

14,021

 

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash flows provided by operating

   activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

7,722

 

 

 

6,346

 

Stock-based compensation expense

 

139

 

 

 

443

 

Gain on recovery of insurance proceeds

 

(889

)

 

 

 

Income tax receivable agreement expense

 

229

 

 

 

477

 

Gain on sale of restaurant

 

(33

)

 

 

 

Loss on disposal of assets

 

466

 

 

 

166

 

Fire insurance proceeds for expenses paid

 

8

 

 

 

 

Impairment of property and equipment

 

56

 

 

 

13

 

Closed-store reserve

 

78

 

 

 

(152

)

Amortization of deferred financing costs

 

152

 

 

 

152

 

Amortization of favorable and unfavorable leases, net

 

(20

)

 

 

(93

)

Excess income tax benefit related to share-based compensation plans

 

(253

)

 

 

 

Deferred income taxes, net

 

8,716

 

 

 

9,775

 

Changes in operating assets and liabilities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accounts and other receivables, net

 

(607

)

 

 

24

 

Inventories

 

140

 

 

 

225

 

Prepaid expenses and other current assets

 

(2,701

)

 

 

312

 

Income taxes payable

 

214

 

 

 

(30

)

Other assets

 

19

 

 

 

84

 

Accounts payable

 

(5,889

)

 

 

257

 

Accrued salaries and vacation

 

355

 

 

 

(1,814

)

Accrued insurance

 

(48

)

 

 

757

 

Other accrued expenses and liabilities

 

454

 

 

 

(1,146

)

Net cash flows provided by operating activities

 

21,018

 

 

 

29,817

 

Cash flows from investing activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from sale of restaurant

 

1,465

 

 

 

 

Proceeds from asset disposition

 

992

 

 

 

 

Purchase of property and equipment

 

(14,311

)

 

 

(8,869

)

Net cash flows used in investing activities

 

(11,854

)

 

 

(8,869

)

Cash flows from financing activities:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Payments on revolver loan

 

(6,500

)

 

 

(30,000

)

Proceeds from issuance of common stock, net of expenses

 

566

 

 

 

4,069

 

Payment of obligations under capital leases

 

(88

)

 

 

(102

)

Excess income tax benefit related to share-based compensation plans

 

253

 

 

 

 

Net cash flows used in financing activities

 

(5,769

)

 

 

(26,033

)

Increase (Decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

 

3,395

 

 

 

(5,085

)

Cash and cash equivalents, beginning of period

 

6,101

 

 

 

11,499

 

Cash and cash equivalents, end of period

$

9,496

 

 

$

6,414

 

 

See notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

 

 

5


 

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (UNAUDITED)

(Amounts in thousands)

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

Supplemental cash flow information

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Cash paid during the period for interest

$

1,567

 

 

$

1,923

 

Cash paid during the period for income taxes, net

$

170

 

 

$

30

 

Unpaid purchases of property and equipment

$

3,881

 

 

$

1,371

 

Cashless stock option exercise

$

 

 

$

(34

)

 

See notes to the condensed consolidated financial statements (unaudited).

 

 

 

6


 

EL POLLO LOCO HOLDINGS, INC.

NOTES TO CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (UNAUDITED)

 

1. BASIS OF PRESENTATION AND SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Overview

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (“Holdings”) is a Delaware corporation headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Holdings and its direct and indirect subsidiaries are collectively known as “we,” “us” or the “Company.” Our activities are conducted principally through our indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, El Pollo Loco, Inc. (“EPL”), which develops, franchises, licenses, and operates quick-service restaurants under the name El Pollo Loco® and operates under one operating segment. At June 29, 2016, we operated 188 and franchised 251 El Pollo Loco restaurants.

Basis of Presentation

The accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of the Company have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) for interim financial statements and pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). In the opinion of management, the accompanying unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements reflect all adjustments consisting of normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair presentation of its financial position and results of operations and cash flows for the periods presented. Interim results of operations are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be achieved for the full year. The financial statements and related notes do not include all information and footnotes required by GAAP for annual reports. This quarterly report should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2015.

The Company uses a 52- or 53-week fiscal year ending on the last Wednesday of the calendar year. In a 52-week fiscal year, each quarter includes 13 weeks of operations; in a 53-week fiscal year, the first, second and third quarters each include 13 weeks of operations and the fourth quarter includes 14 weeks of operations. Every six or seven years a 53-week fiscal year occurs. Fiscal 2015 and 2016 are both 52-week years, ending on December 30, 2015, and December 28, 2016, respectively. Revenues, expenses, and other financial and operational figures may be elevated in a 53-we ek year.

Holdings has no material assets or operations. Holdings and Holdings’ direct subsidiary, EPL Intermediate, Inc. (“Intermediate”), guarantee EPL’s 2014 Revolver (see Note 4) on a full and unconditional basis and Intermediate has no subsidiaries other than EPL. EPL is a separate and distinct legal entity, and has no obligation to make funds available to Intermediate. EPL and Intermediate may pay dividends to Intermediate and to Holdings, respectively.

Under the 2014 Revolver, Holdings may not make certain payments such as cash dividends, except that it may, inter alia, (i) pay up to $1 million per year to repurchase or redeem qualified equity interests of Holdings held by past or present officers, directors, or employees (or their estates) of the Company upon death, disability, or termination of employment, (ii) pay under its income tax receivable agreement (the “TRA”), and, (iii) so long as no default or event of default has occurred and is continuing, (a) make non-cash repurchases of equity interests in connection with the exercise of stock options by directors and officers, provided that those equity interests represent a portion of the consideration of the exercise price of those stock options, (b) pay up to $2.5 million per year pursuant to stock option plans, employment agreements, or incentive plans, (c) make up to $5 million in other restricted payments per year, and (d) make other restricted payments, provided that such payments would not cause, in each case, on a pro forma basis, (x) its lease-adjusted consolidated leverage ratio to equal or exceed 4.25 times and (y) its consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio to be less than 1.75 times.

 

Principles of Consolidation

The accompanying condensed consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the condensed consolidated financial statements and revenue and expenses during the period reported. Actual results could materially differ from those estimates. The Company’s significant estimates include estimates for impairment of goodwill, intangible assets and property and equipment, insurance reserves, lease termination liabilities, closed store reserves, stock-based compensation, income tax receivable agreement liability, and income tax valuation allowances.

 

7


 

Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company considers all highly-liquid instruments with a maturity of three months or less at the date of purchase to be cash equivalents.

Restricted Cash

The Company’s restricted cash represents cash collateral to one commercial bank for Company credit cards.

