Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2017
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying consolidated financial statements include the accounts of the Company and its subsidiaries. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated.
Fiscal Year
The Company utilizes a 52- or 53-week fiscal year that ends on the last Sunday of the calendar year. The fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 consisted of 53 weeks and fiscal years ended December 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015 each consisted of 52 weeks.
Accounting Estimates
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect certain reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses for the period. Actual results could differ from estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
The Company considers all cash and short-term investments with original maturities of three months or less as cash equivalents. Amounts receivable from credit card processors are considered cash equivalents because they are both short in term and highly liquid in nature, and are typically converted to cash within three business days of the sales transactions.
Lease Incentives Receivable
Lease incentives receivable consist of receivables from landlords provided for under the lease agreements to reimburse the Company for leasehold improvements.
Inventories consist of food, beverage, and merchandise and are stated at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out method) or market.
Property and Equipment
Property and equipment are recorded at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Equipment consists primarily of restaurant equipment, furniture, fixtures and smallwares. Depreciation is calculated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful life of the related asset, which ranges from three to seven years. Expenditures for major additions and improvements are capitalized. Leasehold improvements are capitalized and amortized using the straight-line method over the shorter of the lease term, including option periods that are reasonably assured of renewal, or the estimated useful life of the asset, which ranges from five to 20 years.
The Company leases land and/or buildings for its corporate office and all of its restaurants under various long-term operating lease agreements. The Company uses a lease life that begins on the date that the Company takes possession under the lease, including the pre-opening period during construction, when in many cases the Company is not making rent payments (“Rent Holiday”).
Certain of the Company’s operating leases contain predetermined fixed escalations of the minimum rent during the original term of the lease. For these leases and those with a Rent Holiday, the Company recognizes the related rent expense on a straight-line basis over the lease term and records the difference between the amounts charged to operations and amounts paid, as accrued deferred rent.
In addition, certain of the Company’s operating leases contain clauses that provide for additional contingent rent based on a percentage of sales greater than certain specified target amounts. The Company recognizes contingent rent expense prior to the achievement of the specified target that triggers the contingent rent, provided achievement of the target is considered probable.
Leasehold improvements financed by the landlord through lease incentive allowances are capitalized with the lease incentive allowances recorded as deferred lease incentives. Such leasehold improvements are amortized on a straight-line basis over the lesser of the life of the asset or the defined lease term, which includes option periods which are reasonably assured of renewal. Deferred lease incentives are amortized on a straight-line basis over the same defined lease term, and are recorded as a reduction of occupancy expense.
Other Assets and Intangible Assets
Other assets and intangible assets include liquor licenses, lease acquisition costs and loan origination costs and are stated at cost, less accumulated amortization.
Goodwill represents the excess of cost over the fair value of assets of the businesses acquired. Goodwill is not amortized, but is subject to impairment tests at least annually. The Company performs tests to assess potential impairments on the first day of the fourth quarter or during the year if an event or other circumstance indicates that goodwill may be impaired. The first step of the goodwill quantitative impairment test compares the implied estimated fair value of the reporting unit to the carrying amount, including goodwill. The Company considers all of its stores in total as one reporting unit. If the estimated fair value of the reporting unit is less than the carrying amount, then it is more likely than not that a goodwill impairment exits and a second step must be completed in order to determine the amount of the goodwill impairment. In the second step, the implied fair value of the goodwill is determined by allocating fair value to all of its assets and liabilities, other than goodwill, in a manner similar to a purchase price allocation. If the resulting implied fair value of the goodwill that results from the application of this second step is less than the carrying amount of the goodwill, an impairment charge is recorded for the difference. No goodwill impairment charges were recognized during 2017, 2016, or 2015.
Indefinite Life Intangibles
Intangible assets acquired in a business combination and determined to have an indefinite useful life are not amortized because there is no foreseeable limit to the cash flows generated by the intangible asset, and have no legal, contractual, regulatory, economic or competitive limiting factors.
