Firehouse Subs sales still lagging other RBI brands

The Toronto-based company also owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons.

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Toronto-based RBI’s new CEO is hoping new online sales initiatives will spur higher growth for Jacksonville-based Firehouse Subs.
Toronto-based RBI’s new CEO is hoping new online sales initiatives will spur higher growth for Jacksonville-based Firehouse Subs.
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Sales growth at Firehouse Subs lagged behind the other chains owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. in its first year of ownership under that company.

Toronto-based RBI’s new CEO is hoping new online sales initiatives will spur higher growth for Jacksonville-based Firehouse.

“We’ve identified areas of opportunity to enhance the brand’s digital capabilities, including around our mobile app and loyalty program, and we’ll have more to share on our digital path in 2023,” said Joshua Kobza in RBI’s year-end conference call Feb. 14.


In addition to announcing earnings that day, RBI also announced Kobza’s promotion from chief operating officer to CEO.

He succeeds Jose Cil, who will remain with the company for one year as an adviser.

RBI said sales at Firehouse restaurants, which it acquired in December 2021, rose 4.2% to $1.15 billion last year.

The company’s other three brands, Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons, combined to grow sales by 13.4% to $39.75 billion.

Sales at Firehouse restaurants open for more than one year rose just 0.6% in 2022, while the rest of the brands were up 8.5%.

While the company works on initiatives to grow sales at Firehouse, Kobza said RBI will continue to support the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, which provides resources for first responders.

“The brand’s commitment to this foundation is a key driver of its resonance with guests,” he said, adding the foundation “has values similar to my own.”

Kobza has worked at RBI for 11 years and the company said his promotion was part of an ongoing succession plan.

However, the company has overhauled its top management in recent months.

RBI brought in former Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle in November as executive chairman.

Doyle will remain in that role.

Dun & Bradstreet earnings flat

Dun & Bradstreet Holdings Inc. reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, little changed from the previous year’s earnings of 33 cents.

Adjusted revenue, excluding the foreign exchange impact, rose 2.2% to $614.2 million.

CEO Anthony Jabbour said in a Feb. 16 conference call the Jacksonville-based business data firm will focus on what it can control in 2023 in a challenging market.

“While the worsening economic backdrop will be more challenging for certain client segments, overall we have a significant opportunity to drive growth within our existing client base and expect to do so throughout the year,” Jabbour said.

“While there are few more large and mega-sized prospects to add to our blue-chip client base, the real opportunity for us is to break into the small and micro business segment in a more meaningful way,” he said.

GEE Group results fall 59% in Q1

GEE Group Inc. reported adjusted earnings fell 59% in its first quarter ended Dec. 31 to $1.1 million, or 1 cent a share, with revenue falling 4% to $41.1 million.

The Jacksonville-based staffing company said the lower results were due to nonrecurring projects the previous year for coronavirus responders that increased revenue.

“The current fiscal first quarter still compares favorably, taking into account the unique opportunities present in last year’s first quarter, and particularly in terms of growth in our professional IT contract businesses,” CEO Derek Dewan said in GEE Group’s Feb. 15 conference call, according to a company transcript.

GEE Group reported IT contract services revenue rose 15% in the quarter.

“Despite macroeconomic challenges or unforeseen events, we believe we can continue to produce solid results for this fiscal year and beyond,” Dewan said.

CSX increases dividend a penny

CSX Corp. announced Feb. 15 it is raising its quarterly dividend payments to stockholders by a penny to 11 cents a share.

The Jacksonville-based railroad company has increased the total cash dividend payments every year since 2005.

Separately, CSX announced six agreements with local unions between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 to provide paid sick leave to employees.

Sick leave was a sticking point in union negotiations that raised concerns about a nationwide rail strike last year.

It took federal legislation in December to settle negotiations with national labor unions.

However, CSX still had to settle issues such as sick leave separately with local unions.

 “CSX is committed to listening to our railroaders and working with their representatives to find solutions that improve their quality of life and experience as employees,” CEO Joe Hinrichs said in a news release about one of the local union agreements.

“These agreements demonstrate that commitment and are a direct result of the collaborative relationship we are working to cultivate with all of the unions that represent CSX employees,” he said.

Hinrichs joined CSX in September after a long career at Ford Motor Co., where he had a reputation of successfully working with the United Auto Workers union. 



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