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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
xANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022
oTransition report under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Commission file number: 001-13992
RCI HOSPITALITY HOLDINGS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Texas76-0458229
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
10737 Cutten Road
Houston, Texas 77066
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip Code)
(281) 397-6730
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of each exchange on which registered
Common stock, $0.01 par valueRICK
The Nasdaq Global Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o No x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes x No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer o Accelerated filer x Non-accelerated filer o Smaller reporting company o Emerging growth company o
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.): Yes o No x
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was $536,195,109.
As of December 9, 2022, there were approximately 9,230,225 shares of common stock outstanding.


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NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, among other things, statements regarding plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts. Forward-looking statements may appear throughout this report, including without limitation, the following sections: Item 1 – “Business,” Item 1A – “Risk Factors,” and Item 7 – “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “predicts,” “projects,” “will be,” “will continue,” “will likely result,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those reflected in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, those discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, and, in particular, the risks discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in Item 1A and those discussed in other documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Important factors that in our view could cause material adverse effects on our financial condition and results of operations include, but are not limited to, the risks and uncertainties associated with (i) operating and managing an adult business, (ii) the business climates in cities where it operates, (iii) the success or lack thereof in launching and building the company’s businesses, (iv) cyber security, (v) conditions relevant to real estate transactions, (vi) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (vii) numerous other factors such as laws governing the operation of adult entertainment businesses, competition and dependence on key personnel. We undertake no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to any forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.
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PART I
Item 1. Business.
OVERVIEW
RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. is a holding company. Through our subsidiaries, we engaged in a number of activities in the hospitality and other businesses. As of September 30, 2022, our subsidiaries operated a total of 63 establishments that offer live adult entertainment and/or restaurant and bar operations, including 1 location that was temporarily closed. Together with its subsidiaries, RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. is collectively referred to as “RCIHH,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our” in this report. We also operate a leading business communications company serving the multibillion-dollar adult nightclubs industry. RCIHH was incorporated in the State of Texas in 1994 and became public in 1995.
Our fiscal year ends on September 30. References to years 2022, 2021, and 2020 are for fiscal years ended September 30, 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. Our fiscal quarters chronologically end on December 31, March 31, June 30 and September 30.
Our corporate website address is www.rcihospitality.com. Upon written request, we make available free of charge our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K, and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with the SEC under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (www.sec.gov). Information contained in the corporate website shall not be construed as part of this Form 10-K.
CURRENT OPERATING ENVIRONMENT
Our fiscal 2020 was the period hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic causing a significant reduction in customer traffic in our clubs and restaurants due to changes in consumer behavior as social distancing practices, dining room closures and other restrictions were mandated or encouraged by federal, state and local governments. In fiscal 2021, our businesses started to recover from the initial effects of the pandemic when government restrictions eased. Stimulus money also flowed to the economy at that time which prompted discretionary spending. In fiscal 2022, several coronavirus variants threatened to bring back tight restrictions. Along with the pandemic, geopolitical and macroeconomic events started to affect the U.S. economy in general, with global inflation and supply chain disruption impacting our businesses.
Geopolitical and macroeconomic events are still developing. In the event global inflation leads to a major economic downturn, our business operations and cash flow could be significantly affected.
OUR BUSINESS
We operate several businesses, which we aggregate for financial reporting purposes into two reportable segments – Nightclubs and Bombshells. Businesses that are not included as Nightclubs or Bombshells are combined as “Other.”
During fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, on a consolidated basis, revenues were $267.6 million, $195.3 million, and $132.3 million, respectively, generating diluted earnings (loss) per share of $4.91, $3.37, and $(0.66), respectively. Fiscal 2020 was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The table below shows the number of Nightclubs and Bombshells open by state as of September 30, 2022:
Nightclubs
Bombshells(1)
Total
Arizona11
Colorado55
Florida44
Illinois55
Indiana11
Kentucky11
Louisiana11
Maine11
Minnesota33
New York44
North Carolina22
Pennsylvania11
Texas231235
521264
(1) Includes one franchised location.
Nightclubs Segment
We operate our adult entertainment nightclubs through several brands that target many different demographics of customers by providing a unique, quality entertainment environment. Our clubs do business as Rick’s Cabaret, Jaguars Club, Tootsie’s Cabaret, XTC Cabaret, Club Onyx, Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar, Scarlett’s Cabaret, Diamond Cabaret, Cheetah Gentlemen's Club, PT's Showclub, Playmates Club, Country Rock Cabaret, La Boheme Gentlemen's Cabaret, Temptations Adult Cabaret, Foxy’s Cabaret, Vivid Cabaret, Downtown Cabaret, Cabaret East, The Seville, Silver City Cabaret, Heartbreakers Gentlemen's Club, and Kappa Men’s Club. We also operate one dance club under the brand name Studio 80.
We generate revenue from our nightclubs through the sale of alcoholic beverages, food, and merchandise items; service in the form of cover charge, licensing fees, and room rentals; and through other related means such as ATM commissions and vending income, among others.
During fiscal 2022, our Nightclub segment sales mix was 45% service revenue; 39% alcoholic beverages; and 16% food, merchandise and other. Segment gross margin (revenues less cost of goods sold, divided by revenues) was approximately 90%. Our Nightclubs segment revenue increased by 50% and income from operations increased by more than 89% compared to the prior year. Same-stores sales for Nightclubs in 2022 was +10.1%.
During fiscal 2022, we acquired 15 gentlemen’s clubs, certain related real estate properties, and associated intellectual property through five different transactions with an aggregate acquisition price of $132.6 million. These 15 clubs contributed $41.9 million in revenues during fiscal 2022. See Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements for details of the transactions.
For a list of our nightclub locations, refer to Item 2—“Properties.”
Bombshells Segment
Our Bombshells segment operates a restaurant and bar concept that sets itself apart with décor that pays homage to all branches of the U.S. military. Locations feature local DJs, large outdoor patios, and more than 75 state-of-the-art flat screen TVs for watching your favorite sports. All food and drink menu items have military names. Bombshell Girls, with their military-inspired uniforms, are a key attraction. Their mission, in addition to waitressing, is to interact with guests and generate a fun atmosphere. Bombshells is also franchising under our subsidiary, BMB Franchising Services, Inc., which has been approved to sell franchises in all 50 states. On December 22, 2020, the Company signed a franchise development agreement with a group of private investors to open three Bombshells locations in San Antonio, Texas over a period of five
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years, and the right of first refusal for three more locations in Corpus Christi, New Braunfels, and San Marcos, all in Texas. On May 2, 2022, the Company signed its second franchise development agreement with a private investor to open three Bombshells locations in the state of Alabama over a period of five years. We opened one company-owned location in Arlington, Texas (Dallas area) in December 2021 and our first franchised location opened in June 2022 in San Antonio, Texas. As of September 30, 2022, we have eleven company-owned Bombshells locations, all in Texas with two in the Dallas area, one in Austin, and eight in the Greater Houston area. We also currently have one franchised location in San Antonio, Texas.
During fiscal 2022, Bombshells sales mix was 56% alcoholic beverages and 44% food, merchandise, and other. Segment gross margin (revenues less cost of goods sold, divided by revenues) was approximately 77%. We grew Bombshells segment revenue by 5.8%, while income from operations decreased by 13.3% from prior year. Same-stores sales for Bombshells in 2022 was -4.6%.
For a list of our Bombshells locations, refer to Item 2—“Properties.”
Other Segment
We group together all businesses not belonging to either Nightclubs and Bombshells as Other reportable segment. This is made up of several wholly-owned subsidiaries composed primarily of our Media Group and Drink Robust. Our Media Group is the leading business communications company serving the multibillion-dollar adult nightclubs industry and the adult retail products industry. It owns a national industry convention and tradeshow; two national industry trade publications; two national industry award shows; and more than a dozen industry and social media websites. Included in the Media Group is ED Publications, publishers of the bimonthly ED Club Bulletin, the only national business magazine serving the 2,200-plus adult nightclubs in North America, which collectively have annual revenues in excess of $5 billion, according to the Association of Club Executives. ED Publications, founded in 1991, also publishes the Annual VIP Guide of adult nightclubs, touring entertainers and industry vendors; and produces the Annual Gentlemen’s Club Owners EXPO, a national convention and tradeshow. The Media Group produces two nationally recognized industry award shows for the readers of both ED Club Bulletin and StorErotica magazines, and maintains a number of B-to-B and consumer websites for both industries. Drink Robust is licensed to sell Robust Energy Drink in the United States.
OUR STRATEGY
Our overall objective is to create value for our shareholders by developing and operating profitable businesses in the hospitality and related space. We strive to achieve that by providing an attractive price-value entertainment, dining experience, and top-notch service; by attracting and retaining quality personnel; and by focusing on unit-level operating performance. Aside from our operating strategy, we employ a capital allocation strategy.
Capital Allocation Strategy
Our capital allocation strategy provides us with disciplined guidelines on how we should use our free cash flows; provided however, that we may deviate from this strategy if other strategic rationale warrants. We calculate free cash flow as net cash flows from operating activities minus maintenance capital expenditures. Using the after-tax yield of buying our own stock as baseline, management believes that we are able to make better investment decisions.
Based on our current capital allocation strategy:
We consider acquiring or developing our own clubs or restaurants that we believe have the potential to provide a minimum cash on cash return of 25%-33%, absent an otherwise strategic rationale;
We consider disposing of underperforming units to free up capital for more productive use;
We consider buying back our own stock if the after-tax yield on free cash flow is above 10%;
We consider paying down our most expensive debt if it makes sense on a tax-adjusted basis, or there is an otherwise strategic rationale.

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Over a five-year period from fiscal 2017 up to fiscal 2022, we improved diluted earnings per share at a compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) of 42.0%, which was mainly caused by increasing revenue at a CAGR of 13.1%, and flowing through net income at a CAGR of 41.0%. As a result, net cash provided by operating activities improved at 25.1% and free cash flow at 25.0% CAGR for the same period. See discussions of our non-GAAP financial measures starting on page 37.
COMPETITION
The adult entertainment and the restaurant/sports bar businesses are highly competitive with respect to price, service and location. All of our nightclubs compete with a number of locally owned adult clubs, some of whose brands may have name recognition that equals that of ours. The names “Rick’s” and “Rick’s Cabaret,” “Tootsie’s Cabaret,” “XTC Cabaret,” “Scarlett’s,” “Silver City,” “Club Onyx,” “Downtown Cabaret,” “Temptations,” “The Seville,” “Jaguars,” “Hoops Cabaret,” “Foxy’s Cabaret,” “Mile High Men’s Club,” “Country Rock Cabaret,” “PT’s,” and “Diamond Cabaret” are proprietary. In the restaurant/sports bar business, “Bombshells” is also proprietary. We believe that the combination of our existing brand name recognition and the distinctive entertainment environment that we have created allows us to compete effectively in the industry and within the cities where we operate. Although we believe that we are well positioned to compete successfully, there can be no assurance that we will be able to maintain our high level of name recognition and prestige within the marketplace.
GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS
We are subject to various federal, state and local laws affecting our business activities. Particularly in Texas, the authority to issue a permit to sell alcoholic beverages is governed by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (“TABC”), which has the authority, in its discretion, to issue the appropriate permits. We presently hold a Mixed Beverage Permit and a Late Hour Permit at numerous Texas locations. Minnesota, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and Illinois have similar laws that may limit the availability of a permit to sell alcoholic beverages or that may provide for suspension or revocation of a permit to sell alcoholic beverages in certain circumstances. It is our policy, prior to expanding into any new market, to take steps to ensure compliance with all licensing and regulatory requirements for the sale of alcoholic beverages, as well as the sale of food.
In addition to various regulatory requirements affecting the sale of alcoholic beverages, in many cities where we operate, the location of an adult entertainment cabaret is subject to restriction by city, county or other governmental ordinance. The prohibitions deal generally with distance from schools, churches and other sexually oriented businesses, and contain restrictions based on the percentage of residences within the immediate vicinity of the sexually oriented business. The granting of a sexually oriented business permit is not subject to discretion; the permit must be granted if the proposed operation satisfies the requirements of the ordinance. In all states where we operate, management believes we are in compliance with applicable city, county, state or other local laws governing the sale of alcohol and sexually oriented businesses.
In relation to our acquisitions during fiscal 2022, we now have club locations in Denver, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; Raleigh, North Carolina; Portland, Maine; Indianapolis, Indiana; Sauget, Illinois; Newburgh, New York; and Hallandale Beach and Coral Gables, Florida.
TRADEMARKS
Our rights to the trade names “RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc.,” “Rick’s,” “Rick’s Cabaret,” “Tootsie’s Cabaret,” “Club Onyx,” “XTC Cabaret,” “Temptations,” “Jaguars,” “Downtown Cabaret,” “Cabaret East,” “Bombshells Restaurant and Bar,” “Vee Lounge,” “Mile High Men’s Club,” “Country Rock Cabaret,” “PT’s,” and “Diamond Cabaret” are established under common law, based upon our substantial and continuous use of these trade names in interstate commerce, some of which have been in use at least as early as 1987. We have registered our service mark, “RICK’S AND STARS DESIGN,” and the “BOMBSHELLS RESTAURANT & BAR” logo design with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We have also obtained service mark registrations from the Patent and Trademark Office for “RICK’S AND STARS DESIGN” logo, “RCI HOSPITALITY HOLDINGS, INC.,” “RICK’S,” “RICK’S CABARET,” “CLUB ONYX,” “XTC CABARET,” “SCARLETT’S CABARET,” “SILVER CITY CABARET,” “BOMBSHELLS RESTAURANT AND BAR,” “THE SEVILLE CLUB,” “DOWN IN TEXAS SALOON,” “CLUB DULCE,” “THE BLACK ORCHID,” “HOOPS CABARET,” “VEE LOUNGE,” “STUDIO 80,” “FOXY’S CABARET,” “EXOTIC DANCER,” “TOYS FOR TATAS,” "LA BOHEME GENTLEMAN'S CLUB," “MILE HIGH MEN’S CLUB,” “MHMC logo,” “AFTER DARK,” “COUNTRY ROCK CABARET,” “PT’S,” “DIAMOND CABARET,” and “BOMBSHELLS OFFICER’S CLUB” are registered through service mark registrations issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As of this date, we have pending
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registration applications for the names “TOOTSIES CABARET,” “IN THE BIZ,” “JAGUARS,” 'KNOCKERS BAR & GRILL," and “THE MANSION.” We also own the rights to numerous trade names associated with our media division. There can be no assurance that these steps we have taken to protect our service marks will be adequate to deter misappropriation of our protected intellectual property rights.
EMPLOYEES AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
Our people are employed by the parent company or by its subsidiaries. Executive officers are employed by the registrant (parent company); shared services personnel and managers responsible for multiple clubs or restaurants are employed by RCI Management Services, Inc.; and the rest are employed by the individual operating entities. As of September 30, 2022, we had the following employees:
Operations
ManagersNon-ManagersCorporateTotal
Hourly232,704252,752
Salaried3564170467
3792,745953,219
Additionally, as of September 30, 2022, we had independent contractor entertainers who are self-employed and conduct business at our locations on a non-exclusive basis. Our entertainers at Rick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis, Minnesota and at Jaguars Club in Phoenix, Arizona act as commissioned employees. All employees and independent contractors sign arbitration non-class-action participation agreements, where allowed by federal and state laws. None of our employees are represented by a union. We consider our employee relations to be good.
We believe that the adult entertainment industry standard of treating entertainers as independent contractors provides us with safe harbor protection to preclude payroll tax assessment. We have prepared plans that we believe will protect our profitability in the event that the sexually oriented business industry is required in all states to convert entertainers, who are now independent contractors, into employees. See related discussion in “Risk Factors” below.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the risks described below before deciding to purchase shares of our common stock. If any of the events, contingencies, circumstances or conditions described in the risks below actually occurs, our business, financial condition, or results of operations could be seriously harmed. The trading price of our common stock could, in turn, decline and you could lose all or part of your investment.
A summary of our risk factors is as follows:
Risks related to general macroeconomic and safety conditions
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted and may continue to disrupt our business, which has and could continue to materially affect our operations, financial condition, and results of operations for an extended period of time.
Our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected by disruptions in the global economy caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
If we are unable to maintain compliance with certain of our debt covenants or unable to obtain waivers, we may be unable to make additional borrowings and be declared in default where our debt will be made immediately due and payable. In addition, global economic conditions may make it more difficult to access new credit facilities.
We have recorded impairment charges in current and past periods and may record additional impairment charges in future periods.
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Risks related to regulations and/or regulatory agencies
Our business operations are subject to regulatory uncertainties which may affect our ability to continue operations of existing nightclubs, acquire additional nightclubs, or be profitable.
The adult entertainment industry standard is to classify adult entertainers as independent contractors, not employees. If federal or state law mandates that they be classified as employees, our business could be adversely impacted.
Our revenues could be significantly affected by limitations relating to permits to sell alcoholic beverages.
Activities or conduct at our nightclubs may cause us to lose necessary business licenses, expose us to liability, or result in adverse publicity, which may increase our costs and divert management’s attention from our business.
Risks related to our business
We may deviate from our present capital allocation strategy.
We may need additional financing, or our business expansion plans may be significantly limited.
There is substantial competition in the nightclub entertainment industry, which may affect our ability to operate profitably or acquire additional clubs.
The adult entertainment industry is extremely volatile.
Private advocacy group actions targeted at the kind of adult entertainment we offer could result in limitations and our inability to operate in certain locations and negatively impact our business.
We rely heavily on information technology in our operations and any material failure, weakness, interruption or breach of security could prevent us from effectively operating our business.
Security breaches of confidential customer information or personal employee information may adversely affect our business.
Our acquisitions may result in disruptions in our business and diversion of management’s attention.
We face a variety of risks associated with doing business with franchisees and licensees.
The impact of new club or restaurant openings could result in fluctuations in our financial performance.
Our ability to grow sales through delivery orders is uncertain.
We incur significant costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management devotes substantial time to new compliance initiatives.
We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting.
We may have uninsured risks in excess of our insurance coverage.
Our previous liability insurer may be unable to provide coverage to us and our subsidiaries.
The protection provided by our service marks is limited.
We are dependent on key personnel.
A failure to maintain food safety throughout the supply chain and food-borne illness concerns may have an adverse effect on our business.
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Other risk factors may adversely affect our financial performance.
Risk related to our common stock
We must continue to meet NASDAQ Global Market Continued Listing Requirements, or we risk delisting.
We may be subject to allegations, defamations, or other detrimental conduct by third parties, which could harm our reputation and cause us to lose customers and/or contribute to a deflation of our stock price.
Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate and could fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors due to seasonality and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, resulting in a decline in our stock price.
Anti-takeover effects of the issuance of our preferred stock could adversely affect our common stock.
Future sales or the perception of future sales of a substantial amount of our common stock may depress our stock price.
Our stock price has been volatile and may fluctuate in the future.
Cumulative voting is not available to our stockholders.
Our directors and officers have limited liability and have rights to indemnification.
Details of our risk factors are as follows:
Risks related to general macroeconomic and safety conditions
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has disrupted and may continue to disrupt our business, which has and could continue to materially affect our operations, financial condition and results of operations for an extended period of time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect that was material on our business. The COVID-19 pandemic, federal, state and local government responses to COVID-19, our customers’ responses to the pandemic, and our Company’s responses to the pandemic have all disrupted and will continue to disrupt our business. In the United States, state and local governments imposed a variety of restrictions on people and businesses and public health authorities offered regular guidance on health and safety. Once COVID-19 vaccines were approved and moved into wider distribution in the United States in early 2021, public health conditions improved and almost all of the COVID-19 restrictions on businesses eased. During fiscal 2022, increases in the numbers of cases of COVID-19 throughout the United States including the Omicron variant which impacted our restaurants in the second quarter, mostly in January 2022, subjected some of our restaurants to other COVID-19-related restrictions such as mask and/or vaccine requirements for team members, guests or both. Exclusions and quarantines of restaurant team members or groups thereof disrupt an individual restaurant’s operations and often come with little or no notice to the local restaurant management. During fiscal 2022, along with COVID-19, our operating results were impacted by geopolitical and other macroeconomic events, leading to higher than usual inflation on wages and other cost of goods sold. These events further impacted the availability of team members needed to staff our restaurants and caused additional disruptions in our product supply chain.
The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and its variants, along with other geopolitical and macroeconomic events could lead to future capacity restrictions, mask and vaccination mandates, wage inflation, staffing challenges, product cost inflation and disruptions in the supply chain that impact our restaurants’ ability to obtain the products needed to support their operations.
Our business, financial condition, and results of operations could be adversely affected by disruptions in the global economy caused by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine could have adverse effects on global macroeconomic conditions which could negatively impact our business, financial condition, and results of operations. The conflict is highly unpredictable and has already resulted in significant volatility in oil and natural gas prices worldwide. We currently have some software developers in Ukraine and the uncertainly of their living conditions has delayed some of the deliverables in our recently
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launched internet venture. In addition, the conflict could lead to increased cyberattacks or could aggravate other risk factors that we have previously identified.
If we are unable to maintain compliance with certain of our debt covenants or unable to obtain waivers, we may be unable to make additional borrowings and be declared in default where our debt will be made immediately due and payable. In addition, global economic conditions may make it more difficult to access new credit facilities.
Our liquidity position is, in part, dependent upon our ability to borrow funds from financial institutions and/or private individuals. Certain of our debts have financial covenants that require us to maintain certain operating income to debt service ratios. As of September 30, 2022, we were in compliance with all covenants. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and other external factors such as supply chain disruption, the conflict in Ukraine and the potential economic slowdown, our financial performance in future fiscal quarters could be negatively impacted. A failure to comply with the financial covenants under our credit facility or obtain waivers would give rise to an event of default under the terms of certain of our debts, allowing the lenders to accelerate repayment of any outstanding debt.
