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Steakburger Shooters -- SNS Mini Sliders Are Here


JEast
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Some time ago, many may remember our discussion about sliders (i.e. mini burgers) at SNS. Well, they are now here. I tried 3 of the 5 varieties today for lunch and they were very tasty. They go for 0.89 or 0.99 with cheese.

 

It appears that they overcame the grill issues that I spoke passionately about via removing the fresh chicken which was in the past cooked from a raw state. Previously, they cooked the raw chicken on the press but now they purchase pre-cooked chicken and just warm the chicken on the same grill but off to the side of the  steakburger cooking area. They now in turn use the now open press grill for the mini-burgers or "Shooters" as they are called.

 

 

Cheers

(formally 653211)

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thats interesting. thnx for the update!

 

but how do you seem to know about such intricacies of the kitchen ops such as "Previously, they cooked the raw chicken on the press but now they purchase pre-cooked chicken and just warm the chicken on the same grill but off to the side of the  steakburger cooking area. They now in turn use the now open press grill for the mini-burgers or "Shooters" as they are called."

 

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Actually, I sent the idea of sliders to Sardar a few months ago, along with some other ideas.  He had already thought about adding sliders, and when I talked to him shortly after that, he said that they were already testing them in some markets.  He works very fast!  Does anyone know the name?  I suggested calling them "L'il Steaks".  I think they will do very well. 

 

I love those things at every restaurant I go to here in Vancouver.  The best ones I've ever had are at a restaurant called "Trevor's Kitchen and Bar" in Toronto.  They're beautifully, succulent Kobe beef miniburgers...unfortunately they are $22 for three!  I'll try them again when I'm in Toronto this year.  Cheers!

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I guess you have never eaten at a SNS. We you do get the chance, the grill is near the front door.

 

ah, that explains it. they dont have em in my neck of the woods.

 

Actually, I sent the idea of sliders to Sardar a few months ago, along with some other ideas.  He had already thought about adding sliders, and when I talked to him shortly after that, he said that they were already testing them in some markets.  He works very fast!

 

from your lips to sardars ears, sanjeev. keep the ideas coming, we're on a roll!

 

 

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on 2nd thought i should have known that steak n shake cooked their food in full view.

 

i had come across this how to cook using "The Smash Technique and Skinny Burger Perfection" article from someone watching the grill VERY closely at a local steak n shake. i dont think i've posted it or seen it posted here before. its a great article for you skinny burger fans out there:

 

http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2008/12/the-smash-technique-and-skinny-burger-perfection.html

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Actually in my sunday paper there was a coupon flyer for these sliders..3 shooters with fries for $3.99.  My local SNS does seem to be couponing just as much as they used too in this environment im sure it is helping drive sales.  Although this may not mean much but there is definetly a pickup in traffic at the local SNS.  I always used to count cars when i drive by..but lately its just been full.  Are people "trading down" to SNS??? any thoughts 

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Something to consider about the couponing is that weening people off of them is a slow process...

 

The process is certainly starting, as 2 or 3 of the coupons from our most recent mailing were for an offer making a $4 dollar meal into a $3.99 single steakburger w/ chz, bacon and fries... The beauty of this is that the waiter/waitress can say "wow, it's great that you came in to see us with this coupon... but our meals are priced increadibly reasonably, everyday, for just a penny more! With affordable prices like that, it would be crazy to not come by and see us more often!"

 

About 1/2 the coupons seem to be for increadibly marginal discounts, that don't really decrease revenue/profitability by any meaningful amount.

 

I had emailed Sardar about putting chili cheese fries on the menu-with the possibility of adding a shake to them and making it a $5 dollar meal or something... no response yet.

 

Did anyone hear back about the Reg D filing? Yet again, I emailed and called the corporate office about it, but didn't get any real response. :-(

 

Parsad, maybe you can have some luck finding this out?

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hmmmm. i had to google reg d filing. looks like a private placment might be in the works for which no sec reporting is required?

 

assuming so, if sns can use the proceeds to strengthen their capital posision a bit & pay off their slender but onerous debt with all its thorny, restrictive covenants and at the same time increase ownership that is aligned with the current board, then thats a positive imo. at only a 15% or so insider ownership i'm a little concerned that someone launches a takeunder offer at 10 just when the turn around begins to kick into gear.

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I am under the impression (from the guy I talked to in investor relations) that the Reg D filing was to pay advertisers in order to "align their interests with that of the company". I didn't like it because they are diluting my claim on the future cash flows of the company... which presently are being valued for much less than they are worth.

 

I doubt that they are going to try to take the company over; at least any more than they have-the lion fund doesn't have the capital and I really doubt that there would be a WEST/SNS merger... Though, now that I said it, having WEST dilute/issue shares in order to buy SNS would be a good way to transform it into a highly liquid company all of a sudden (but why would the majority owners of WEST really care about that?).