 

Liquidity

The Company’s principal liquidity requirements are to service our debt and to meet capital expenditure needs. At June 29, 2016, the Company’s total debt (including capital lease liabilities) was $117.1 million. The Company’s ability to make payments on its indebtedness and to fund planned capital expenditures depends on available cash and on its ability to generate adequate cash flows in the future, which, to a certain extent, is subject to general economic, financial, competitive, legislative, regulatory, and other factors that are beyond the Company’s control. Based on current operations, the Company believes that its cash flow from operations, available cash of $9.5 million at June 29, 2016, and available borrowings under the 2014 Revolver (which availability was approximately $76.3 million at June 29, 2016) will be adequate to meet the Company’s liquidity needs for the next 12 months.

Gain on recovery of insurance proceeds

In November 2015, one of the Company’s restaurants incurred damage resulting from a fire. During the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, we incurred costs directly related to the fire of $48,000, disposed of an additional $87,000 of assets and recognized a gain of $889,000 resulting from the receipt from the insurance company of $1,000,000 in cash. In 2015, the Company disposed of $111,000 of assets related to the fire. The restaurant was reopened for business on March 14, 2016.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In May 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) – Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients. This ASU is intended to clarify two aspects of Topic 606: first, assessing the collectability criterion, options for the presentation of sales and similar taxes, noncash consideration, transition contract modifications, transition contract completion and secondly, technical corrections. The amendments in this update are effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual periods, and early application is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 16, 2016. The Company is currently assessing the impact of this ASU on our consolidated financial statements.

In April 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) – Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing. This ASU is intended to clarify two aspects of Topic 606: identifying performance obligations and licensing implementation guidance. The amendments in this update are effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual periods, and early application is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 16, 2016. The Company is currently assessing the impact of this ASU on our consolidated financial statements.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (“ASU 2016-09”), which is intended to simplify several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows.  ASU 2016-09 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods therein (our fiscal year 2017).  Early application is permitted.  We are currently evaluating the impact of this guidance on our consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, “Leases.” The new standard establishes a right-of-use (ROU) model that requires a lessee to record a ROU asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with terms longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern of expense recognition in the income statement. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. A modified retrospective transition approach is required for lessees for capital and operating leases existing at, or entered into after, the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements, with certain practical expedients available. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the pending adoption of the new standard on our consolidated financial statements.

 

8


 

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01, "Financial Instruments – Overall: Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities." The pronouncement requires equity investments (except those accounted for under the equity method of accounting, or those that result in consolidation of the investee) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income, requires public business entities to use the exit price notion when measuring the fair value of financial instruments for discl osure purposes, requires separate presentation of financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset, and eliminates the requirement for public business entities to disclose the method(s) and significant assumpti ons used to estimate the fair value that is required to be disclosed for financial instruments measured at amortized cost. These changes become effective for the Company's fiscal year beginning December 28, 2017 and interim periods within that fiscal year. The impact of this expected adoption of ASU 2016-01 is being evaluated by the Company.  

In November 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-17, “Income Taxes” which requires that deferred tax liabilities and assets be classified as noncurrent in a classified balance sheet. Prior to the issuance of the standard, deferred tax liabilities and assets were required to be separately classified into a current amount and a noncurrent amount in the balance sheet. The new accounting guidance represents a change in accounting principle and the standard is required to be adopted in annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016. After the adoption of this ASU all deferred tax assets and liabilities will be classified as noncurrent on the consolidated balance sheet.  

In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-11, “Inventory (Topic 330).” The pronouncement was issued to simplify the measurement of inventory and changes the measurement from lower of cost or market to lower of cost and net realizable value. This pronouncement is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The adoption of ASU 2015-11 is not expected to have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations. 

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASU 2014-09)”, which supersedes nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance under GAAP. The core principle of ASU 2014-09 is to recognize revenues when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which an entity expects to be entitled for those goods or services. ASU 2014-09 defines a five-step process to achieve this core principle and, in doing so, more judgment and estimates may be required within the revenue recognition process than are required under existing GAAP.

The revised revenue standard is effective for public entities for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods therein, using either of the following transition methods: (i) a full retrospective approach reflecting the application of the standard in each prior reporting period with the option to elect certain practical expedients, or (ii) a retrospective approach with the cumulative effect of initially adopting ASU 2014-09 recognized at the date of adoption (which includes additional footnote disclosures). The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the Company’s pending adoption of ASU 2014-09 on the Company’s financial statements and has not yet determined the method by which it will adopt the standard in fiscal 2018.

In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-15, Going Concern (“ASU 2014-15”). ASU 2014-15 provides GAAP guidance on management’s responsibility in evaluating whether there is substantial doubt about a company’s ability to continue as a going concern and about related footnote disclosures. For each reporting period, management will be required to evaluate whether there are conditions or events that raise substantial doubt about a company’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the date the financial statements are issued. The standard will be effective for annual periods ending after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016. Early application is permitted for annual or interim reporting periods for which the financial statements have not previously been issued. Upon adoption, the Company will use the guidance in ASU 2014-15 to assess going concern.

Subsequent Events

Subsequent to June 29, 2016, the Company opened one new restaurant and made a $3.0 million pre-payment on the 2014 Revolver.  

The Company evaluated subsequent events that have occurred after June 29, 2016, and determined that there were no other events or transactions occurring during this reporting period that require recognition or disclosure in the condensed consolidated financial statements.

Concentration of Risk

Cash and cash equivalents are maintained at financial institutions and, at times, balances may exceed federally-insured limits. The Company has never experienced any losses related to these balances.

 

9


 

The Company had no suppliers for which amounts due at June  29, 2016 totaled greater than 10% of the Company’s accounts payable. As of Decemb er  30 , 2015 , the Company had two different suppliers for which amounts totaled 12 % and 11 % of the Company’s accounts payable. Purchases from the Company’s largest supplier totaled 3 4% for the thirteen weeks ended June 29, 2016, and 37% for the thirteen wee ks ended July 1, 2015 , of the Company’s purchases. Purchases from the Company’s largest supplier totaled 34% for the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, and 37% for the twenty-six weeks ended July 1, 2015, of the Company’s purchases. Company-operated and franchised restaurants in the greater Los Angeles area generated, in the aggregate, approximately 75% and 79% of total revenue for both the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June  29, 2016 and July 1, 2015, respectively.

Goodwill and Indefinite Lived Intangible Assets

The Company’s indefinite lived intangible assets consist of trademarks. Goodwill represents the excess of cost over fair value of net identified assets acquired in business combinations accounted for under the purchase method. The Company does not amortize its goodwill and indefinite lived intangible assets. Goodwill resulted from historical acquisitions.

