FAT BRANDS TO HOST ALL SEVENTEEN FRANCHISED BRANDS IN LAS VEGAS NEXT WEEK, INVITES PROMINENT ANALYSTS AS WELL, HAS ANYBODY ELSE DONE THAT?
FAT Brands has assembled a total of seventeen brands over the last five years. Their portfolio amounts to a total of about 2,300 locations, doing over $2B of systemwide annual sales. Since Johnny Rockets, Round Table Pizza, Twin Peaks and Fazoli’s (four of their five largest brands) were purchased during the Covid, this is the first opportunity for “everybody” to get to know each other.
We have described the growth at FAT Brands over the last few years and welcomed their invitation to meet so many key participants within their various franchised systems. Rubbing elbows with operating management and Board members will be another benefit of the trip. From what we understand, we were only one of many restaurant analysts that have been invited, and we look forward to visiting with them as well.
The corporate transparency of FAT Brands is admirable.
There was a time when analysts were welcome at franchise conventions, but, as far this analyst can observe, that has not been the case for a long time. Back in the 1990s, as just one example, I attended probably five annual IHOP conventions, developed a great confidence in the company, helped my institutional clients make hundreds of millions of dollars in the stock, and some of the top IHOP executives at the time are still close friends. It wasn’t about weekly comps or new products, which would become evident to the world soon enough. It was about understanding the business, warts and all, and everybody has them. These days, it seems that franchisees are almost always “protected” from analysts. One might ask: How good can research of a franchising company be if you can’t talk to franchisees? We do our best, but it should not have to be so difficult. (If my experience is not typical, I encourage my peer analysts, many of whom are among our readers, to correct my impression.)
Back to FAT Brands: I look forward to getting out of my financial ivory tower and meeting next week with so many operating restaurant people. I will report to our readers accordingly.