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Florida Retailer Flanigan’s, With On- and Off-Premise Businesses, Faces A Study in Contrast

March 30, 2020

As a retail player active in both the on- and off-premise in south Florida, Flanigan’s Enterprises is experiencing two extremes brought on by the COVID-19 crisis—the retail boom and the shuttering of the hospitality industry. According to Flanigan’s chairman and CEO Jimmy Flanigan, sales at the company’s 12-unit Big Daddy’s Wine & Liquor package stores are soaring while its 22-unit Flanigan’s Seafood Bar & Grill concept was forced to close. It’s still offering on-site sales for takeout and delivery on the restaurant side, but business is way down.

The Big Daddy’s stores’ dollar sales surged by 71% for the week ended March 21, Flanigan told SND, with average rings—including walk-in, pickup and delivery orders—up 31% compared to the same week a year ago. “All products are benefiting—especially wine,” Flanigan said. To reduce contact and interaction with customers, Big Daddy’s has ramped up its promotion of in-store pickup and delivery, while mandating frequent handwashing by staff and directing them to frequently sanitize all high-contact surfaces.

The Flanigan’s restaurants were forced to close for in-store business on the week of St. Patrick’s Day, the busiest day of the year. All restaurants are open for curbside takeout and delivery only, and while his restaurant sales have been reduced, Flanigan says, “We’ve been encouraged by the increased volume in our takeout business.” Last week, Flanigan’s announced it was suspending its April cash dividend of $0.30 a share in response to the crisis. The company also said it was being forced to lay off a significant number of its employees because of the restaurant shutterings as it shifted to the takeout and delivery format.—Terri Allan

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