The annual impairment evaluation for indefinite life intangible assets includes a quantitative assessment to determine whether the fair value of the indefinite life intangible assets is less than their carrying value. We calculate the estimated fair value of the indefinite-lived intangible asset and compare it to the carrying value. Fair value is estimated primarily using future discounted cash flow projections in conjunction with qualitative factors and future operating plans. When the carrying value exceeds fair value, an impairment charge is recorded for the amount of the difference. An intangible asset is determined to have an indefinite useful life when there are no legal, regulatory, contractual, competitive, economic or other factors that may limit the period over which the asset is expected to contribute directly or indirectly to the future cash flows of the Company. The Company also annually evaluates intangible assets that are not being amortized to determine whether events and circumstances continue to support an indefinite useful life. If an intangible asset that is not being amortized is determined to have a finite useful life, the asset will be amortized prospectively over the estimated remaining useful life and accounted for in the same manner as intangible assets subject to amortization. No indefinite life intangible impairment charges were recognized during 2017, 2016, or 2015.
Impairment of Long-lived Assets
The Company reviews long-lived assets, such as property and equipment and intangibles, subject to amortization, for impairment when events or circumstances indicate the carrying value of the assets may not be recoverable. In determining the recoverability of the asset value, an analysis is performed at the individual restaurant level and primarily includes an assessment of historical cash flows and other relevant factors and circumstances. The Company evaluates future cash flow projections in conjunction with qualitative factors and future operating plans and regularly reviews any restaurants with a deficient level of cash flows for the previous 24 months to determine if impairment testing is necessary.  Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of the restaurant to the estimated fair value. Based on this analysis, if the carrying amount of the restaurant exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recognized by the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the fair value.
As a result of the above mentioned review process, the Company recognized a $4.4 million non-cash loss on asset impairment as a result of the performance related to three restaurants in fiscal 2015. The Company did not recognize an impairment charge during fiscal 2017 and 2016
The Company’s impairment assessment process requires the use of estimates and assumptions regarding future cash flows and operating outcomes, which are based upon a significant degree of management judgment. The estimates used in the impairment analysis represent a Level 3 fair value measurement. The Company continues to assess the performance of restaurants and monitors the need for future impairment. Changes in economic environment, real estate markets, capital spending and overall operating performance could impact these estimates and result in future impairment charges.
Estimated Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company uses a three-tier value hierarchy, which classifies the inputs used in measuring fair values, in determining the fair value of the Company's non-financial assets and non-financial liabilities. These tiers include: Level 1, defined as observable inputs such as quoted prices for identical instruments in active markets; Level 2, defined as inputs other than quoted prices in active markets that are either directly or indirectly observable; and Level 3, defined as unobservable inputs in which little or no market data exists, therefore requiring an entity to develop its own assumptions. There were no changes in the methods or assumptions used in measuring fair value during the period.
The carrying amounts of cash and cash equivalents, accounts receivable and accounts payable at December 31, 2017 and December 25, 2016 approximate their fair value due to the short-term maturities of these financial instruments.
In regards to the Company's impairment analysis, we generally estimate long-lived asset fair values, including property and equipment and leasehold improvements, using either the cost and/or the income approach. The inputs used to determine fair value relate primarily to the assumptions regarding the long-lived assets exit cost at their highest and best use and future assumptions regarding restaurant sales and profitability. These inputs are categorized as Level 3 inputs. The inputs used represent assumptions about what information market participants would use in pricing the assets and are based upon the best information available at the time of the analysis.
Loan Origination Costs
Loan origination costs are capitalized and amortized over the term of the related debt and is included in Interest expense, net on the consolidated statements of income.
Revenue Recognition
Revenue from restaurant operations (food, beverage and alcohol sales) and merchandise sales are recognized upon payment by the customer at the time of sale. Revenues are reflected net of sales tax and certain discounts and allowances.
Proceeds from the sale of gift cards are recorded as deferred revenue at the time of sale and recognized as revenue upon redemption by the customer. Breakage is recognized on unredeemed gift cards based upon historical redemption patterns when the Company determines the likelihood of redemption of the gift card by the customer is remote. We recorded $0.3 million of gift card breakage in the fiscal year 2017. Gift card breakage in previous periods presented was immaterial.
The Company expenses the printing of menus and other promotional materials as incurred. The costs of community service and sponsorship activities are expensed on the expected timing of those events. Marketing expense was $2.8 million, $2.4 million, and $2.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2017December 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015, respectively.