We have recorded impairment charges in current and past periods and may record additional impairment charges in future periods.
Our nightclubs are often acquired with a purchase price based on historical EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization). This results in certain nightclubs carrying a substantial amount of intangible asset value, mostly allocated to licenses and goodwill. Generally accepted accounting principles require periodic impairment review of indefinite-lived intangible assets, long-lived assets, and goodwill to determine if, or when events and circumstances indicate that, the fair value of these assets is not recoverable. As a result of our periodic impairment reviews, we recorded impairment charges of $1.9 million in 2022 (representing $566,000 goodwill impairment on one club, $293,000 SOB license impairment on one club, and $1.0 million property and equipment impairment on one club and one Bombshells unit); $13.6 million in 2021 (representing $6.3 million goodwill impairment on seven clubs, $5.3 million SOB license impairment on three clubs, and $2.0 million property and equipment impairment on four clubs and one held-for-sale property); and $10.6 million in 2020 (representing $7.9 million goodwill impairment on seven club reporting units, $2.3 million of license impairment on two clubs, $302,000 property and equipment impairment on one club and one Bombshells, and $104,000 of operating lease right-of-use asset impairment on one club). A huge portion, if not all, of the impairments in 2021 and 2020 related to the projected decline in EBITDA caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If difficult market and economic conditions materialize over the next year and/or we experience a decrease in revenue at one or more nightclubs or restaurants, we could incur a decline in fair value of one or more of our nightclubs or restaurants. This could result in future impairment charges of up to the total value of our tangible and intangible assets, including goodwill. We actively monitor our clubs and restaurants for any indication of impairment.
Risks related to regulations and/or regulatory agencies
Our business operations are subject to regulatory uncertainties which may affect our ability to continue operations of existing nightclubs, acquire additional nightclubs, or be profitable.
Adult entertainment nightclubs are subject to local, state and federal regulations. Our business is regulated by local zoning, local and state liquor licensing, local ordinances, and state and federal time place and manner restrictions. The adult entertainment provided by our nightclubs has elements of speech and expression and, therefore, enjoys some protection under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. However, the protection is limited to the expression, and not the conduct of an entertainer. While our nightclubs are generally well established in their respective markets, there can be no assurance that local, state and/or federal licensing and other regulations will permit our nightclubs to remain in operation or profitable in the future.
The adult entertainment industry standard is to classify adult entertainers as independent contractors, not employees. If federal or state law mandates that they be classified as employees, our business could be adversely impacted.
The adult entertainment industry standard is to classify adult entertainers as independent contractors, not employees. The Internal Revenue Service regulations and applicable state law guidelines regarding independent contractor classification are subject to judicial and agency interpretation, and it could be determined that the independent contractor classification is inapplicable. Further, if legal standards for classification of independent contractors change, it may be necessary to modify our compensation structure for these adult entertainers, including by paying additional compensation or reimbursing expenses. While we take steps to ensure that our adult entertainers are deemed independent contractors, if our adult
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entertainers are determined to have been misclassified as independent contractors, we would incur additional exposure under federal and state law, workers’ compensation, unemployment benefits, labor, employment and tort laws, including for prior periods, as well as potential liability for employee benefits and tax withholdings. Any of these outcomes could result in substantial costs to us, could significantly impair our financial condition and our ability to conduct our business as we choose, and could damage our ability to attract and retain other personnel.
Our revenues could be significantly affected by limitations relating to permits to sell alcoholic beverages.
We derive a significant portion of our revenues from the sale of alcoholic beverages. States in which we operate may have laws which may limit the availability of a permit to sell alcoholic beverages, or which may provide for suspension or revocation of a permit to sell alcoholic beverages in certain circumstances. The temporary or permanent suspension or revocations of any such permits would have a material adverse effect on our revenues, financial condition and results of operations. In all states where we operate, management believes we are in compliance with applicable city, county, state or other local laws governing the sale of alcohol.
Activities or conduct at our nightclubs may cause us to lose necessary business licenses, expose us to liability, or result in adverse publicity, which may increase our costs and divert management’s attention from our business.
We are subject to risks associated with activities or conduct at our nightclubs that are illegal or violate the terms of necessary business licenses. Some of our nightclubs operate under licenses for sexually oriented businesses and are afforded some protection under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. While we believe that the activities at our nightclubs comply with the terms of such licenses, and that the element of our business that constitutes an expression of free speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is protected, activities and conduct at our nightclubs may be found to violate the terms of such licenses or be unprotected under the U.S. Constitution. This protection is limited to the expression and not the conduct of an entertainer. An issuing authority may suspend or terminate a license for a nightclub found to have violated the license terms. Illegal activities or conduct at any of our nightclubs may result in negative publicity or litigation. Such consequences may increase our cost of doing business, divert management’s attention from our business and make an investment in our securities unattractive to current and potential investors, thereby lowering our profitability and our stock price.
We have developed comprehensive policies aimed at ensuring that the operation of each of our nightclubs is conducted in conformance with local, state and federal laws. We have a “no tolerance” policy on illegal drug use in or around our facilities. We continually monitor the actions of entertainers, waitresses and customers to ensure that proper behavior standards are met. However, such policies, no matter how well designed and enforced, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the policies’ objectives are being achieved. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems and policies, there can be no assurance that our policies will prevent deliberate acts by persons attempting to violate or circumvent them. Notwithstanding the foregoing limitations, management believes that our policies are reasonably effective in achieving their purposes.
Risks related to our business
We may deviate from our present capital allocation strategy.
We believe that our present capital allocation strategy will provide us with optimized returns. However, implementation of our capital allocation strategy depends on the interplay of several factors such as our stock price, our outstanding common shares, the interest rates on our debt, and the rate of return on available investments. If these factors are not conducive to implementing our present capital allocation strategy, or we determine that adopting a different capital allocation strategy is in the best interest of shareholders, we reserve the right to deviate from this approach. There can be no assurance that we will not deviate from or adopt an alternative capital allocation strategy moving forward.
We may need additional financing, or our business expansion plans may be significantly limited.
If cash generated from our operations is insufficient to satisfy our working capital and capital expenditure requirements, we will need to raise additional funds through the public or private sale of our equity or debt securities. The timing and amount of our capital requirements will depend on a number of factors, including cash flow and cash requirements for nightclub acquisitions and new restaurant development. If additional funds are raised through the issuance of equity or convertible debt securities, the ownership percentage of our then-existing shareholders will be diluted. We cannot ensure that additional financing will be available on terms favorable to us, if at all. Any future equity financing, if available, may result
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in dilution to existing shareholders; and debt financing, if available, may include restrictive covenants. Any failure by us to procure timely additional financing, if needed, will have material adverse consequences on our business operations.
There is substantial competition in the nightclub entertainment industry, which may affect our ability to operate profitably or acquire additional clubs.
Our nightclubs face substantial competition. Some of our competitors may have greater financial and management resources than we do. Additionally, the industry is subject to unpredictable competitive trends and competition for general entertainment dollars. There can be no assurance that we will be able to remain profitable in this competitive industry.
The adult entertainment industry is extremely volatile.
Historically, the adult entertainment, restaurant and bar industry has been an extremely volatile industry. The industry tends to be extremely sensitive to the general local economy, in that when economic conditions are prosperous, adult entertainment industry revenues increase, and when economic conditions are unfavorable, entertainment industry revenues decline. Coupled with this economic sensitivity are the trendy personal preferences of the customers who frequent adult nightclubs. We continuously monitor trends in our customers’ tastes and entertainment preferences so that, if necessary, we can make appropriate changes which will allow us to remain one of the premiere adult nightclubs. However, any significant decline in general corporate conditions or uncertainties regarding future economic prospects that affect consumer spending could have a material adverse effect on our business. In addition, we have historically catered to a clientele base from the upper end of the market. Accordingly, further reductions in the amounts of entertainment expenses allowed as deductions from income under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, could adversely affect sales to customers dependent upon corporate expense accounts.
Private advocacy group actions targeted at the kind of adult entertainment we offer could result in limitations in our inability to operate in certain locations and negatively impact our business.
Our ability to operate successfully depends on the protection provided to us under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. From time to time, private advocacy groups have sought to target our nightclubs by petitioning for non-renewal of certain of our permits and licenses. Furthermore, private advocacy groups which have influences on certain financial institutions have managed to sway these financial institutions into not doing business with us. In addition to possibly limiting our operations and financing options, negative publicity campaigns, lawsuits and boycotts could negatively affect our businesses and cause additional financial harm by discouraging investors from investing in our securities or requiring that we incur significant expenditures to defend our business.
We rely heavily on information technology in our operations and any material failure, weakness, interruption, or breach of security could prevent us from effectively operating our business.
Our operations and corporate functions rely heavily on information systems, including point-of-sale processing, management of our supply chain, payment of obligations, collection of cash, electronic communications, data warehousing to support analytics, finance and accounting systems, mobile technologies to enhance the customer experience, and other various processes and procedures, some of which are handled by third parties. Our ability to efficiently and effectively manage our business depends significantly on the reliability and capacity of these systems. The failure of these systems to operate effectively, maintenance problems, upgrading or transitioning to new platforms, or a breach in security relating to these systems could result in delays in consumer service and reduce efficiency in our operations. These problems could adversely affect our results of operations, and remediation could result in significant, unplanned capital investments.
Security breaches of confidential customer information or personal employee information may adversely affect our business.
A significant portion of our revenues are paid through debit and credit cards. Other restaurants and retailers have experienced significant security breaches in which debit and credit card information or other personal information of their customers have been stolen. We also maintain certain personal information regarding our employees. Although we aim to safeguard our technology systems, they could potentially be vulnerable to damage, disability or failures due to physical theft, fire, power outage, telecommunication failure or other catastrophic events, as well as from internal and external security breaches, employee error or malfeasance, denial of service attacks, viruses, worms and other disruptive problems caused by hackers and cyber criminals. A breach in our systems that compromises the information of our customers or employees could result in widespread negative publicity, damage to our reputation, a loss of customers, and legal liabilities.
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We may in the future become subject to lawsuits or other proceedings for purportedly fraudulent transactions arising from the actual or alleged theft of our customers’ debit and credit card information or if customer or employee information is obtained by unauthorized persons or used inappropriately. Any such claim or proceeding, or any adverse publicity resulting from such an event, may have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our acquisitions may result in disruptions in our business and diversion of management’s attention.
We have made and may continue to make acquisitions of complementary nightclubs, restaurants or related operations. Any acquisitions will require the integration of the operations, products and personnel of the acquired businesses and the training and motivation of these individuals. Such acquisitions may disrupt our operations and divert management’s attention from day-to-day operations, which could impair our relationships with current employees, customers and partners. We may also incur debt or issue equity securities to pay for any future acquisitions. These issuances could be substantially dilutive to our stockholders. In addition, our profitability may suffer because of acquisition-related costs or amortization, or impairment costs for acquired goodwill and other intangible assets. If management is unable to fully integrate acquired business, products or persons with existing operations, we may not receive the benefits of the acquisitions, and our revenues and stock trading price may decrease.
