Pinstripes is leaning into its events business

Pinstripes, still somewhat fresh to the public market, reported Q4 results after market Thursday, including a 5.9% increase in revenues, driven by four new units and a 0.4% increase in same-store sales. The company also reported nominally positive traffic and about $9 million in average unit volumes.

That’s not to say the company hasn’t experienced some of the same consumer-driven headwinds that impacted much of the industry at the start of the year, but CFO Tony Querciagrossa said it’s “nothing drastic.”

“We saw softening of the consumer. As we sit here now in Q1, we’re seeing what everybody else is seeing, but as we paced in Q4, January was sort of flat. February was a bit negative, almost down 5%. March was flat and then April was actually strong, up 8%, led by our events business,” he said during the earnings call.

As such, the company is leaning into that private events business. CEO Dale Schwartz said the company hired a new digital marketing agency to raise awareness of the channel, as well as “a number of (undisclosed) initiatives.”

“We continue to believe that our events will be an area of strength,” he said. “Our events, both social and corporate, are an extraordinarily important and profitable facet of our business, creating a flywheel effect of increased brand awareness.”

Each of Pinstripes’ 17 locations hosts approximately 1,000 private events per year, representing nearly 50% of its revenue. The food and beverage component of the business is part of that revenue and overall comprises about 75% of the company’s total revenue, with bowling and bocce generating the rest. This “scratch-dining” focus, Schwartz said, is what differentiates the brand in a growing eatertainment space. During an interview in January, Schwartz touted Pinstripes’ unique menu that includes offerings like wood-fire pizzas, gelatos, gnocchi and vodka sauce, lobster mac and cheese, local beers, and handcrafted cocktails. He added that its Sunday brunch averages about 1,200 covers per location and the company expanded the occasion to Saturdays to drive more weekend business. Perhaps that illustrates why Pinstripes’ food and beverage revenues have increased from about 70% in January to 75% now.

“Our food is that good. The challenge is it’s the exception of the rule for entertainment/dining concepts to have that level of dining,” Schwartz said in January. “We’ve gone to tremendous lengths and as a result, that’s why we are at 70% and why we have so many private events. It means more repeat business.”

In addition to driving revenues through its food and beverage and events channels, the company is also striving for cost-savings opportunities to improve margins. Those opportunities include labor efficiencies, a more favorable credit card processing fee agreement, and more favorable vendor contracts. Schwartz said these efforts represent approximately $10 million in annual savings, the majority of which should be evident in fiscal year 2025.

With this backdrop, Querciagrossa shared the company’s guidance, including same-store sales growth of low-single digits and four new venues. Schwartz added that there are now 22 locations either open or under lease and “another potential 30 sites in various stages of development.” The expectation is that the company will get to six-to-eight new locations a year in fiscal 2026.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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