Upon the sale of a restaurant, the Company evaluates whether there is a decrement of goodwill. The amount of goodwill included in the cost basis of the asset sold is determined based on the relative fair value of the portion of the reporting unit disposed of compared to the fair value of the reporting unit retained.

The Company performs annual impairment tests for goodwill during the fourth fiscal quarter of each year, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise.

The Company reviews goodwill for impairment utilizing either a qualitative assessment or a two-step process. If the Company decides that it is appropriate to perform a qualitative assessment and concludes that the fair value of a reporting unit more likely than not exceeds its carrying value, no further evaluation is necessary. If the Company performs the two-step process, the first step of the goodwill impairment test is used to identify potential impairment by comparing the fair value of a reporting unit with its carrying amount, including goodwill. If the fair value of a reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, goodwill of the reporting unit is considered not impaired and the second step of the impairment test is unnecessary. If the carrying amount of a reporting unit exceeds its fair value, the second step is performed to measure the amount of impairment by comparing the carrying amount of the goodwill to a determination of the implied value of the goodwill. If the carrying amount of goodwill is greater than the implied value, an impairment charge is recognized for the difference.

The Company performs annual impairment tests for indefinite lived intangible assets during the fourth fiscal quarter of each year, or more frequently if impairment indicators arise. An impairment test consists of either a qualitative assessment or a comparison of the fair value of an intangible asset with its carrying amount. The excess of the carrying amount of an intangible asset over its fair value is its impairment loss.

The assumptions used in the estimate of fair value are generally consistent with the past performance of the Company’s reporting segment and are also consistent with the projections and assumptions that are used in current operating plans. These assumptions are subject to change as a result of changing economic and competitive conditions.

The Company did not identify any indicators of potential impairment during the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, and therefore did not perform any impairment review, nor did the Company record any impairment.

Income Taxes

The provision for income taxes, income taxes payable and deferred income taxes is determined using the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on temporary differences between the financial carrying amounts and the tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect in the years in which the temporary differences are expected to reverse. On a periodic basis, the Company assesses the probability that its net deferred tax assets, if any, will be recovered. If, after evaluating all of the positive and negative evidence, a conclusion is made that it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the net deferred tax assets will not be recovered, a valuation allowance is provided by charging to tax expense to reserve the portion of deferred tax assets which are not expect to be realized.

The Company reviews its filing positions for all open tax years in all U.S. federal and state jurisdictions where the Company is required to file.

When there are uncertainties related to potential income tax benefits, in order to qualify for recognition, the position the Company takes has to have at least a “more likely than not” chance of being sustained (based on the position’s technical merits) upon challenge

 

10


 

by the respective authorities. The term “more likely than not” means a likelihood of more than 50 percen t. Otherwise, the Company may not recognize any of the potential tax benefit associated with the position. The Company recognizes a benefit for a tax position that meets the “more likely than not” criterion at the largest amount of tax benefit that is grea ter than 50 percent likely of being realized upon its effective resolution. Unrecognized tax benefits involve management’s judgment regarding the likelihood of the benefit being sustained. The final resolution of uncertain tax positions could result in adj ustments to recorded amounts and may affect our results of operations, financial position, and cash flows.

The Company’s policy is to recognize interest and penalties related to income tax matters in income tax expense. The Company had no accrual for interest or penalties at June 29, 2016, or at December 30, 2015, and did not recognize interest or penalties during the thirteen or twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, or July 1, 2015, since there were no material unrecognized tax benefits. Management believes no material changes to the amount of unrecognized tax benefits will occur within the next twelve months.

On July 30, 2014, the Company entered into the TRA. The TRA calls for the Company to pay to its pre-IPO stockholders 85% of the savings in cash that the Company realizes in its taxes as a result of utilizing its net operating losses and other tax attributes attributable to preceding periods.

 

 

2. PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

The costs and related accumulated depreciation and amortization of major classes of property are as follows (in thousands):

 

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2015

 

Land

 

$

12,323

 

 

$

12,323

 

Buildings and improvements

 

 

116,172

 

 

 

111,349

 

Other property and equipment

 

 

62,152

 

 

 

58,525

 

Construction in progress

 

 

10,627

 

 

 

4,717

 

 

 

 

201,274

 

 

 

186,914

 

Less: accumulated depreciation and amortization

 

 

(90,304

)

 

 

(84,493

)

 

 

$

110,970

 

 

$

102,421

 

 

Depreciation expense was $4.0 million and $3.2 million for the thirteen weeks ended June 29, 2016, and July 1, 2015, respectively, and $7.7 million and $6.3 million for the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016 and July 1, 2015, respectively. The gross value of assets under capital leases for buildings and improvements was $1.6 million at June 29, 2016 and December 30, 2015. Accumulated depreciation for assets under capital leases was $1.5 million as of June 29, 2016 and December 30, 2015. For the thirteen weeks ended June 29, 2016, capital expenditures totaled $8.4 million, including $0.1million for restaurant remodeling and $6.3 million for new restaurant expenditures. For the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, capital expenditures totaled $14.3 million, including $1.6 million for restaurant remodeling and $9.2 million for new restaurant expenditures. Capital expenditures for the quarter and year-to-date periods exclude unpaid purchases of property and equipment.

 

 

3. STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION

At June 29, 2016, options to purchase 2,196,859 shares of common stock were outstanding, including 1,626,399 vested and 570,460 unvested. Unvested options vest over time, or upon our achieving annual financial goals. However, upon a change in control, the board may accelerate vesting. At June 29, 2016, 1,611,718 premium options remained outstanding. For the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, there were exercises of stock options for 115,340 shares . For the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended July 1, 2015, there were exercises of stock op tions for 825,187 and 844,907 shares, respectively. For the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, 319,798 options were granted at the fair market value on the date of grant. No options were granted in the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended July 1, 2015.

At June  29, 2016 , there were 20,158 unvested restricted shares outstanding. Restricted shares vest over time.

At June 29, 2016, we had total unrecognized compensation expense of $1.7 million, related to unvested stock options and restricted shares, which we expect to recognize over a weighted-average period of 3.2 years.

Total stock-based compensation expense was $128,000 and $139,000 for the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016 and $146,000 and $443,000 for the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended July 1, 2015, respectively.