We face a variety of risks associated with doing business with franchisees and licensees.
We have started franchising Bombshells. We believe that we have selected highly competent operating partners and franchisees with significant experience in restaurant operations, and we are providing them training and support on the Bombshells brand. However, the probability of opening, ultimate success and quality of any franchise or licensed restaurant rests principally with the franchisee. If the franchisee does not successfully open and operate its restaurants in a manner consistent with our standards, or if guests have negative experiences due to issues with food quality or operational execution, our brand value could suffer, which could have an adverse impact on our business.
The impact of new club or restaurant openings could result in fluctuations in our financial performance.
Performance of any new club or restaurant location will usually differ from its originally targeted performance due to a variety of factors, and these differences may be material. New clubs and restaurants typically encounter higher customer traffic and sales in their initial months, which may decrease over time. Accordingly, sales achieved by new or reconcepted locations may not be indicative of future operating results. Additionally, we incur substantial pre-opening expenses each time we open a new establishment, which expenses may be higher than anticipated. Due to the foregoing factors, results for any one fiscal quarter are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for any other fiscal quarter or for a full fiscal year.
Our ability to grow sales through delivery orders is uncertain.
Part of our strategy for restaurant growth is dependent on increased sales from guests that want our food delivered to them. We currently rely on third-party delivery providers for the ordering and payment platforms that receive guest orders and that send orders directly to our point-of-sale system. These platforms could be damaged or interrupted by technological failures, cyber-attacks, or other factors, which may adversely impact our sales through these channels.
Delivery providers generally fulfill delivery orders through drivers that are independent contractors. These drivers may make errors, fail to make timely deliveries, damage our food, or poorly represent our brands, which may lead to customer disappointment, reputational harm and unmet sales expectations. Our sales may also be adversely impacted if there is a shortage of drivers that are willing and available to make deliveries from our restaurants. We also incur additional costs associated with delivery orders, and it is possible that these orders could cannibalize more profitable in-restaurant visits or take-out orders.
We incur significant costs as a result of operating as a public company, and our management devotes substantial time to new compliance initiatives.
We incur significant legal, accounting and other expenses that our non-public competition does not incur. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act”), as well as new rules subsequently implemented by the SEC, have imposed various requirements on public companies, including requiring certain corporate governance practices. Our management and other personnel devote a substantial amount of time to these compliance initiatives. Moreover, these rules and
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regulations increase our legal and financial compliance costs and will make some activities more time-consuming and costly.
In addition, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires, among other things, that we maintain effective internal control over financial reporting and effective disclosure controls and procedures. In particular, under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we are required to perform system and process evaluation and testing on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, and our independent registered public accounting firm is required to report on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. In performing this evaluation and testing, both our management and our independent registered public accounting firm concluded that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective as of September 30, 2022. We are, however, addressing this issue and remediating our material weakness. When we were to identify a material weakness, correcting that issue, and thereafter our continued compliance with Section 404 require that we incur substantial accounting expense and expend significant management efforts. Moreover, if we are not able to correct an internal control issue and comply with the requirements of Section 404 in a timely manner, or if in the future we or our independent registered public accounting firm identifies deficiencies in our internal controls over financial reporting that are deemed to be material weaknesses, the market price of our stock could decline, and we could be subject to sanctions or investigations by the SEC or other regulatory authorities, which would require additional financial and management resources.
We have identified a material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting.
Management, including our Chief Executive Officer and our Chief Financial Officer, assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2022, and concluded that we did not maintain effective internal control over financial reporting. Specifically, management identified a material weakness related to management's review of accounting for business combinations, specifically related to the identification of and accounting for, intangibles assets acquired in a business combination - see Item 9A, “Controls and Procedures,” below. While certain actions have been taken to implement a remediation plan to address this material weakness and to enhance our internal control over financial reporting, if this material weakness is not remediated, it could adversely affect our ability to report our financial condition and results of operations in a timely and accurate manner, which could negatively affect investor confidence in our company, and, as a result, the value of our common stock could be adversely affected.
We may have uninsured risks in excess of our insurance coverage.
We maintain insurance in amounts we consider adequate for personal injury and property damage to which the business of the Company may be subject. However, there can be no assurance that uninsured liabilities in excess of the coverage provided by insurance, which liabilities may be imposed pursuant to the Texas “dram shop” statute or similar “dram shop” statutes or common law theories of liability in other states where we operate or expand. For example, the Texas “dram shop” statute provides a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to such person if it was apparent to the server that the individual being sold, served or provided with an alcoholic beverage was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others. An employer is not liable for the actions of its employee who over-serves if (i) the employer requires its employees to attend a seller training program approved by the TABC; (ii) the employee has actually attended such a training program; and (iii) the employer has not directly or indirectly encouraged the employee to violate the law. It is our policy to require that all servers of alcohol working at our clubs in Texas be certified as servers under a training program approved by the TABC, which certification gives statutory immunity to the sellers of alcohol from damage caused to third parties by those who have consumed alcoholic beverages at such establishment pursuant to the TABC. There can be no assurance, however, that uninsured liabilities may not arise in the markets in which we operate which could have a material adverse effect on the Company.
Our previous liability insurer may be unable to provide coverage to us and our subsidiaries.
As previously reported, the Company and its subsidiaries were insured under a liability policy issued by Indemnity Insurance Corporation, RRG (“IIC”) through October 25, 2013. The Company and its subsidiaries changed insurance companies on that date.
On November 7, 2013, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware entered a Rehabilitation and Injunction Order (“Rehabilitation Order”), which declared IIC impaired, insolvent and in an unsafe condition and placed IIC under the supervision of the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware (“Commissioner”) in her capacity as receiver (“Receiver”). The Rehabilitation Order empowered the Commissioner to rehabilitate IIC through a variety of means,
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including gathering assets and marshaling those assets, as necessary. Further, the order stayed or abated pending lawsuits involving IIC as the insurer until May 6, 2014.
On April 10, 2014, the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware entered a Liquidation and Injunction Order With Bar Date (“Liquidation Order”), which ordered the liquidation of IIC and terminated all insurance policies or contracts of insurance issued by IIC. The Liquidation Order further ordered that all claims against IIC must have been filed with the Receiver before the close of business on January 16, 2015 and that all pending lawsuits involving IIC as the insurer were further stayed or abated until October 7, 2014. As a result, the Company and its subsidiaries no longer had insurance coverage under the liability policy with IIC. The Company has retained counsel to defend against and evaluate these claims and lawsuits. We are funding 100% of the costs of litigation and will seek reimbursement from the bankruptcy receiver. The Company filed the appropriate claims against IIC with the Receiver before the January 16, 2015 deadline and has provided updates as requested; however, there are no assurances of any recovery from these claims. It is unknown at this time what effect this uncertainty will have on the Company. As previously stated, since October 25, 2013, the Company obtained general liability coverage from other insurers, which have covered and/or will cover any claims arising from actions after that date. As of September 30, 2022, we have 1 remaining unresolved claims out of the original 71 claims.
The protection provided by our service marks is limited.
Our rights to the trade names “RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc.,” “Rick’s,” “Rick’s Cabaret,” “Tootsie’s Cabaret,” “Club Onyx,” “XTC Cabaret,” “Temptations,” “Jaguars,” “Downtown Cabaret,” “Cabaret East,” “Bombshells Restaurant and Bar,” “Vee Lounge,” “Mile High Men’s Club,” “Country Rock Cabaret,” “PT’s,” and “Diamond Cabaret” are established under common law, based upon our substantial and continuous use of these trade names in interstate commerce, some of which have been in use at least as early as 1987. We have registered our service mark, “RICK’S AND STARS DESIGN,” and the “BOMBSHELLS RESTAURANT & BAR” logo design with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We have also obtained service mark registrations from the Patent and Trademark Office for “RICK’S AND STARS DESIGN” logo, “RCI HOSPITALITY HOLDINGS, INC.,” “RICK’S,” “RICK’S CABARET,” “CLUB ONYX,” “XTC CABARET,” “SCARLETT’S CABARET,” “SILVER CITY CABARET,” “BOMBSHELLS RESTAURANT AND BAR,” “THE SEVILLE CLUB,” “DOWN IN TEXAS SALOON,” “CLUB DULCE,” “THE BLACK ORCHID,” “HOOPS CABARET,” “VEE LOUNGE,” “STUDIO 80,” “FOXY’S CABARET,” “EXOTIC DANCER,” “TOYS FOR TATAS,” “MILE HIGH MEN’S CLUB,” “MHMC logo,” “AFTER DARK,” “COUNTRY ROCK CABARET,” “PT’S,” “DIAMOND CABARET,” and BOMBSHELLS OFFICER’S CLUB are registered through service mark registrations issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. As of this date, we have pending registration applications for the names “TOOTSIES CABARET,” “IN THE BIZ,” “JAGUARS”, “THE MANSION,” and “LA BOHEME GENTLEMAN’S CLUB.” We also own the rights to numerous trade names associated with our media division. There can be no assurance that these steps we have taken to protect our service marks will be adequate to deter misappropriation of our protected intellectual property rights. Litigation may be necessary in the future to protect our rights from infringement, which may be costly and time consuming. The loss of the intellectual property rights owned or claimed by us could have a material adverse effect on our business.
We are dependent on key personnel.
Our future success is dependent, in a large part, on retaining the services of Eric Langan, our President and Chief Executive Officer, and Bradley Chhay, our Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Langan possesses a unique and comprehensive knowledge of our industry. While Mr. Langan has no present plans to leave or retire in the near future, his loss could have a negative effect on our operating, marketing and financial performance if we are unable to find an adequate replacement with similar knowledge and experience within our industry. Mr. Chhay possesses thorough familiarity with our accounting system and how it affects our operations. Mr. Chhay is also vital in our due diligence efforts when acquiring clubs. We maintain key-man life insurance with respect to Mr. Langan but not for Mr. Chhay. Although Messrs. Langan and Chhay have signed employment agreements with us (as described herein), there can be no assurance that Mr. Langan or Mr. Chhay will continue to be employed by us.
A failure to maintain food safety throughout the supply chain and food-borne illness concerns may have an adverse effect on our business.
Food safety is a top priority, and we dedicate substantial resources to ensuring that our guests enjoy safe, quality food products. However, food safety issues could be caused at the point of source or by food suppliers or distributors and, as a result, be out of our control. In addition, regardless of the source or cause, any report of food-borne illnesses such as E. coli, hepatitis A, trichinosis or salmonella, and other food safety issues including food tampering or contamination, at one
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of our restaurants or clubs could adversely affect the reputation of our brands and have a negative impact on our sales. Even instances of food-borne illness, food tampering or food contamination occurring solely at restaurants of our competitors could result in negative publicity about the food service industry generally and adversely impact our sales. The occurrence of food-borne illnesses or food safety issues could also adversely affect the price and availability of affected ingredients, resulting in higher costs and lower margins.