 

I don't really see how they could have a good reputation by doing that though... I mean, that would effectively make all the nasty things that former management of SNS said about Biglari come true. The type of investing that Biglari does involves a lot of trust-and I doubt that many people would trust him after trying to buy all of SNS for anything close to $10/share.

 

 

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I am under the impression (from the guy I talked to in investor relations) that the Reg D filing was to pay advertisers in order to "align their interests with that of the company". I didn't like it because they are diluting my claim on the future cash flows of the company... which presently are being valued for much less than they are worth.

 

I'm not sure it is a bad idea at all.  First, why shouldn't advertising companies have a vested interest in the marketing they do.  If the marketing is successful, their compensation increases.  Second, we don't know exactly what price those shares were issued.  They could have been issued at $5 or $10...we don't know yet. 

 

In terms of future cash flows, if the advertising company has a vested interest to do a good job, naturally Steak'n Shake will generate greater cash flows which trickle down to your shares.  Cheers! 

 

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I am under the impression (from the guy I talked to in investor relations) that the Reg D filing was to pay advertisers in order to "align their interests with that of the company". I didn't like it because they are diluting my claim on the future cash flows of the company... which presently are being valued for much less than they are worth.

 

I'm not sure it is a bad idea at all.  First, why shouldn't advertising companies have a vested interest in the marketing they do.  If the marketing is successful, their compensation increases.  Second, we don't know exactly what price those shares were issued.  They could have been issued at $5 or $10...we don't know yet. 

 

In terms of future cash flows, if the advertising company has a vested interest to do a good job, naturally Steak'n Shake will generate greater cash flows which trickle down to your shares.  Cheers! 

 

 

 

Good points-especially on the issue price, which I had not thought of at all... however, I will say that I would think that an ad agency would want to do a good job for our company, since they would want to get future advertising business from SNS... after all, the last agency had an 18 year relationship with us.

 

I guess my objection is that I hypothesize that I value the company at a multiple of the current price that I don't see people at an ad agency willing to take in lieu of cash payment (I hope that made sense). Who knows though-there is certainly something to be said for having the cash, diluting ownership, and not risking insolvency...

 

In Sardar we trust,

 

-Jeff

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Some time ago, many may remember our discussion about sliders (i.e. mini burgers) at SNS. Well, they are now here. I tried 3 of the 5 varieties today for lunch and they were very tasty. They go for 0.89 or 0.99 with cheese.

 

It appears that they overcame the grill issues that I spoke passionately about via removing the fresh chicken which was in the past cooked from a raw state. Previously, they cooked the raw chicken on the press but now they purchase pre-cooked chicken and just warm the chicken on the same grill but off to the side of the  steakburger cooking area. They now in turn use the now open press grill for the mini-burgers or "Shooters" as they are called.

 

 

Cheers

(formally 653211)

 

I can vouch for this; I had one of each of the shooters today-no surprise, they were all delicious... I watched them cook all the food, and you are dead on on the technique. The shooters certainly have ridiculously awesome margins for the company.

 

Another point of note, one of the cost cutting measures was to take the red ink off the 'to go' shake cups... they finally gave me a shake in a cup that had none. They also rolled out a new, simpler menu that is much better than the last one (from 8 pages to 4, and organized so that you can understand it). Like Sardar said, if we can save 1K/month at each restaurant, that equates to well over $5 million per year in cash!

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I can vouch for this; I had one of each of the shooters today-no surprise, they were all delicious... I watched them cook all the food, and you are dead on on the technique. The shooters certainly have ridiculously awesome margins for the company.

 

What do you mean had one of each?  Do they come in different varieties? 

 

Another point of note, one of the cost cutting measures was to take the red ink off the 'to go' shake cups... they finally gave me a shake in a cup that had none. They also rolled out a new, simpler menu that is much better than the last one (from 8 pages to 4, and organized so that you can understand it). Like Sardar said, if we can save 1K/month at each restaurant, that equates to well over $5 million per year in cash!

 

Yeah, I think that is where the focus is probably now.  They've made great strides on G&A, but restaurant operating costs, and cost of food and labour is where they need to make progress to get back to the same margins they had in 1995. 

 

I think you should see some benefit as food costs and labour costs should have dropped and will continue to drop for the next six months.  But if they can find inefficiencies and eliminate them now, that should bode well for them when food costs do rise again in the future.  Heating and electricity, construction costs, advertising rates, productions costs all have come down.  This should bode well for the bottom line of businesses where the owners have been proactive and run a more efficient operation.  Cheers! 

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I can vouch for this; I had one of each of the shooters today-no surprise, they were all delicious... I watched them cook all the food, and you are dead on on the technique. The shooters certainly have ridiculously awesome margins for the company.

 

What do you mean had one of each?  Do they come in different varieties? 

 

 

Yeah, they come in 5 kinds- they are all little steakburgers with different sauces: mustard/ketchup, A1, Chipotle, Frisco, and BBQ. 89 cents each, or 99 cents with cheese. They are about the diameter of a 12 oz. can of coke, and as I said earlier, must certainly have great margins for the company.

 

 

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