 

 

 

11


 

4. CREDIT AGREEMENTS

On December 11, 2014, the Company refinanced its debt, with EPL, Intermediate, and Holdings entering into a credit agreement with Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent, swingline lender, and letter of credit issuer, the lenders party thereto, and the other parties thereto, which provides for a $200 million five-year senior secured revolving facility (the “2014 Revolver”). The 2014 Revolver includes a sub limit of $15 million for letters of credit and a sub limit of $15 million for swingline loans. At June 29, 2016, $7.2 million of letters of credit were outstanding and $76.3 million was available to borrow under the revolving line of credit. The 2014 Revolver will mature on or about December 11, 2019.

Borrowings under the 2014 Revolver (other than any swingline loans) bear interest, at the borrower’s option, at rates based upon either LIBOR or a base rate, plus, for each rate, a margin determined in accordance with a lease-adjusted consolidated leverage ratio-based pricing grid. The base rate is calculated as the highest of (a) the federal funds rate plus 0.50%, (b) the prime rate of Bank of America, or (c) LIBOR plus 1.00%. For LIBOR loans, the margin is in the range of 1.75% to 2.50%, and for base rate loans the margin is in the range of 0.75% to 1.50%. The margin was initially set at 2.00% for LIBOR loans and at 1.00% for base rate loans until the delivery of financial statements and a compliance certificate for the first quarter of 2015. The interest rate range was 2.19% to 2.20% and 2.02% to 2.20% for the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, respectively.

The 2014 Revolver includes a number of negative and financial covenants, including, among others, the following (all subject to certain exceptions): a maximum lease-adjusted consolidated leverage ratio covenant, a minimum consolidated fixed charge coverage ratio, and limitations on indebtedness, liens, investments, asset sales, mergers, consolidations, liquidations, dissolutions, restricted payments, and negative pledges. The 2014 Revolver also includes certain customary affirmative covenants and events of default. The Company was in compliance with all such covenants at June 29, 2016. See Note 1 for restrictions on the payment of dividends under the 2014 Revolver.

Maturities

There are no required principal payments prior to maturity for the 2014 Revolver. During the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, the Company elected to pay down $6.5 million of outstanding borrowing on our 2014 Revolver, primarily from our cash flow from operations.

 

 

5. OTHER ACCRUED EXPENSES AND CURRENT LIABILITIES

Other accrued expenses and current liabilities consist of the following (in thousands):

 

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2015

 

Accrued sales and property taxes

 

$

3,364

 

 

$

3,480

 

Income tax receivable agreement payable

 

 

4,197

 

 

 

7,609

 

Gift card liability

 

 

1,525

 

 

 

1,810

 

Other

 

 

4,012

 

 

 

3,227

 

Total other accrued expenses and current liabilities

 

$

13,098

 

 

$

16,126

 

 

 

6. OTHER NONCURRENT LIABILITIES

Other noncurrent liabilities consist of the following (in thousands):

 

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

December 30,

2015

 

Deferred rent

 

$

7,186

 

 

$

6,611

 

Income tax receivable agreement payable

 

 

37,571

 

 

 

33,930

 

Other

 

 

2,618

 

 

 

2,826

 

Total other noncurrent liabilities

 

$

47,375

 

 

$

43,367

 

 

 

 

12


 

7. COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

Legal Matters

On or about February 24, 2014, a former employee filed a class action in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange, against EPL on behalf of all putative class members (all hourly employees from 2010 to the present) alleging certain violations of California labor laws, including failure to pay overtime compensation, failure to provide meal periods and rest breaks, and failure to provide itemized wage statements. The putative lead plaintiff’s requested remedies include compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. No specific amount of damages sought was specified in the complaint. The parties have executed a Stipulation of Class Settlement and Release which will be submitted for court approval. Purported class actions alleging wage and hour violations are commonly filed against California employers, and we fully expect to have to defend against similar lawsuits in the future.

Daniel Turocy, et al. v. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., et al. (Case No. 8:15-cv-01343) was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on August 24, 2015, and Ron Huston, et al. v. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., et al. (Case No. 8:15-cv-01710) was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on October 22, 2015. The two lawsuits have been consolidated, with co-lead plaintiffs and class counsel.  A consolidated complaint was filed on January 29, 2016, on behalf of co-lead plaintiffs and others similarly situated, alleging violations of federal securities laws in connection with Holdings common stock purchased or otherwise acquired and the purchase of call options or the sale of put options, between May 1, 2015 and August 13, 2015 (the “Class Period”). The named defendants are Holdings; Stephen J. Sather, Laurance Roberts, and Edward J. Valle (collectively, the “Individual Defendants”); and Trimaran Pollo Partners, L.L.C., Trimaran Capital Partners, and Freeman Spogli & Co. (collectively, the “Controlling Shareholder Defendants”). Among other things, Plaintiffs allege that, in 2014 and early 2015, Holdings suffered losses due to rising labor costs in California and, in an attempt to mitigate the effects of such rising costs, removed a $5 value option from our menu, which resulted in a decrease in value-conscious store traffic. Plaintiffs further allege that during the Class Period, Holdings and the Individual Defendants made a series of materially false and misleading statements that concealed the effect that these factors were having on store sales growth, resulting in Holdings stock continuing to be traded at artificially inflated prices. As a result, Plaintiffs and other members of the putative class allegedly suffered damages in connection with their purchase of Holdings’ stock during the Class Period. In addition, Plaintiffs allege that the Individual Defendants and Controlling Shareholder Defendants had direct involvement in, and responsibility over, the operations of Holdings, and are presumed to have had, among other things, the power to control or influence the transactions giving rise to the alleged securities law violations. In both cases, Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of damages, as well as costs and expenses (including attorneys’ fees). On July 25, 2016, the Court issued an order granting, without prejudice, Holdings’ Motion to Dismiss plaintiff’s complaint for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs were granted leave to amend their complaint on or before August 22, 2016. Defendants intend to vigorously defend against the claims asserted.

In addition, on September 16, 2015, Holdings and certain of its officers and directors received an informal, non-public inquiry from the SEC requesting voluntary production of documents and information. All parties cooperated fully with the SEC's request. On July 15, 2016, Holdings was informed that the SEC was closing its inquiry as to all parties.

On or about November 5, 2015, a purported Holdings shareholder filed a derivative complaint on behalf of Holdings in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against certain Holdings officers, directors and Trimaran Pollo Partners, L.L.C. The derivative complaint alleges that these defendants breached their fiduciary duties to Holdings and were unjustly enriched when they sold shares of Holdings at artificially inflated prices due to alleged misrepresentations and omissions regarding EPL’s comparable store sales in the second quarter of 2015. The Holdings shareholder’s requested remedies include an award of compensatory damages to Holdings, as well as a court order to improve corporate governance by putting forward for stockholder vote certain resolutions for amendments to Holdings’ Bylaws or Certificate of Incorporation. The parties have stipulated to, which the court has ordered, a stay of these proceedings pending the outcome of Turocy v. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., discussed above.