Other risk factors may adversely affect our financial performance.
Other risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements by affecting, among many things, pricing, consumer spending and consumer confidence, include, without limitation, changes in economic conditions and financial and credit markets, credit availability, increased fuel costs and availability for our employees, customers and suppliers, health epidemics or pandemics or the prospects of these events (such as reports on avian flu or COVID-19), consumer perceptions of food safety, changes in consumer tastes and behaviors, governmental monetary policies, changes in demographic trends, terrorist acts, energy shortages and rolling blackouts, and weather (including, major hurricanes and regional snow storms) and other acts of God.
We are also subject to the general risks of inflation, increases in minimum wage, health care, and other benefits that may have a material adverse effect on our cost structure, and the disruption in our supply chain caused by several factor, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
Risk related to our common stock
We must continue to meet NASDAQ Global Market Continued Listing Requirements, or we risk delisting.
Our securities are currently listed for trading on the NASDAQ Global Market. We must continue to satisfy NASDAQ’s continued listing requirements or risk delisting which would have an adverse effect on our business. If our securities are ever delisted from NASDAQ, they may trade on the over-the-counter market, which may be a less liquid market. In such case, our shareholders’ ability to trade or obtain quotations of the market value of shares of our common stock would be severely limited because of lower trading volumes and transaction delays. These factors could contribute to lower prices and larger spreads in the bid and ask prices for our securities.
We may be subject to allegations, defamations, or other detrimental conduct by third parties, which could harm our reputation and cause us to lose customers and/or contribute to a deflation of our stock price.
We have been subject to allegations by third parties or purported former employees, negative internet postings, and other adverse public exposure on our business, operations and staff compensation. We may also become the target of defamations or other detrimental conduct by third parties or disgruntled former or current employees. Such conduct may include complaints, anonymous or otherwise, to regulatory agencies, media or other organizations. We may be subject to government or regulatory investigation or other proceedings as a result of such third-party conduct and may be required to spend significant time and incur substantial costs to address such third-party conduct, and there is no assurance that we will be able to conclusively refute each of the allegations within a reasonable period of time, or at all. Any government or regulatory investigations initiated as a result of the above may cause a deflation in our stock price. Additionally, allegations, directly or indirectly against us, may be posted on the internet, including social media platforms by anyone, whether or not related to us, on an anonymous basis. Any negative publicity on us or our management can be quickly and widely disseminated. Social media platforms and devices immediately publish the content of their subscribers and participants post, often without filters or checks on accuracy of the content posted. Information posted may be inaccurate and adverse to us, and it may harm our reputation, business or prospects. The harm may be immediate without affording us an opportunity for redress or correction. Our reputation may be negatively affected as a result of the public dissemination of negative and potentially false information about our business and operations, which in turn may cause us to lose customers.
Our quarterly operating results may fluctuate and could fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors due to seasonality and other factors, some of which are beyond our control, resulting in a decline in our stock price.
Our nightclub operations are affected by seasonal factors. Historically, we have experienced reduced revenues from April through September with the strongest operating results occurring from October through March. As a result, our quarterly and annual operating results and comparable restaurant sales may fluctuate significantly as a result of seasonality and the factors discussed above. Accordingly, results for any one fiscal quarter are not necessarily indicative of results to be
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expected for any other fiscal quarter or for any fiscal year and same-store sales for any particular future period may decrease. In the future, operating results may fall below the expectations of securities analysts and investors. In that event, the price of our common stock would likely decrease.
Anti-takeover effects of the issuance of our preferred stock could adversely affect our common stock.
Our Board of Directors has the authority to issue up to 1,000,000 shares of preferred stock in one or more series, to fix the number of shares constituting any such series, and to fix the rights and preferences of the shares constituting any series, without any further vote or action by the stockholders. The issuance of preferred stock by the Board of Directors could adversely affect the rights of the holders of our common stock. For example, such issuance could result in a class of securities outstanding that would have preferences with respect to voting rights and dividends and in liquidation over the common stock, and could (upon conversion or otherwise) enjoy all of the rights appurtenant to common stock. The Board’s authority to issue preferred stock could discourage potential takeover attempts and could delay or prevent a change in control of the Company through merger, tender offer, proxy contest or otherwise by making such attempts more difficult to achieve or costlier. There are no issued and outstanding shares of preferred stock; there are no agreements or understandings for the issuance of preferred stock; and the Board of Directors has no present intention to issue preferred stock.
Future sales or the perception of future sales of a substantial amount of our common stock may depress our stock price.
The market price of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of substantial amounts of our common stock in the public market, or as a result of the perception that these sales could occur. In addition, these factors could make it more difficult for us to raise funds through future offerings of common stock.
Our stock price has been volatile and may fluctuate in the future.
The trading price of our securities may fluctuate significantly. This price may be influenced by many factors, including:
our performance and prospects;
the depth and liquidity of the market for our securities;
investor perception of us and the industry in which we operate;
changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by analysts;
general financial and other market conditions; and
domestic economic conditions.
Public stock markets have experienced, and may experience, extreme price and trading volume volatility. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the market price of our securities.
Cumulative voting is not available to our stockholders.
Cumulative voting in the election of Directors is expressly denied in our Articles of Incorporation. Accordingly, the holder or holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of our common stock may elect all of our Directors.
Our directors and officers have limited liability and have rights to indemnification.
Our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws provide, as permitted by governing Texas law, that our directors and officers shall not be personally liable to us or any of our stockholders for monetary damages for breach of fiduciary duty as a director or officer, with certain exceptions. The Articles further provide that we will indemnify our directors and officers against expenses and liabilities they incur to defend, settle, or satisfy any civil litigation or criminal action brought against them on account of their being or having been its directors or officers unless, in such action, they are adjudged to have acted with gross negligence or willful misconduct.
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The inclusion of these provisions in the Articles may have the effect of reducing the likelihood of derivative litigation against directors and officers and may discourage or deter stockholders or management from bringing a lawsuit against directors and officers for breach of their duty of care, even though such an action, if successful, might otherwise have benefited us and our stockholders.
The Articles provide for the indemnification of our officers and directors, and the advancement to them of expenses in connection with any proceedings and claims, to the fullest extent permitted by Texas law. The Articles include related provisions meant to facilitate the indemnitee’s receipt of such benefits. These provisions cover, among other things: (i) specification of the method of determining entitlement to indemnification and the selection of independent counsel that will in some cases make such determination, (ii) specification of certain time periods by which certain payments or determinations must be made and actions must be taken, and (iii) the establishment of certain presumptions in favor of an indemnitee.
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the Securities Act may be permitted to our directors, officers and controlling persons pursuant to the foregoing provisions, we have been advised that in the opinion of the Securities and Exchange Commission, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is therefore unenforceable.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.
None.
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Item 2. Properties.
As of September 30, 2022, we own 66 real estate properties. On 49 of these properties, we operate clubs or restaurants, including those temporarily closed. We lease multiple other properties to third-party tenants. Five of our owned properties are in locations where we previously operated clubs, but now lease the buildings to third parties. Twelve are non-income-producing properties for corporate use (including our corporate office) or future club or restaurant locations, or may be offered for sale in the future. Fourteen of our clubs and restaurants are in leased locations.
Our principal corporate office is located at 10737 Cutten Road, Houston, Texas 77066, consisting of a 21,000-square foot corporate office and an 18,000-square foot warehouse facility.
Below is a list of locations we operated as of September 30, 2022:
Name of EstablishmentFiscal Year Acquired/Opened
Club Onyx, Houston, TX1995
Rick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis, MN1998
XTC Cabaret, Austin, TX1998
Scarlett's Cabaret, San Antonio, TX1998
Rick’s Cabaret, New York City, NY2005
Club Onyx, Charlotte, NC2005
(1)
Jaguars Club, San Antonio, TX2006

Rick’s Cabaret, Fort Worth, TX2007
Tootsie’s Cabaret, Miami Gardens, FL2008
XTC Cabaret, Dallas, TX2008
Rick’s Cabaret, Round Rock, TX2009
Cabaret East, Fort Worth, TX2010
Rick’s Cabaret DFW, Fort Worth, TX2011
Downtown Cabaret, Minneapolis, MN2011
Temptations, Aledo, TX2011
(1)
Silver City Cabaret, Dallas, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Odessa, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Phoenix, AZ2012
Jaguars Club, Lubbock, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Longview, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Abilene, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Edinburg, TX2012
Jaguars Club, El Paso, TX2012
Jaguars Club, Harlingen, TX2012
Studio 80, Fort Worth, TX2013
(1)
Bombshells, Dallas, TX2013
Scarlett's Cabaret, Sulphur, LA2013
Temptations, Beaumont, TX2013
Vivid Cabaret, New York, NY2014
(1)
Bombshells, Austin, TX2014
(1)
Rick’s Cabaret, Odessa, TX2014
Bombshells, Spring, TX2014
(1)
Bombshells Fuqua, Houston, TX2014
(1)
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Foxy’s Cabaret, Austin TX2015
The Seville, Minneapolis, MN2015
Hoops Cabaret and Sports Bar, New York, NY2016
(1)
Bombshells, Highway 290 Houston, TX2017
(1)
Scarlett’s Cabaret, Washington Park, IL2017
Scarlett’s Cabaret, Miami, FL2017
Bombshells, Pearland, TX2018
Kappa Men’s Club, Kappa, IL2018
Rick’s Cabaret, Chicago, IL2019
Rick’s Cabaret, Pittsburgh, PA2019
Bombshells I-10, Houston, TX2019
Bombshells 249, Houston, TX2019
Bombshells, Katy, TX2020
Bombshells 59, Houston, TX2020
Diamond Cabaret, Denver, CO2022
(1)
Scarlett's Cabaret, Denver, CO2022
PT's Showclub, Denver, CO2022
La Boheme Gentlemen's Cabaret, Denver, CO2022
(1)
Diamond Cabaret, St. Louis, IL2022
(1)
Country Rock Cabaret, St. Louis, IL2022
(1)
PT's Showclub, Indianapolis, IN2022
Rick's Cabaret, Raleigh, NC2022
(1)
Rick's Cabaret, Portland, ME2022
PT's Showclub, Louisville, KY2022
PT's Centerfold, Denver, CO2022
Mansion Gentlemen's Club & Steakhouse, Newburgh, NY2022
Bombshells, Arlington, TX2022
Playmates Club, Miami, FL2022
Cheetah Gentlemen's Club, Miami, FL2022
PT's Showclub, Odessa, TX2022
(1)Leased location.
Our property leases are typically for a fixed rental rate with contingent rent for certain locations. The lease terms generally have initial terms of 10 to 20 years with renewal terms of 5 to 20 years. At September 30, 2022, certain of the properties we own were collateral for mortgage debt amounting to approximately $123.0 million. We believe that our existing facilities, both owned and leased, are in good condition and adequate and suitable for the conduct of our business.
