Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Note 3 - Leases

Note 3 - Leases
9 Months Ended
Sep. 25, 2022
Notes to Financial Statements  
Lessee, Operating Leases [Text Block]

(3) Leases


The Company leases restaurant facilities and equipment. The Company determines whether an arrangement is or contains a lease at contract inception. The Company’s leases are all classified as operating leases, which are included as operating lease right of use assets (“ROU assets”) and operating lease liabilities in the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheet. Operating lease liabilities are recognized based on the present value of future minimum lease payments over the expected lease term at commencement date. ROU assets are measured based on the operating lease liabilities adjusted for lease incentives, initial indirect costs and impairments of operating lease assets. Minimum lease payments include only the fixed lease components of the agreements, as well as any variable rate payments that depend on an index, which are measured initially using the index at the lease commencement dates. To determine the present value of future minimum lease payments, the Company estimates incremental borrowing rates based on the information available at the lease commencement dates, or amendment date for contract modifications. The Company estimates its incremental borrowing rates by determining the synthetic credit rating of the Company using quantitative and qualitative analysis and then adjusting the synthetic credit rating to a collateralized credit rating. A spread curve is then developed using the U.S. corporate bond yield curve of the same credit rating and the U.S. Treasury curve to determine the rate for different terms. The expected lease terms include options to extend when it is reasonably certain the Company will exercise the options up to a total term of 20 years. Total lease cost is expensed on a straight-line basis over the life of a lease. Additionally, incentives received from landlords used to fund leasehold improvements reduce the ROU assets related to those leases and are amortized as reductions to lease expense over the lives of the leases. Variable lease payments that do not depend on a rate or index, payments associated with non-lease components and short-term rentals (leases with terms less than 12 months) are expensed as incurred.


On April 10, 2020, the FASB issued a staff Q&A (the “Staff Q&A”) to provide guidance on its remarks at the April 8, 2020 Board meeting about accounting for rent concessions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Staff Q&A affirmed the discussion at the April 8, 2020 meeting by allowing entities to forgo performing the lease-by-lease legal analysis to determine whether contractual provisions in an existing lease agreement provide enforceable rights and obligations related to lease concessions as long as the concessions are related to COVID-19 and the changes to the lease do not result in a substantial increase in the rights of the lessor or the obligations of the lessee. In addition, the Staff Q&A affirmed that entities may make an election to account for eligible concessions, regardless of their form, either by (1) applying the modification framework for these concessions in accordance with Topic 842 or (2) accounting for the concessions as if they were made under the enforceable rights included in the original agreement.


Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company initiated negotiations with its landlords to modify its restaurant lease agreements. Where applicable, the Company has elected to account for eligible lease concessions as if they were made under the enforceable rights included in the original agreement pursuant to the Staff Q&A.


As of September 25, 2022, all of the Company-owned Ruth’s Chris Steak House restaurants operated in leased premises, with the exception of the restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, which is an owned property, and the restaurants in Anaheim, CA, Lake Mary, FL, Princeton, NJ and South Barrington, IL, which operate on leased land. The leases generally provide for minimum annual rental payments with scheduled minimum rent payment increases during the terms of the leases. Certain leases also provide for rent deferral during the initial term, lease incentives in the form of tenant allowances to fund leasehold improvements, and/or contingent rent provisions based on the sales at the underlying restaurants. Most of the Company’s restaurant leases have remaining lease terms of 1 year to 20 years, some of which include options to extend the leases for 5 years or more. The Company’s lease agreements do not contain any material residual value guarantees or material restrictive covenants. As of September 25, 2022, the weighted average remaining lease term and discount rate for operating leases is 13.7 years and 5.5%, respectively.


The components of lease expense are as follows (in thousands):



13 Weeks Ended


13 Weeks Ended


39 Weeks Ended


39 Weeks Ended




September 25, 2022


September 26, 2021


September 25, 2022


September 26, 2021


Operating lease cost

Restaurant operating expenses and general and administrative costs

  $ 6,686     $ 5,410     $ 19,087     $ 13,886  

Variable lease cost

Restaurant operating expenses and general and administrative costs

    2,690       3,200       9,374       10,460  

Total lease cost

  $ 9,376     $ 8,610     $ 28,461     $ 24,346  


As of September 25, 2022, maturities of lease liabilities are summarized as follows (in thousands):



Operating Leases


2022, excluding the first thirty-nine weeks ended September 25, 2022

  $ 12,299  











Total future minimum rental commitments


Imputed interest

    (108,592 )
    $ 238,655  



Supplemental cash flow information related to operating leases was as follows (in thousands):



39 Weeks Ended


39 Weeks Ended


September 25, 2022


September 26, 2021


Cash paid for amounts included in the measurement of lease liabilities

  $ 19,811     $ 19,128  

Right-of-use assets obtained in exchange for lease obligations

  $ 38,220     $ 2,776  

Reduction of right-of-use assets and lease obligations from lease modifications and terminations

  $     $ 11,285  


Additionally, as of September 25, 2022, the Company has executed two leases for new Ruth’s Chris Steak House Restaurant locations with undiscounted fixed payments over the initial term of $9.8 million. Subsequent to the end of the quarter ended September 25, 2022, the Company executed a lease for another Ruth's Chris Steak House Restaurants with undiscounted fixed payments over the initial term of $3.7 million.  These leases will commence when the landlords make the properties available to the Company. These leases are expected to commence during the next 12 months and are expected to have an economic lease term of 20 years. The Company will assess the reasonably certain lease term at the lease commencement date.