Sweetgreen’s revenue jumped 29% year over year to $124 million in its fiscal third quarter ended Sept. 25. The gains were driven by new restaurant openings and higher sales at existing locations.
Sweetgreen opened 10 net new stores during the quarter and a total of 47 over the past year. That brought its total store count to 176 restaurants as of Sept. 25.
The company’s same-store sales rose by 6% despite lapping 43% comp growth in the year-ago quarter. Yet the gains were almost entirely due to menu price increases, as opposed to traffic growth.
Sweetgreen’s operating losses expanded to $49.3 million from $32.3 million in the prior-year period, due in part to restructuring charges related to the relocation of the company’s support center.
However, Sweetgreen did make some progress toward achieving sustained profitability. Its restaurant-level profit margin, which excludes corporate overhead, improved by 2 percentage points to 16%.
Investors were more concerned about Sweetgreen’s guidance. “For fiscal year 2022, we anticipate coming in at the lower end of the range of our prior outlook, with revenue at or slightly below the low end of our prior outlook,” the company said in its earnings release. Management had previously guided for revenue of $480 million to $500 million.
Despite the expected near-term shortfall, Sweetgreen in a regulatory filing repeated its long-term goal of operating 1,000 restaurants by the end of the decade. “Sweetgreen is in the early stages of building a national brand that leads and defines a category and we are excited about our expansion plans,” CEO Jonathan Neman said.
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