See related information in Notes 6 and 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
See the “Legal Matters” section within Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements within this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the requirements of this Item, which section is incorporated herein by reference.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.
Not applicable.
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PART II
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
Our common stock is quoted on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “RICK.”
Holders
On December 9, 2022, the closing stock price for our common stock as reported by NASDAQ was $83.63, and there were 131 stockholders of record of our common stock (excluding broker held shares in “street name”). Currently, we estimate that there are approximately 10,700 stockholders having beneficial ownership in street name.
Transfer Agent and Registrar
The transfer agent and registrar for our common stock is Colonial Stock Transfer Company, Inc., 66 Exchange Place, 1st Floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111.
Dividend Policy
Prior to 2016, we had not paid cash dividends on our common stock. Starting in March 2016, in conjunction with our share buyback program (see discussion below), our Board of Directors declared regular quarterly cash dividends of $0.03 per share, except for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, the second and fourth quarters of fiscal 2020, and all four quarters of fiscal 2021 when we paid $0.04 per share. In the second quarter of fiscal 2022, we increased our regular quarterly dividends to $0.05 per share. During fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, we paid cash dividends totaling $1.8 million, $1.4 million, and $1.3 million, respectively.
Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer
Our share repurchase activity during the three months ended September 30, 2022 was as follows:
PeriodTotal Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased
Average Price Paid per Share (or Unit)(1)
Total Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs(2)
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares (or Units) That May Yet be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs(3)
July 1-31, 202237,200 $52.66 37,200 $19,945,243 
August 1-31, 20225,050 $58.46 5,050 $19,650,034 
September 1-30, 202212,223 $64.28 12,223 $18,864,381 
54,473 $55.80 54,473 
(1)    Prices include any commissions and transaction costs.
(2)    All shares were purchased pursuant to the repurchase plans approved by the Board of Directors as disclosed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.
(3)    On May 24, 2022, the Board of Directors approved a $25.0 million increase in the Company's share repurchase program.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
On February 7, 2022, our board of directors approved the 2022 Stock Option Plan (the “2022 Plan”). The board’s adoption of the 2022 Plan was approved by the shareholders during the annual stockholders' meeting on August 23, 2022. The 2022 Plan provides that the maximum aggregate number of shares of common stock underlying options that may be granted under the 2022 Plan is 300,000. The options granted under the 2022 Plan may be either incentive stock options or non-qualified options. The 2022 Plan is administered by the compensation committee of the board of directors. The
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compensation committee has the exclusive power to select individuals to receive grants, to establish the terms of the options granted to each participant, provided that all options granted shall be granted at an exercise price not less than the fair market value of the common stock covered by the option on the grant date, and to make all determinations necessary or advisable under the 2022 Plan. On February 9, 2022, the board of directors approved a grant of 50,000 stock options each to six members of management subject to the approval of the 2022 Plan.
See Note 13 to our consolidated financial statements for details.
Stock Performance Graph
The following chart compares the five-year cumulative total stock performance of our common stock; the NASDAQ Composite Index (IXIC); the Russell 2000 Index (RUT); and the Dow Jones U.S. Restaurant & Bar Index (DJUSRU), our peer index. The graph assumes a hypothetical investment of $100 on September 30, 2017 in each of our common stock and each of the indices, and that all dividends were reinvested. The measurement points utilized in the graph consist of the last trading day as of September 30 each year, representing the last day of our fiscal year. The calculations exclude trading commissions and taxes. We have selected the Dow Jones U.S. Restaurant & Bar Index as our peer index since it represents a broader group of restaurant and bar operators that are more aligned to our core business operations. RICK is a component of the NASDAQ Composite Index and the Russell 2000 Index. The historical stock performance presented below is not intended to and may not be indicative of future stock performance.
rick-20220930_g1.jpg
9/30/20179/30/20189/30/20199/30/20209/30/20219/30/2022
RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc.$100.00 $118.98 $83.06 $82.13 $276.11 $262.01 
NASDAQ Composite Index$100.00 $123.87 $123.14 $171.91 $222.42 $162.80 
Dow Jones U.S. Restaurant & Bar Index$100.00 $112.64 $146.90 $148.82 $182.42 $156.82 
Russell 2000 Index$100.00 $113.80 $102.18 $101.13 $147.86 $111.66 
Item 6. [Reserved]
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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
OVERVIEW
The following Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (“MD&A”) is intended to help the reader understand RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc., our operations and our present business environment. MD&A is provided as a supplement to, and should be read in conjunction with, our consolidated financial statements and the accompanying notes thereto contained in Item 8 – “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this report. This overview summarizes the MD&A, which includes the following sections:
Our Business — a general description of our business and the adult nightclub industry, our objective, our strategic priorities, our core capabilities, and challenges and risks of our business.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates — a discussion of accounting policies that require critical judgments and estimates.
Operations Review — an analysis of our Company’s consolidated results of operations for the three years presented in our consolidated financial statements.
Liquidity and Capital Resources — an analysis of cash flows, aggregate contractual obligations, and an overview of financial position.
Current Operating Environment
Our fiscal 2020 was the period hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic causing a significant reduction in customer traffic in our clubs and restaurants due to changes in consumer behavior as social distancing practices, dining room closures and other restrictions were mandated or encouraged by federal, state and local governments. In fiscal 2021, our businesses started to recover from the initial effects of the pandemic when government restrictions eased. Stimulus money also flowed to the economy at that time which prompted discretionary spending. In fiscal 2022, several coronavirus variants threatened to bring back tight restrictions. Along with the pandemic, geopolitical and macroeconomic events started to affect the U.S. economy in general, with global inflation and supply chain disruptions impacting our businesses.
Geopolitical and macroeconomic events are still developing. In the event global inflation leads to a major economic downturn, our business operations and cash flow could be significantly affected.
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OUR BUSINESS
The following are our operating segments:
NightclubsOur wholly-owned subsidiaries own and/or operate upscale adult nightclubs serving primarily businessmen and professionals. These nightclubs are in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Beaumont, Longview, Harlingen, Edinburg, Tye, Lubbock, Aledo, Round Rock, El Paso and Odessa, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York and Newburgh, New York; Miami Gardens, Pembroke Park and Miami, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; Louisville, Kentucky; Portland, Maine; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Washington Park, Kappa, Sauget and Chicago, Illinois. No sexual contact is permitted at any of our locations. We also own and operate a Studio 80 dance club in Fort Worth, Texas. We also own and lease to third parties real properties that are adjacent to (or used to be locations of) our clubs.
BombshellsOur wholly-owned subsidiaries own and operate restaurants and sports bars in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Spring, Pearland, Tomball, Katy and Arlington, Texas under the brand name Bombshells Restaurant & Bar. We have one franchised unit in San Antonio, Texas.
Other Our wholly-owned subsidiaries own a media division (“Media Group”), including the leading trade magazine serving the multibillion-dollar adult nightclubs industry and the adult retail products industry. We also own an industry trade show, an industry trade publication and more than a dozen industry and social media websites. Included here is Drink Robust, which is licensed to sell Robust Energy Drink in the United States.
We generate our revenues from the sale of liquor, beer, wine, food, and merchandise; service revenues such as cover charges, membership fees, and facility use fees; and other revenues such as commissions from vending and ATM machines, real estate rental, valet parking, and other products and services for both nightclub and restaurant/sports bar operations. Other revenues include Media Group revenues for the sale of advertising content and revenues from our annual Expo convention, and Drink Robust sales. Our fiscal year-end is September 30.
Same-Store Sales. We calculate same-store sales by comparing year-over-year revenues from nightclubs and restaurants/sports bars starting in the first full quarter of operations after at least 12 full months for Nightclubs and at least 18 full months for Bombshells. We consider the first six months of operations of a Bombshells unit to be the “honeymoon period” where sales are significantly higher than normal. We exclude from a particular month’s calculation units previously included in the same-store sales base that have closed temporarily for more than 15 days until its next full quarter of operations. We also exclude from the same-store sales base units that are being reconcepted or are closed due to renovations or remodels. Acquired units are included in the same-store sales calculation as long as they qualify based on the definitions stated above. Revenues outside of our Nightclubs and Bombshells reportable segments’ core business are excluded from same-store sales calculation.
Our goal is to use our Company’s assets—our brands, financial strength, and the talent and strong commitment of our management and employees—to become more competitive and to accelerate growth.
CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are based upon our financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”). The preparation of these consolidated financial statements requires our management to make assumptions and estimates about future events and apply judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities. These estimates are based on management’s historical and industry experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. On a regular basis, we evaluate these accounting policies, assumptions, estimates and judgments to ensure that our financial statements are presented fairly and in accordance with GAAP. However, because future events and their effects cannot be determined with certainty, actual results may differ from our estimates, and such differences could be material.
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A full discussion of our significant accounting policies is contained in Note 2 to our consolidated financial statements, which is included in Item 8 – “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” of this report. We believe that the following accounting estimates are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our financial results. These estimates require our most difficult, subjective or complex judgments because they relate to matters that are inherently uncertain. We have reviewed these critical accounting policies and estimates and related disclosures with our Audit Committee.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
We review long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, and intangible assets subject to amortization, for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or asset group may not be recoverable. These events or changes in circumstances include, but are not limited to, significant underperformance relative to historical or projected future operating results, significant changes in the manner of use of the acquired assets or the strategy for the overall business, and significant negative industry or economic trends. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of the asset group to the estimated undiscounted cash flows over the estimated remaining useful life of the primary asset included in the asset group. If the asset group is not recoverable, the impairment loss is calculated as the excess of the carrying value over the fair value. We define our asset group as an operating club or restaurant location, which is also our reporting unit or the lowest level for which cash flows can be identified. Key estimates in the undiscounted cash flow model include management’s estimate of the projected revenues and operating margins. If fair value is used to determine an impairment loss, an additional key assumption is the selection of a weighted-average cost of capital to discount cash flows. Assets to be disposed of are separately presented in the balance sheet and reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell and are no longer depreciated. During the third quarter of 2022, we impaired two properties for a total of $1.0 million one due to eminent domain by the state of Texas and the other due to underperformance. During the second quarter of 2021, we impaired one property that was reclassified to assets held for sale for $1.4 million, and during the fourth quarter of 2021, we impaired four clubs for $584,000. During the second quarter of 2020, we impaired one club and one Bombshells unit for a total of $302,000, and during the third quarter of 2020, we impaired one club for its operating lease right-of-use asset for $104,000.
Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets
Goodwill and other intangible assets that have indefinite useful lives are tested annually for impairment during our fourth fiscal quarter and are tested for impairment more frequently if events and circumstances indicate that the asset might be impaired.
Our impairment calculations require management to make assumptions and to apply judgment in order to estimate fair values. If our actual results are not consistent with our estimates and assumptions, we may be exposed to impairments that could be material. We do not believe that there is a reasonable likelihood that there will be a change in the estimates or assumptions we used that could cause a material change in our calculated impairment charges.