We are also involved in various other claims and legal actions that arise in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe that the ultimate resolution of these other actions will have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations, liquidity, or capital resources. A significant increase in the number of claims, or an increase in amounts owing under successful claims, could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Purchasing Commitments

The Company has long-term beverage supply agreements with certain major beverage vendors. Pursuant to the terms of these arrangements, marketing rebates are provided to the Company and its franchisees from the beverage vendors based upon the dollar volume of purchases for system-wide restaurants which will vary according to their demand for beverage syrup and fluctuations in the market rates for beverage syrup. These contracts have terms extending into 2017 with an estimated Company obligation totaling $11.5 million as of June 29, 2016.

 

13


 

At June 29, 2016, the Company’s total estimated commitment to purchas e chicken was $21.6 million.

Contingent Lease Obligations

As a result of assigning the Company’s interest in obligations under real estate leases in connection with the sale of Company-operated restaurants to some of the Company’s franchisees, the Company is contingently liable on five lease agreements. These leases have various terms, the latest of which expires in 2036. As of June 29, 2016, the potential amount of undiscounted payments the Company could be required to make in the event of non-payment by the primary lessee was $3.4 million. The present value of these potential payments discounted at the Company’s estimated pre-tax cost of debt at June 29, 2016 was $2.9 million. The Company’s franchisees are primarily liable on the leases. The Company has cross-default provisions with these franchisees that would put them in default of their franchise agreements in the event of non-payment under the leases. The Company believes that these cross-default provisions reduce the risk that payments will be required to be made under these leases. Accordingly, no liability has been recorded in the Company’s condensed consolidated financial statements related to these contingent liabilities.

Employment Agreements

The Company has employment agreements with four of the officers of the Company on an at will basis. These agreements provide for minimum salary levels, possible annual adjustments for cost-of-living changes, and incentive bonuses that are payable under certain business conditions.

Indemnification Agreements

The Company has entered into indemnification agreements with each of its current directors and executive officers. These agreements require the Company to indemnify these individuals to the fullest extent permitted under Delaware law against liabilities that may arise by reason of their service to the Company and to advance expenses incurred as a result of any proceeding against them as to which they could be indemnified. The Company also intends to enter into indemnification agreements with future directors and executive officers.

 

 

8. NET INCOME PER SHARE

Basic net income per share is calculated using the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding during the thirteen and twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, and July 1, 2015. Diluted net income per share is calculated using the weighted-average number of shares of common stock outstanding and potentially dilutive during the period, using the treasury stock method.

Below are basic and diluted net income per share data for the periods indicated, which are in thousands except for per share data.  

 

 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Numerator:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

$

7,267

 

 

$

7,230

 

 

$

12,710

 

 

$

14,021

 

Denominator:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weighted-average shares

   outstanding—basic

 

38,294,575

 

 

 

37,812,767

 

 

 

38,289,505

 

 

 

37,618,756

 

Weighted-average shares

   outstanding—diluted

 

38,962,802

 

 

 

39,085,206

 

 

 

38,981,610

 

 

 

39,002,974

 

Net income per share—basic

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.37

 

Net income per share—diluted

$

0.19

 

 

$

0.18

 

 

$

0.33

 

 

$

0.36

 

Anti-dilutive securities not considered in

   diluted EPS calculation

 

473,836

 

 

 

 

 

 

473,836

 

 

 

 

 

 

14


 

Below is a reconciliation of basic and diluted share counts.

 

 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Weighted-average shares

   outstanding—basic

 

38,294,575

 

 

 

37,812,767

 

 

 

38,289,505

 

 

 

37,618,756

 

Dilutive effect of stock options and

   restricted shares

 

668,227

 

 

 

1,272,439

 

 

 

692,105

 

 

 

1,384,218

 

Weighted-average shares

   outstanding—diluted

 

38,962,802

 

 

 

39,085,206

 

 

 

38,981,610

 

 

 

39,002,974

 

 

 

9. RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

Trimaran Pollo Partners, L.L.C. (“LLC”), owns approximately 43.6% of the Company’s outstanding common stock. This large position means that LLC and its majority owners—predecessors and affiliates of, and certain funds managed by, Trimaran Capital Partners and Freeman Spogli & Co. (collectively, “Trimaran” and “Freeman Spogli,” respectively)—possess significant influence when stockholders vote on matters such as election of directors, mergers, consolidations and acquisitions, the sale of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets, decisions affecting the Company’s capital structure, amendments to the Company’s certificate of incorporation or by-laws, and the Company’s winding up and dissolution. So long as LLC maintains at least 40% ownership, (i) any member of the board of directors may be removed at any time without cause by affirmative vote of a majority of the Company’s common stock, and (ii) stockholders representing 40% or greater ownership may cause special stockholder meetings to be called.

 

 

 

15


 

Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with Item 1 above and with the financial statements contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2015. This discussion and analysis contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Outcomes may differ materially from our expectations. For more information, we direct you to the sections “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Statements” in our annual report. We make no guarantees regarding outcomes, and assume no obligations to update the forward-looking statements herein, except pursuant to law.

Overview

El Pollo Loco is a differentiated and growing restaurant concept that specializes in fire-grilling citrus-marinated chicken and operates in the limited service restaurant (“LSR”) segment. We believe that we offer the quality of food and dining experience typical of fast casual restaurants while providing the speed, convenience, and value typical of traditional quick-service restaurants (“QSRs”), a combination that we call “QSR+” and that provides a value-oriented fast casual dining experience. Our distinctive menu features our signature product—citrus-marinated fire-grilled chicken—and a variety of Mexican-inspired entrees that we create from our chicken. We offer our customers healthier alternatives to traditional food on the go, served by our team members in a colorful, bright, and contemporary restaurant environment. We serve individual and family-sized chicken meals, a variety of Mexican-inspired entrees and sides, and, throughout the year, on a limited-time basis, additional proteins like shrimp, carnitas, and beef. Our entrees include favorites such as our Chicken Avocado Burrito, Under 500 Calorie entrees, Ultimate Pollo Bowl, Baja Shrimp Tacos and Stuffed Chicken Avocado Quesadilla. Our salsas and dressings are prepared fresh daily, allowing our customers to create their favorite flavor profiles to enhance their culinary experience. Our distinctive menu with healthier alternatives appeals to consumers across a wide variety of socio-economic backgrounds and drives our balanced composition of sales throughout the day (our “day-part mix”), including at lunch and dinner.