Restaurant Pre-opening Costs
Restaurant pre-opening costs consist primarily of manager salaries, relocation costs, supplies, recruiting expenses, travel and lodging, pre-opening activities, employee payroll and related training costs for employees at the new location. The Company expenses such pre-opening costs as incurred. Pre-opening costs also include rent recorded during the period between date of possession and the restaurant opening date.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company maintains an equity incentive plan under which it allows the Company's board of directors to grant stock options, restricted stock units, and other equity-based awards to directors, officers, and key employees of the Company. The plans provide for granting of options to purchase shares of common stock at an exercise price not less than the fair value of the stock on the date of grant. The Company recognizes stock-based compensation in accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 718 ("Topic 718"). Stock-based compensation cost includes compensation cost for all share-based payments granted based on the grant date fair value estimated in accordance with the provisions of Topic 718. Compensation cost is recognized on a straight-line basis, net of estimated forfeitures, over the requisite service period of each award.
Income Tax Matters
Income tax provisions are comprised of federal and state taxes currently due, plus deferred taxes. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for future tax consequences attributable to the temporary difference between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax basis. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. Deferred tax assets are recognized when management considers the realization of those assets in future periods to be more likely than not. Future taxable income, adjustments in temporary differences, available carryforward periods and changes in tax laws could affect these estimates.
Segment Reporting
ASC Topic No. 280, "Segment Reporting," establishes standards for disclosures about products and services, geographic areas and major customers. The Company currently operates one reporting segment; full-service, casual dining, Mexican food restaurants. Additionally, we operate in one geographic area: the United States of America.
Revenue from customers is derived principally from food and beverage sales and the Company does not rely on any major customers as a source of revenue.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
The Company's management reviewed all significant newly-issued accounting pronouncements and concluded that, with the exception of the pronouncements below, they either are not applicable to the Company's operations or that no material effect is expected on the Company's consolidated financial statements as a result of future adoption.
In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") 2016-02, "Leases (Topic 842)." This update requires a lessee to recognize on the balance sheet the right-of-use assets and lease liabilities for leases with a lease term of more than twelve months. This update also requires additional disclosures about the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. This ASU is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018 and requires a modified retrospective approach to adoption for lessees existing at, or entered into after the beginning of the earliest comparative period presented in the financial statements, with certain practical expedients available.
We had operating leases with remaining rental payments of $404.7 million as of December 31, 2017. The discounted minimum remaining rental payments will be the starting point for determining the assets and liabilities for the rights and obligations created by those leases. While the Company is still evaluating the guidance and the impact on its consolidated financial statements, we expect the adoption of this standard will have a significant impact on the Company’s consolidated balance sheet as we will recognize the right-of-use assets and liabilities for current operating leases, but will likely have an insignificant impact on the consolidated statement of income or cash flows and overall liquidity. In preparation for the adoption of the guidance, the Company will implement controls and key systems changes to enable the preparation of financial information.
Revenue Recognition
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, "Revenue with Contracts from Customers (Topic 606)." ASU 2014-09 supersedes the current revenue recognition guidance, including industry-specific guidance. The guidance introduces a five-step model to achieve its core principal of the entity recognizing revenue to depict the transfer of goods or services to customers at an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods or services. This ASU is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and early adoption is permitted only for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016.
The Company's revenue is comprised of food and beverage sales. ASU 2014-09 will not have an impact on revenue recognition related to food and beverage sales. However, it requires gift card breakage to be recognized as revenue proportionate to the pattern of gift card redemptions. The Company records gift card breakage as a component of revenue.
We will adopt this guidance in the first quarter of 2018. The Company does not expect the adoption of this ASU to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
Stock Compensation
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, "Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting (Topic 718)." This update simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows. This ASU was effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The Company adopted ASU 2016-09 in the first quarter of 2017 and elected to apply this adoption prospectively. All excess tax benefits and deficiencies are recognized in the income tax expense line item on the Company's consolidated income statement, and are included within the changes in the income tax receivable line item on the consolidated statement of cash flows. The Company has elected to recognize forfeitures for awards with a requisite service period as they occur. The adoption of this ASU was immaterial to the Company's consolidated financial statements.