For our goodwill impairment review, we have the option to first perform a qualitative assessment to determine if it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value. This assessment is based on several factors, including industry and market conditions, overall financial performance, including an assessment of cash flows in comparison to actual and projected results of prior periods. If it is determined that it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying value based on our qualitative analysis, or if we elect to skip this step, we perform a Step 1 quantitative analysis to determine the fair value of the reporting unit. The fair value is determined using market-related valuation models, including discounted cash flows and comparable asset market values. Key estimates in the discounted cash flow model include management’s estimate of the projected revenues and operating margins, along with the selection of a weighted-average cost of capital to discount cash flows. We recognize goodwill impairment in the amount that the carrying value of the reporting unit exceeds the fair value of the reporting unit, not to exceed the amount of goodwill allocated to the reporting unit, based on the results of our Step 1 analysis. For the year ended September 30, 2022, we identified one reporting unit that was impaired and recognized a goodwill impairment loss of $566,000. For the year ended September 30, 2021, we identified seven reporting units that were impaired and recognized a goodwill impairment loss totaling $6.3 million. For the year ended September 30, 2020, we identified seven reporting units that were impaired and recognized a goodwill impairment loss totaling $7.9 million.
For indefinite-lived intangibles, specifically SOB licenses, we determine fair value by estimating the multiperiod excess earnings of the asset with key assumptions being similar to those used in the goodwill impairment valuation model. For indefinite-lived tradename, we determine fair value by using the relief from royalty method. The fair value is then compared to the carrying value and an impairment charge is recognized by the amount by which the carrying amount
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exceeds the fair value of the asset. We recorded impairment charges for SOB licenses amounting to $293,000 in 2022 related to one club, $5.3 million in 2021 related to three clubs, and $2.3 million in 2020 related to two clubs.
Business Combinations
The Company accounts for business combinations under the acquisition method of accounting, which requires the recognition of acquired tangible and identifiable intangible assets and assumed liabilities at their acquisition date fair values. The excess of the acquisition price over the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed is recorded as goodwill. Results of operations related to acquired entities are included prospectively beginning with the date of acquisition. Acquisition-related costs are expensed as incurred.
Stock-based Compensation
We recognize expense for stock-based compensation awards, which is equal to the fair value of the awards at grant date, ratably in selling, general and administrative expenses in our consolidated statements of operations over their requisite service period. Calculating the grant date fair value of stock-based compensation awards requires the input of subjective assumptions. We determine the fair value of each stock option grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model with assumptions based primarily on historical data. Specific inputs to the model include the expected term of the stock options, stock price volatility, dividend yield, and risk-free interest rate.
We used our historical exercise and post-vesting expiration behavior of grantees on stock options awarded prior to the 2022 Plan which may not be reflective of current stock market environment and current mix of grantees. We estimated expected volatility based on historical volatility of the Company's stock price for a period equal to the award's expected term. We estimated expected dividend yield based on the current dividend payout activity and the exercise price (that is, the expected dividends that would likely be reflected in an amount at which the stock option would be exchanged). The risk-free rate is based on the U.S. Treasury yield curve in effect at the time of grant. We recognize forfeitures when they occur.
Income Taxes
We estimate certain components of our provision for income taxes including the recoverability of deferred tax assets that arise from temporary differences between the tax and book carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. These estimates include depreciation and amortization expense allowable for tax purposes, allowable tax credits for items such as taxes paid on employee tip income, effective rates for state and local income taxes, and the deductibility of certain other items, among others. We adjust our annual effective income tax rate as additional information on outcomes or events becomes available. When necessary, we record a valuation allowance to reduce deferred tax assets to a balance that is more likely than not to be realized.
Legal and Other Contingencies
As mentioned in Item 3 – “Legal Proceedings” and in a more detailed discussion in Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements, we are involved in various suits and claims in the normal course of business. We record a liability when it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount is reasonably estimable. There is significant judgment required in both the probability determination and as to whether an exposure can be reasonably estimated. In the opinion of management, there was not at least a reasonable possibility that we may have incurred a material loss, or a material loss in excess of a recorded accrual, with respect to loss contingencies for asserted legal and other claims. However, the outcome of legal proceedings and claims brought against the Company is subject to significant uncertainty. Therefore, although management considers the likelihood of such an outcome to be remote, if one or more of these legal matters were resolved against the Company in a reporting period for amounts in excess of management’s expectations, the Company’s consolidated financial statements for that reporting period could be materially adversely affected. In matters where there is insurance coverage, in the event we incur any liability, we believe it is unlikely we would incur losses in connection with these claims in excess of our insurance coverage.
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OPERATIONS REVIEW
Highlights of operations from fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020 are as follows (in thousands, except percentages and per share amounts):
2022Inc (Dec)2021Inc (Dec)2020
Revenues
Consolidated$267,620 37.1 %$195,258 47.6 %$132,327 
Nightclubs$206,251 50.2 %$137,348 55.4 %$88,373 
Bombshells$59,925 5.8 %$56,621 31.0 %$43,215 
Same-store sales
Consolidated+5.6 %+1.5 %
Nightclubs+10.1 %-2.1 %
Bombshells-4.6 %+7.7 %
Income from operations
Consolidated$71,459 85.4 %$38,548 1,303.8 %$2,746 
Nightclubs$82,798 89.0 %$43,815 235.6 %$13,056 
Bombshells$11,504 (13.3)%$13,264 43.6 %$9,237 
Diluted earnings (loss) per share$4.91 $3.37 $(0.66)
Net cash provided by operating activities$64,509 53.6 %$41,991 168.6 %$15,632 
Free cash flow*$58,911 63.3 %$36,084 167.7 %$13,481 
*Reconciliation and discussion of non-GAAP financial measures are included under the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of this Item. These measures should be considered in addition to, rather than as a substitute for, U.S. GAAP measures.
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The following common size tables present a comparison of our results of operations as a percentage of total revenues for the three most recently completed fiscal years:
202220212020
Revenues
Sales of alcoholic beverages42.3 %44.4 %44.6 %
Sales of food and merchandise16.6 %21.1 %18.5 %
Service revenues35.1 %28.4 %31.1 %
Other6.0 %6.1 %5.8 %
Total revenues100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
Operating expenses
Cost of goods sold
Alcoholic beverages sold17.8 %18.3 %18.8 %
Food and merchandise sold35.1 %33.6 %33.0 %
Service and other0.3 %0.6 %0.5 %
Total cost of goods sold (exclusive of items shown separately below)13.5 %15.4 %14.7 %
Salaries and wages25.6 %25.9 %29.5 %
Selling, general and administrative29.5 %28.0 %39.1 %
Depreciation and amortization4.6 %4.2 %6.7 %
Other charges, net0.2 %6.8 %8.0 %
Total operating expenses73.3 %80.3 %97.9 %
Income from operations26.7 %19.7 %2.1 %
Other income (expenses)
Interest expense(4.5)%(5.1)%(7.4)%
Interest income0.2 %0.1 %0.2 %
Non-operating gains (losses), net0.1 %2.7 %0.0 %
Income (loss) before income taxes22.5 %17.5 %(5.1)%
Income tax expense (benefit)5.3 %2.0 %(0.4)%
Net income (loss)17.2 %15.4 %(4.8)%
Percentages may not foot due to rounding in this and in all of the succeeding tables presenting percentages in this report. Percentage of revenue for individual cost of goods sold items pertains to their respective revenue line.
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Below is a table presenting the changes in each line item of the income statement for the last three fiscal years (dollar amounts in thousands)
Better (Worse)
2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
Amount%Amount%
Revenues
Sales of alcoholic beverages$26,631 30.7 %$27,605 46.7 %
Sales of food and merchandise3,183 7.7 %16,651 68.1 %
Service revenues38,427 69.3 %14,299 34.7 %
Other4,121 34.3 %4,376 57.4 %
Total revenues72,362 37.1 %62,931 47.6 %
Operating expenses
Cost of goods sold
Alcoholic beverages sold(4,272)(26.9)%(4,786)(43.1)%
Food and merchandise sold(1,743)(12.6)%(5,723)(70.9)%
Service and other57 15.2 %(107)(40.1)%
Total cost of goods sold (exclusive of items shown separately below)(5,958)(19.8)%(10,616)(54.6)%
Salaries and wages(17,820)(35.2)%(11,557)(29.6)%
Selling, general and administrative(24,239)(44.4)%(2,916)(5.6)%
Depreciation and amortization(4,153)(50.4)%598 6.8 %
Other charges, net12,719 96.5 %(2,638)(25.0)%
Total operating expenses(39,451)(25.2)%(27,129)(20.9)%
Income from operations32,911 85.4 %35,802 1,303.8 %
Other income/expenses
Interest expense(1,958)(19.6)%(181)(1.8)%
Interest income158 62.5 %(71)(21.9)%
Non-operating gains/losses, net(5,119)(96.0)%5,394 *
Income/loss before income taxes25,992 76.1 %40,944 601.7 %
Income tax expense/benefit(10,082)(252.7)%(4,482)*
Net income/loss$15,910 52.8 %$36,462 *
*Not meaningful.
Revenues
Our consolidated revenues continued their upward trend from 2020 to 2021 (with an increase of 47.6%) rebounding from the heavily COVID-19 affected 2020 to a more stable increase from 2021 to 2022 (with an increase of 37.1%) aided by acquisitions. Consolidated same-store sales increased by 5.6% from 2021 to 2022 and by 1.5% from 2020 to 2021. New units contributed $47.6 million, or 24.4% of total prior-year revenue, to the total revenue increase from 2021 to 2022 (mostly from club acquisitions) and $4.2 million, or 3.1% of total prior-year revenue, to the total consolidated revenue increase from 2020 to 2021 (all from new Bombshells). Closed units in the comparable prior year contributed $13.9 million, or 7.1% of total prior-year revenue, to the total revenue increase from 2021 to 2022 and $56.8 million, or 42.9% of total prior-year revenue, to the total consolidated revenue increase from 2020 to 2021.