Growth Strategies and Outlook

We plan to continue to expand our business, drive restaurant sales growth, and enhance our competitive positioning, by executing on the following strategies:

 

·

expand our restaurant base;

 

·

increase our comparable restaurant sales; and

 

·

enhance operations and leverage our infrastructure.

As of June 29, 2016, we had 439 locations in five states. In fiscal 2015, we opened fourteen new company-operated and five new franchised restaurants across Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas. For the quarter ended June 29, 2016, we opened two new company-operated restaurants, in Arizona and Nevada, and three franchised restaurants in California, Utah and Texas and closed one company-operated and one franchised restaurant in California. In 2016, we intend to open 17 to 20 new company-operated and 10 to 15 new franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Texas. Over the long term, we plan to grow the number of El Pollo Loco restaurants by 8% to 10% annually. To increase comparable restaurant sales, we plan to increase customer frequency, attract new customers, and improve per-person spend. We believe that we are well-positioned for future growth, with a developed corporate infrastructure capable of supporting a future restaurant base that is greater than our existing one. Additionally, we believe that we have an opportunity to optimize costs and enhance our profitability as we benefit from economies of scale. These growth rates are not guaranteed.

Highlights and Trends

Comparable Restaurant Sales

System-wide, for the quarter ended June 29, 2016, comparable restaurant sales increased 2.4%. For company-operated restaurants, comparable restaurant sales, for the quarter, increased by 2.0%. For company-operated restaurants, the quarter’s comparable restaurant sales consisted of a 2.7% increase in traffic, offset by a 0.7% decrease in average check size year over year. For franchised restaurants, comparable restaurant sales increased 2.7%.

 

16


 

Restaurant Development

Our restaurant counts at the beginning and end of each of the last three fiscal years and the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, were as follows.  

 

 

 

Twenty-Six

Weeks

Ended

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended

 

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

Company-operated restaurant activity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of period

 

 

186

 

 

 

172

 

 

 

168

 

 

 

169

 

Openings

 

 

5

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

2

 

Restaurant sale to franchisee

 

 

(1

)

 

 

 

 

 

(6

)

 

 

 

Closures

 

 

(2

)

 

 

 

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(3

)

Restaurants at end of period

 

 

188

 

 

 

186

 

 

 

172

 

 

 

168

 

Franchised restaurant activity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of period

 

 

247

 

 

 

243

 

 

 

233

 

 

 

229

 

Openings

 

 

4

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

5

 

Restaurant sale to franchisee

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

Closures

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(1

)

Restaurants at end of period

 

 

251

 

 

 

247

 

 

 

243

 

 

 

233

 

System-wide restaurant activity:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning of period

 

 

433

 

 

 

415

 

 

 

401

 

 

 

398

 

Openings

 

 

9

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

7

 

Closures

 

 

(3

)

 

 

(1

)

 

 

(2

)

 

 

(4

)

Restaurants at end of period

 

 

439

 

 

 

433

 

 

 

415

 

 

 

401

 

Restaurant Remodeling

We and our franchisees commenced our remodeling program in 2011 and, as of June 29, 2016, together we had remodeled 106 company-operated and 178 franchised restaurants, or 284 system-wide, over 70% of our restaurant system. Remodeling is a use of cash and has implications for our net property and depreciation line items on our condensed consolidated balance sheets and statements of operations, among others. The cost of our restaurant remodels varies depending on the scope of work required, but on average the investment is $270,000 per restaurant. We believe that our remodeling program will result in higher restaurant revenue and a strengthened brand.

Gain on recovery of insurance proceeds

In November 2015, one of the Company’s restaurants incurred damage resulting from a fire. During the twenty-six weeks ended June 29, 2016, we incurred costs directly related to the fire of $48,000, disposed of an additional $87,000 of assets and recognized a gain of $889,000 resulting from the receipt from the insurance company of $1,000,000 in cash. In 2015, the Company disposed of $111,000 of assets related to the fire. The restaurant was reopened for business on March 14, 2016.

Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates

The preparation of our condensed consolidated financial statements in accordance with GAAP requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect our reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under current circumstances in making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily available from other sources. We evaluate our estimates on an on-going basis. Actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions.

 

17


 

Accounting policies a re an integral part of our financial statements. A thorough understanding of these accounting policies is essential when reviewing our reported results of operations and our financial position. Management believes that the critical accounting policies and estimates discussed below involve the most difficult management judgments, due to the sensitivity of the methods and assumptions used. For a summary of our critical accounting policies and a discussion of our use of estimates, see “Critical Accounting Poli cies and Use of Estimates” in Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 30, 2015, and Note 2, “Summary of Significant Accounting Policies,” to Item 8, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” in our annual report. For a summary of our significant accounting policies and a discussion of our use of estimates, see also Note 1 to Item 1 above.

There have been no material changes to our critical accounting policies or uses of estimates since our annual report on Form 10-K.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) – Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients. This ASU is intended to clarify two aspects of Topic 606: first, assessing the collectability criterion, options for the presentation of sales and similar taxes, noncash consideration, transition contract modifications, transition contract completion and secondly, technical corrections. The amendments in this update are effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual periods, and early application is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 16, 2016. The Company is currently assessing the impact of this ASU on our consolidated financial statements.

In April 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) – Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing. This ASU is intended to clarify two aspects of Topic 606: identifying performance obligations and licensing implementation guidance. The amendments in this update are effective for financial statements issued for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim periods within those annual periods, and early application is permitted, but no earlier than fiscal years beginning after December 16, 2016. The Company is currently assessing the impact of this ASU on our consolidated financial statements.

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718): Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (“ASU 2016-09”), which is intended to simplify several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows.  ASU 2016-09 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016, and interim periods therein (our fiscal year 2018).  Early application is permitted.  We are currently evaluating the impact of this guidance on our consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, “Leases.” The new standard establishes a right-of-use (ROU) model that requires a lessee to record a ROU asset and a lease liability on the balance sheet for all leases with terms longer than 12 months. Leases will be classified as either finance or operating, with classification affecting the pattern of expense recognition in the income statement. The new standard is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2018, including interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. A modified retrospective transition approach is required for lessees for capital and operating leases existing at, or entered into after, the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements, with certain practical expedients available. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the pending adoption of the new standard on our consolidated financial statements.

In January 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-01, "Financial Instruments – Overall: Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities." The pronouncement requires equity investments (except those accounted for under the equity method of accounting, or those that result in consolidation of the investee) to be measured at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in net income, requires public business entities to use the exit price notion when measuring the fair value of financial instruments for disclosure purposes, requires separate presentation of financial assets and financial liabilities by measurement category and form of financial asset, and eliminates the requirement for public business entities to disclose the method(s) and significant assumptions used to estimate the fair value that is required to be disclosed for financial instruments measured at amortized cost. These changes become effective for the Company's fiscal year beginning December 28, 2017 and interim periods within that fiscal year. The impact of this expected adoption of ASU 2016-01 is being evaluated by the Company.  

