Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information
In addition to the results reported in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”) included in this filing, the Company has provided certain non-GAAP financial information, including earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, restructuring expenses and other operating expenses/(income) (“adjusted EBITDA”) and free cash flow, which the Company defines as net cash provided by operating activities less net cash used in investing activities. Management believes that the presentation of this non-GAAP financial information provides useful information to investors because this information may allow investors to better evaluate ongoing business performance and certain components of the Company’s results. In addition, the Company’s Board of Directors uses this non-GAAP financial information to evaluate the performance of the Company and the management team. This information should be considered in addition to the results presented in accordance with GAAP, and should not be considered a substitute for the GAAP results. The Company has reconciled the non-GAAP financial information to the nearest GAAP measure.
The Company includes in this document information on system-wide comparable store sales percentages. System-wide comparable store sales percentages refer to changes in sales of our restaurants, whether operated by the company or by franchisees and licensees, in operation for six fiscal quarters including those restaurants temporarily closed for an immaterial amount of time. Some of the reasons restaurants may be temporarily closed include remodeling, road construction, rebuilding related to site-specific catastrophes and natural disasters. Franchise and license comparable store sales percentages are based on sales of franchised and licensed restaurants, as reported by franchisees and licensees. Management reviews the increase or decrease in comparable sales to assess business trends. Comparable store sales exclude closed locations. When we intend to relocate a restaurant, we consider that restaurant to be temporarily closed for up to twelve months after it ceases operations. If a suitable relocation site has not been identified by the end of twelve months, we consider the restaurant to be permanently closed. Until that time, we include the restaurant in our open store count, but exclude its sales from our comparable store sales. As of October 2, 2012, there are five stores that we intend to relocate, and are thus considered to be temporarily closed.