CORTE MADERA, CA - May 14, 1998--Il Fornaio (America) Corp. (NASDAQ/NMS:ILFO) today announced it has executed a lease for a new 9,000 square foot restaurant in The Venetian, a Venice, Italy-themed resort, hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The new restaurant, called Canaletto, is slated to open in concert with The Venetian's planned April 1999 opening of its first phase, a city within a city complex which includes over 3,000 luxury suites, a 116,000 square foot gaming facility, 500,000 square feet of meeting and conference space, and the Grand Canal Shoppes, an indoor shopping mall themed after Renaissance Venice -- all connected to the existing Sands Expo and Convention Center. The Venetian is expected to have 6,000 guest suites when completed, making it the largest hotel in the world.
"We didn't even consider opening another Tuscan-inspired Il Fornaio in this unique place," said Larry Mindel, Chairman of Il Fornaio, referring to the Company's Il Fornaio restaurant and bakery concept in the nearby New York-New York Hotel and Casino.
"Our Executive Chef at Il Fornaio, Maurizio Mazzon, is a native Venetian," Mindel continued. "We both share a dream of making Canaletto into the quintessential Venetian `ristorante'. And, outside of Venice itself, there is no better place to do this than The Venetian in Las Vegas."
"We are delighted to have Larry Mindel and Chef Maurizio Mazzon join The Venetian," said Rob Goldstein, Senior Vice President of Las Vegas Sands Inc., the developer of The Venetian. "Their new concept is perfectly suited for our St. Mark's Square plaza."
While menu and architecture are still in development, Mindel shared some preliminary details. The name "Canaletto" means "little canal," a reference to the resort's planned replica of the Grand Canal, complete with floating gondolas and singing gondoliers. Giovanni Antonio Canaletto (1697-1768) was also one of Venice's most famous artists.
Situated on The Venetian's re-creation of St. Mark's Square, whose ceiling heights will approach 80 feet, Canaletto will have two floors. Downstairs will be the main dining room, bar and cafe tables for watching the street scene in the square and passing gondolas.
Upstairs will be private dining rooms and, with views of the entire square, tables that will have drawn curtains for an added touch of privacy. "These tables upstairs could be some of best dining seats in all of Las Vegas," Mindel said.
Since The Venetian will be attached to the 1.6 million square foot Sands Expo and Convention Center, Mindel plans to place patio tables and the bar right at the entrance to Canaletto. With convention-goers streaming past the front door of the restaurant, Mindel plans to open early for coffee and pastries from Il Fornaio's bakery and stay open late.
"The way we're situated in the project, our entrance will be right on the way from the hotel to the convention center," Mindel explained. "We want to capture as much of that foot traffic as possible."
Executive Chef Mazzon, whose resume includes positions at Venice, Italy's famed All'Angelo, is busy designing his dream kitchen for his Venetian-inspired menu. "All I can tell you right now is that there will be plenty of fresh seafood and other authentic specialties of Venice, the ones I grew up with." Mazzon said with a smile.
Il Fornaio (America) Corp. owns and operates 15 full-service Italian restaurants that serve creatively prepared, premium-quality Italian cuisine based on authentic regional Italian recipes. Each restaurant houses a retail market offering Il Fornaio's unique baked goods, prepared foods and a variety of Il Fornaio-brand products.
Il Fornaio also operates five wholesale bakeries that produce fresh,
hand-made breads, pastries and other baked goods for sale in its own locations
and to high-quality grocery stores, coffee retailers, hotels and other
Corte Madera, CA - Feb. 17, 1998 - Il Fornaio (America) Corporation (ILFO-Nasdaq/NM) reported record financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 28, 1997.
Total revenues for the quarter ended December 28, 1997
were $18.5 million, an increase of 20.8% over total revenues of $15.4 million
for the quarter ended December 29, 1996. Net income for the fourth quarter
of fiscal 1997 increased by 55.1% to $695,000 as compared with $448,000
reported for the same period of the prior year. Net
For the year ended December 28, 1997, total revenues increased to $72.1 million from $60.8 million in the prior year, representing an increase of 18.7%. Restaurant sales increased by 29.5% to $65.6 million for fiscal 1997 compared to $50.6 million for fiscal 1996. Wholesale bakery sales rose by 4.5% to $6.3 million for fiscal 1997 compared to $6.0 million for fiscal 1996.
Net income for the year ended December 28, 1997 increased by 77.8% to $2.6 million versus $1.5 million in the prior year. Net income per share (diluted) increased by 50.0% to $0.48 for fiscal 1997 from $0.32 for fiscal 1996.
"We are delighted with Il Fornaio's 1997 results, " said Larry Mindel, chairman and chief executive officer. "Sales and profits reached all-time highs, driven by increases in same store sales at our restaurants in excess of 7% and our expansion into new markets."
"In addition, our growth plan to open five new locations from 1997 through 1998 remains on schedule," Mindel added. "The openings in Las Vegas and Denver represent our latest entry into two new markets. We have complemented our Southern California operations with our restaurant and bakery that opened in Santa Monica in the fourth quarter of fiscal 1997, one quarter ahead of schedule."
Mindel said Il Fornaio expects to open two new locations in 1998, which would bring the total of company-owned restaurants with bakeries to seventeen. The new locations include Seattle, Washington and Walnut Creek, California.
"Thanks to our successful initial public offering this past September," Mindel concluded, "Financing is in place to execute our controlled growth strategy."
Il Fornaio (America) Corporation owns and operates 15
full-service Italian restaurants that serve creatively prepared, moderately
priced, premium-quality Italian cuisine based on authentic regional Italian
recipes. Each restaurant houses a retail market offering Il Fornaio's unique
baked goods, prepared foods and a variety of Il Fornaio-brand products.
The company also operates five wholesale bakeries that produce fresh, hand-made
breads, pastries and other baked goods for sale at the company's own locations
and to high-quality grocery stores, coffee retailers, hotels and other
This press release contains forward-looking statements
that involve risks and uncertainties relating to future events, including
plans for and timing of new restaurant openings. Actual events or the company's
results may differ materially from the events or results discussed in the
forward-looking statements for a number of reasons including, without limitation,
timely project development and restaurant and hotel construction, management
of costs and recruitment of qualified operating personnel. The Company
assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking information. Investors
are referred to the full discussion of risks and uncertainties associated
with forward-looking statements contained in the company's 10-K for the
fiscal year ended December 28, 1997.