In November 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-17, “Income Taxes” which requires that deferred tax liabilities and assets be classified as noncurrent in a classified balance sheet. Prior to the issuance of the standard, deferred tax liabilities and assets were required to be separately classified into a current amount and a noncurrent amount in the balance sheet. The new accounting guidance represents a change in accounting principle and the standard is required to be adopted in annual periods beginning after December 15,

 

18


 

2016. After the adoption of this ASU all deferred tax assets and liabilities will be classified as noncurrent on the consolidate d balance sheet.  

In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-11, “Inventory (Topic 330).” The pronouncement was issued to simplify the measurement of inventory and changes the measurement from lower of cost or market to lower of cost and net realizable value. This pronouncement is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The adoption of ASU 2015-11 is not expected to have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position or results of operations. 

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (ASU 2014-09)”, which supersedes nearly all existing revenue recognition guidance under GAAP. The core principle of ASU 2014-09 is to recognize revenues when promised goods or services are transferred to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which an entity expects to be entitled for those goods or services. ASU 2014-09 defines a five-step process to achieve this core principle and, in doing so, more judgment and estimates may be required within the revenue recognition process than are required under existing GAAP.

The revised revenue standard is effective for public entities for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and interim periods therein, using either of the following transition methods: (i) a full retrospective approach reflecting the application of the standard in each prior reporting period with the option to elect certain practical expedients, or (ii) a retrospective approach with the cumulative effect of initially adopting ASU 2014-09 recognized at the date of adoption (which includes additional footnote disclosures). The Company is currently evaluating the impact of the Company’s pending adoption of ASU 2014-09 on the Company’s financial statements and has not yet determined the method by which it will adopt the standard in fiscal 2018.

In August 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-15, Going Concern (“ASU 2014-15”). ASU 2014-15 provides GAAP guidance on management’s responsibility in evaluating whether there is substantial doubt about a company’s ability to continue as a going concern and about related footnote disclosures. For each reporting period, management will be required to evaluate whether there are conditions or events that raise substantial doubt about a company’s ability to continue as a going concern within one year from the date the financial statements are issued. The standard will be effective for annual periods ending after December 15, 2016, and interim periods within annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016. Early application is permitted for annual or interim reporting periods for which the financial statements have not previously been issued. Upon adoption the Company will use the guidance in ASU 2014-15 to assess going concern.

JOBS Act

We presently qualify as an “emerging growth company” (“EGC”) under section 2(a) of the Securities Act, pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012 (the “JOBS Act”). An EGC has reduced public company reporting, accounting, and corporate governance requirements. We may take advantage of some of these benefits. In addition, the JOBS Act provides that an EGC can take advantage of an extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards, delaying the adoption of these accounting standards until they would apply to private companies. We have irrevocably elected not to avail ourselves of this exemption and, therefore, we will be subject to the same new or revised accounting standards as other public companies that are not EGCs.

We will cease to be an EGC following the earliest of (i) five years after our IPO, (ii) $1.0 billion in annual revenue, (iii) $700.0 million in common stock market capitalization held by non-affiliates, or (iv) $1.0 billion in non-convertible debt security issuance on a three-year rolling basis. Please refer to our annual report on Form 10-K for more information.

Key Financial Definitions

Revenue

Our revenue is derived from two primary sources: company-operated restaurant revenue and franchise revenue, the latter of which is comprised primarily of franchise royalties and, to a lesser extent, franchise fees and sublease rental income.

Food and Paper Costs

Food and paper costs include the direct costs associated with food, beverage and packaging of our menu items. The components of food and paper costs are variable in nature, change with sales volume, are impacted by menu mix, and are subject to increases or decreases in commodity costs.

 

19


 

Labor and Related Expenses

Labor and related expenses include wages, payroll taxes, workers’ compensation expense, benefits, and bonuses paid to our restaurant management teams. Like other expense items, we expect labor costs to grow proportionately as our restaurant revenue grows. Factors that influence labor costs include minimum wage and payroll tax legislation, the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims, health care costs, and the performance of our restaurants.

Occupancy Costs and Other Operating Expenses

Occupancy costs include rent, common area maintenance, and real estate taxes. Other restaurant operating expenses include the costs of utilities, advertising, credit card processing fees, restaurant supplies, repairs and maintenance, and other restaurant operating costs.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses are comprised of expenses associated with corporate and administrative functions that support the development and operations of our restaurants, including compensation and benefits, travel expenses, stock compensation costs, legal and professional fees, and other related corporate costs. Also included are pre-opening costs, and expenses above the restaurant level, including salaries for field management, such as area and regional managers, and franchise field operational support.

Franchise Expenses

Franchise expenses are primarily comprised of rent expenses incurred on properties leased by us and then sublet to franchisees, and expenses incurred in support of franchisee information technology systems.

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization primarily consist of the depreciation of property and equipment, including leasehold improvements and equipment.

Loss on Disposal of Assets

Loss on disposal of assets includes the loss on disposal of assets related to retirements and replacement or write-off of leasehold improvements or equipment.

Asset Impairment and Closed-Store Reserves

We review long-lived assets such as property, equipment, and intangibles on a unit-by-unit basis for impairment when events or circumstances indicate a carrying value of the assets that may not be recoverable, and record an impairment charge when appropriate. Closure costs include non-cash restaurant charges such as up-front expensing the net present value of unpaid rent remaining on the life of a lease offset by assumed sublease income.

Interest Expense, Net

Interest expense, net, consists primarily of interest on our outstanding debt. Debt issuance costs are amortized at cost over the life of the related debt.

Provision for Income Taxes

Provision for income taxes consists of federal and state taxes on our income.

Key Performance Indicators

To evaluate the performance of our business, we utilize a variety of financial and performance measures. These key measures include company-operated restaurant revenue, comparable restaurant sales, company-operated average unit volumes, restaurant contribution, restaurant contribution margin, new restaurant openings, EBITDA, and Adjusted EBITDA.

 

20


 

Company-Operated Restaurant Reven ue

Company-operated restaurant revenue consists of sales of food and beverages in company-operated restaurants net of promotional allowances, employee meals, and other discounts. Company-operated restaurant revenue in any period is directly influenced by the number of operating weeks in such period, the number of open restaurants, and comparable restaurant sales.

Seasonal factors and the timing of holidays cause our revenue to fluctuate from quarter to quarter. Our revenue per restaurant is typically lower in the first and fourth quarters due to reduced January and December traffic and higher in the second and third quarters. As a result of seasonality, our quarterly and annual results of operations and key performance indicators such as company-operated restaurant revenue and comparable restaurant sales may fluctuate.

Comparable Restaurant Sales

Comparable restaurant sales reflect year-over-year sales changes for comparable company-operated, franchised, and system-wide restaurants. A restaurant enters our comparable restaurant base the first full week after it has operated for fifteen months. Comparable restaurant sales exclude restaurants closed during the applicable period. At June 29, 2016 and July 1, 2015, there were 408 and 396 comparable restaurants, 170 and 159 company-operated and 238 and 237 franchised, respectively. Comparable restaurant sales indicate the performance of existing restaurants, since new restaurants are excluded.

Comparable restaurant sales growth can be generated by an increase in the number of meals sold and/or by increases in the average check amount, resulting from a shift in menu mix and/or higher prices resulting from new products or price increases.

Company-Operated Average Unit Volumes

We measure company-operated average unit volumes (“AUVs”) on both a weekly and an annual basis. Weekly AUVs consist of comparable restaurant sales over a seven-day period from Thursday to Wednesday. Annual AUVs are calculated using the following methodology: First, we divide our total net sales for all company-operated restaurants for the fiscal year by the total number of restaurant operating weeks during the same period. Second, we annualize that average weekly per-restaurant sales figure by multiplying it by 52. An operating week is defined as a restaurant open for business over a seven-day period from Thursday to Wednesday. This measurement allows management to assess changes in consumer spending patterns at our restaurants and the overall performance of our restaurant base.

Restaurant Contribution and Restaurant Contribution Margin

Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with, GAAP. Restaurant contribution is defined as company-operated restaurant revenue less company restaurant expenses. Restaurant contribution margin is defined as restaurant contribution as a percentage of net company-operated restaurant revenue. Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are supplemental measures of operating performance of our restaurants, and our calculations thereof may not be comparable to those reported by other companies. Restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin have limitations as analytical tools, and you should not consider them in isolation or as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Management believes that restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin are important tools for investors, because they are widely-used metrics within the restaurant industry to evaluate restaurant-level productivity, efficiency, and performance. Management uses restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin as key metrics to evaluate the profitability of incremental sales at our restaurants, to evaluate our restaurant performance across periods, and to evaluate our restaurant financial performance compared with our competitors.

A reconciliation of restaurant contribution and restaurant contribution margin to company-operated restaurant revenue is provided below:

 

 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

(Dollar amounts in thousands)

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

Company-operated restaurant revenue

$

90,877

 

 

$

83,575

 

 

$

179,246

 

 

$

168,308

 

Company restaurant expenses

 

70,889

 

 

 

65,532

 

 

 

140,998

 

 

 

131,373

 

Restaurant contribution

$

19,988

 

 

$

18,043

 

 

$

38,248

 

 

$

36,935

 

Restaurant contribution margin (%)

 

22.0

%

 

 

21.6

%

 

 

21.3

%

 

 

21.9

%

 

21


 

New Restaurant Openings

The number of restaurant openings reflects the number of new restaurants opened by us and our franchisees during a particular reporting period. Before a new restaurant opens, we and our franchisees incur pre-opening costs, as described below. New restaurants often open with an initial start-up period of higher than normal sales volumes, which subsequently decrease to stabilized levels. New restaurants typically experience normal inefficiencies in the form of higher food and paper, labor, and other direct operating expenses and, as a result, restaurant contribution margins are generally lower during the start-up period of operation. The average start-up period after which our new restaurants’ revenue and expenses normalize is approximately fourteen weeks. When we enter new markets, we may be exposed to start-up times and restaurant contribution margins that are longer and lower than reflected in our average historical experience.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA

EBITDA represents net income before interest expense, provision for income taxes, depreciation, and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents net income before interest expense, provision for income taxes, depreciation, amortization, and items that we do not consider representative of our on-going operating performance, as identified in the reconciliation table below.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA as presented in this report are supplemental measures of our performance that are neither required by, nor presented in accordance with, GAAP. EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are not measurements of our financial performance under GAAP and should not be considered as alternatives to net income, operating income, or any other performance measures derived in accordance with GAAP, or as alternatives to cash flow from operating activities as a measure of our liquidity. In addition, in evaluating EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, you should be aware that in the future we will incur expenses or charges such as those added back to calculate EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA. Our presentation of EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or nonrecurring items.

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA have limitations as analytical tools, and you should not consider them in isolation, or as substitutes for analysis of our results as reported under GAAP. Some of these limitations are (i) they do not reflect our cash expenditures, or future requirements for capital expenditures or contractual commitments, (ii) they do not reflect changes in, or cash requirements for, our working capital needs, (iii) they do not reflect the significant interest expense, or the cash requirements necessary to service interest or principal payments, on our debt, (iv) although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized will often have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA do not reflect any cash requirements for such replacements, (v) they do not adjust for all non-cash income or expense items that are reflected in our statements of cash flows, (vi) they do not reflect the impact of earnings or charges resulting from matters we consider not to be indicative of our on-going operations, and (vii) other companies in our industry may calculate these measures differently than we do, limiting their usefulness as comparative measures.

We compensate for these limitations by providing specific information regarding the GAAP amounts excluded from such non-GAAP financial measures. We further compensate for the limitations in our use of non-GAAP financial measures by presenting comparable GAAP measures more prominently.

We believe that EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA facilitate operating performance comparisons from period to period by isolating the effects of some items that vary from period to period without any correlation to core operating performance or that vary widely among similar companies. These potential differences may be caused by variations in capital structures (affecting interest expense), tax positions (such as the impact on periods or companies of changes in effective tax rates or net operating losses) and the age and book depreciation of facilities and equipment (affecting relative depreciation expense). We also present EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA because (i) we believe that these measures are frequently used by securities analysts, investors and other interested parties to evaluate companies in our industry, (ii) we believe that investors will find these measures useful in assessing our ability to service or incur indebtedness, and (iii) we use EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA internally as benchmarks to compare our performance to that of our competitors.

 

22


 

The following table sets forth reconciliations o f EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to our net income:

 

 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

 

 

Twenty-Six Weeks Ended

 

 

(Amounts in thousands)

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

June 29,

2016

 

 

July 1,

2015

 

 

Net income

$

7,267

 

 

$

7,230

 

 

$

12,710

 

 

$

14,021

 

 

Non-GAAP adjustments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Provision for income taxes

 

5,339