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Segment contribution to total revenues was as follows (dollar amounts in thousands):
2022Inc (Dec)2021Inc (Dec)2020
Nightclubs
Sales of alcoholic beverages$80,001 47.3 %$54,305 70.0 %$31,950 
Sales of food and merchandise18,289 6.2 %17,221 101.2 %8,561 
Service revenues93,481 69.5 %55,146 34.5 %41,004 
Other revenues14,480 35.6 %10,676 55.7 %6,858 
206,251 50.2 %137,348 55.4 %88,373 
Bombshells
Sales of alcoholic beverages33,315 2.9 %32,380 19.4 %27,130 
Sales of food and merchandise26,005 8.9 %23,890 50.3 %15,899 
Service revenues407 29.2 %315 99.4 %158 
Other revenues198 450.0 %36 28.6 %28 
59,925 5.8 %56,621 31.0 %43,215 
Other
Other revenues1,444 12.0 %1,289 74.4 %739 
$267,620 37.1 %$195,258 47.6 %$132,327 
Nightclubs segment revenues. Nightclubs revenues increased by 50.2% from 2021 to 2022 and by 55.4% from 2020 to 2021. A breakdown of the changes compared to total change in Nightclubs revenues is as follows:
2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
Impact of 10.1% increase and 2.1% decrease in same-store sales, respectively, to total revenues9.5 %(1.2)%
Newly acquired units30.5 %— %
Closed units10.1 %56.4 %
Other0.1 %0.2 %
50.2 %55.4 %
Nightclubs segment sales mix for the three fiscal years, below:
202220212020
Sales of alcoholic beverages38.8 %39.5 %36.2 %
Sales of food and merchandise8.9 %12.5 %9.7 %
Service revenues45.3 %40.2 %46.4 %
Other7.0 %7.8 %7.7 %
100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
The 2022 new units include 15 clubs, of which eleven were acquired in October 2021, one acquired in November 2021, one acquired in May 2022, and two acquired in July 2022. See Note 16 to our consolidated financial statements. In total, these newly acquired clubs contributed $41.9 million in revenues during 2022 since their acquisition dates. No new clubs were acquired in 2020 and 2021.
Included in other revenues of the Nightclubs segment is real estate rental revenue amounting to $1.6 million in 2022, $1.5 million in 2021, and $1.3 million in 2020.
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Bombshells segment revenues. Bombshells revenues increased by 5.8% from 2021 to 2022 and by 31.0% from 2020 to 2021. A breakdown of the changes compared to total changes in Bombshells revenues is as follows:
2022 vs. 20212021 vs. 2020
Impact of 4.6% decrease and 7.7% increase in same-store sales, respectively, to total revenues(4.6)%5.2 %
New units10.1 %9.6 %
Closed units— %16.2 %
Other0.3 %— %
5.8 %31.0 %
Bombshells segment sales mix for the three fiscal years is as follows:
202220212020
Sales of alcoholic beverages55.6 %57.2 %62.8 %
Sales of food and merchandise43.4 %42.2 %36.8 %
Service and other revenues1.0 %0.6 %0.4 %
100.0 %100.0 %100.0 %
Bombshells Katy was opened in the first quarter of 2020, while Bombshells 59 was opened in the second quarter of 2020. No new Bombshells location was opened in 2021. Bombshells Arlington was opened in the first quarter of 2022.
Other segment revenues. Other revenues included revenues from Drink Robust in all three fiscal years presented. Drink Robust sales were $201,000, $249,000, and $150,000 in fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, which excludes intercompany sales to Nightclubs and Bombshells units amounting to $261,000, $141,000, and $70,000 in fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. Media business revenues were $1.2 million, $1.0 million, and $589,000 in fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ED EXPO that was supposed to be held in August 2020 (fiscal 2020) was canceled. All unearned sponsorship and advertising revenues related to the event were either further deferred or refunded and no revenue was recognized.
Operating Expenses
Total operating expenses, as a percent of consolidated revenues, were 73.3%, 80.3%, and 97.9% for the fiscal year 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. Significant contributors to the change in operating expenses as a percent of revenues are explained below.
Cost of goods sold. Cost of goods sold includes cost of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, food, cigars and cigarettes, merchandise, media printing/binding, and Drink Robust. As a percentage of consolidated revenues, consolidated cost of goods sold was 13.5%, 15.4%, and 14.7% for fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. See page 29 above for the breakdown of percentages for each line item of consolidated cost of goods sold as it relates to the respective consolidated revenue line. For the Nightclubs segment, cost of goods sold was 10.5%, 11.8%, and 10.7% for fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, which was primarily caused by shifts in sales mix. Bombshells cost of goods sold was 23.5%, 23.8%, and 22.6% for fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, which was mainly driven by menu price increases in 2022 in response to inflation, the shift in sales mix to lower-margin food sales in 2021, and to higher-margin alcoholic beverage sales in 2020.
Salaries and wages. Consolidated salaries and wages increased by $17.8 million, or 35.2%, from 2021 to 2022 and increased by $11.6 million, or 29.6%, from 2020 to 2021. The dollar decrease from 2020 to 2021 was mainly from personnel hiring and rehiring after easing restrictions from COVID-19, and the dollar increase from 2021 to 2022 was mainly from new employees caused by the fifteen new club acquisitions and one Bombshells opening. As a percentage of revenues, consolidated salaries and wages were 25.6%, 25.9%, and 29.5% in 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, mainly due to sales trend and the impact of fixed salaries on increasing sales. Corporate salary pay cuts made in 2020 during the height of the pandemic restrictions were paid back in 2021.
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By reportable segment, salaries and wages are broken down as follows (dollar amounts in thousands):
2022Inc (Dec)2021Inc (Dec)2020
Nightclubs$40,859 51.4 %$26,986 37.8 %$19,590 
Bombshells14,585 11.8 %13,041 25.1 %10,427 
Other601 3.3 %582 18.5 %491 
Corporate12,402 23.8 %10,018 17.0 %8,562 
$68,447 35.2 %$50,627 29.6 %$39,070 
Unit-level manager payroll is included in salaries and wages of each location, while payroll for regional manager and above are included in general corporate.
Salaries and wages as a percentage of segment revenue (except Corporate, which is based on consolidated revenues):
202220212020
Nightclubs19.8 %19.6 %22.2 %
Bombshells24.3 %23.0 %24.1 %
Other41.6 %45.2 %66.4 %
Corporate4.6 %5.1 %6.5 %
25.6 %25.9 %29.5 %
Selling, general and administrative expenses. The components of consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses are in the tables below (dollar amounts in thousands):
202220212020
Amount%Amount%Amount%
Taxes and permits$9,468 3.5 %$8,701 4.5 %$8,071 6.1 %
Advertising and marketing9,860 3.7 %6,676 3.4 %5,367 4.1 %
Supplies and services8,614 3.2 %6,190 3.2 %4,711 3.6 %
Insurance10,152 3.8 %5,676 2.9 %5,777 4.4 %
Lease6,706 2.5 %3,942 2.0 %4,060 3.1 %
Legal1,995 0.7 %3,997 2.0 %4,725 3.6 %
Utilities4,585 1.7 %3,366 1.7 %2,945 2.2 %
Charge card fees6,292 2.4 %3,376 1.7 %2,382 1.8 %
Security4,404 1.6 %3,892 2.0 %2,582 2.0 %
Accounting and professional fees3,909 1.5 %2,031 1.0 %3,463 2.6 %
Repairs and maintenance3,754 1.4 %2,767 1.4 %2,289 1.7 %
Stock-based compensation2,353 0.9 %— — %— — %
Other6,755 2.5 %3,994 2.0 %5,320 4.0 %
$78,847 29.5 %$54,608 28.0 %$51,692 39.1 %
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By reportable segment, selling, general and administrative expenses are broken down as follows (dollar amounts in thousands):
2022Inc (Dec)2021Inc (Dec)2020
Nightclubs$51,285 56.7 %$32,725 8.7 %$30,105 
Bombshells17,295 16.2 %14,883 26.8 %11,735 
Other418 76.4 %237 (11.6)%268 
Corporate9,849 45.6 %6,763 (29.4)%9,584 
$78,847 44.4 %$54,608 5.6 %$51,692 
Selling, general and administrative expenses as a percentage of segment revenue (except Corporate, which is based on consolidated revenues):
202220212020
Nightclubs24.9 %23.8 %34.1 %
Bombshells28.9 %26.3 %27.2 %
Other28.9 %18.4 %36.3 %
Corporate3.7 %3.5 %7.2 %
29.5 %28.0 %39.1 %
The significant variances in selling, general and administrative expenses are as follows:
As a percentage of revenues, relatively fixed expenses were high in rate due to lower sales in fiscal 2020, while more discretionary/controllable expenses such as advertising and marketing were kept to a minimum. Conversely, due to the increase in revenues in 2021 from 2020, almost all selling, general and administrative expenses consequently increased except accounting and professional fees, insurance, leases, and legal. Accounting and legal fees primarily decreased from prior year’s SEC matters; lease expense decreased due to lease credits we received from certain landlords; while insurance decreased due to credits given by insurers for unused coverage due to COVID-19 closures in 2020. Most of the selling, general and administrative expense increases in 2022 came from the Nightclub acquisitions we made. We also incurred stock-based compensation expense from a new 2022 Stock Option Plan.
Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization increased by $4.2 million, or 50.4%, from 2021 to 2022 and decreased by $598,000, or 6.8%, from 2020 to 2021. The decrease from 2020 to 2021 was mainly from significantly low capital expenditure in 2020 while the increase from 2021 to 2022 was mainly caused by the growth in our depreciable asset base and amortizable intangibles caused by acquired clubs and a new Bombshells unit.
Other charges, net. The components of other charges, net are in the table below (dollars in thousands):
2022Inc (Dec)2021Inc (Dec)2020
Impairment of assets$1,888 (86.1)%$13,612 28.2 %$10,615 
Settlement of lawsuits1,417 5.0 %1,349 675.3 %174 
Gain on sale of businesses and assets(2,375)355.0 %(522)(21.0)%(661)
Loss (gain) on insurance(463)(63.0)%(1,253)(398.3)%420 
$467 (96.5)%$13,186 25.0 %$10,548 
The significant variances in other charges, net are discussed below:
During 2022, we recorded aggregate impairment charges amounting to $1.9 million related to goodwill of one club ($566,000), SOB license of one club ($293,000), and property and equipment of one club and one Bombshells unit ($1.0 million). During 2021, we recorded aggregate impairment charges amounting to $13.6 million related to goodwill of seven clubs ($6.3 million), SOB licenses of three clubs ($5.3 million), and property and equipment of five clubs, one of which is held for sale ($2.0 million). During 2020, we recorded aggregate impairment charges amounting to $10.6 million related to goodwill of seven clubs ($7.9 million), SOB licenses of two clubs ($2.3 million), and $406,000 of long-lived assets of one
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club and one Bombshells restaurant (including impairment on operating lease right-of-use assets of $104,000). See Notes 2 and 16 to our consolidated financial statements.
In 2021, we settled a case with one of our Bombshells landlords for $1.0 million. See Note 11 to our consolidated financial statements. In 2022, we settled several cases including the image infringement lawsuit and the securities class actions part of which was paid by insurance.
Refer to dispositions in Note 16 to our consolidated financial statement for details on gains or losses on sale of businesses and assets.
In relation to insurance claims and recoveries, we recognized a $463,000 gain in 2022, $1.3 million gain in 2021, and a $420,000 loss in 2020 mainly related to a fire in one of our clubs in Washington Park, Illinois toward the end of fiscal 2018 and a hurricane that damaged one of our clubs in Sulphur, Louisiana in August 2020. The rest of the claims for the Sulphur club were received in 2022. Gains related to insurance recoveries are recognized when the contingencies related to the insurance claims have been resolved, which may be in a subsequent reporting period. See Note 15 to our consolidated financial statements.
Income from Operations
During fiscal 2022, 2021, and 2020, our consolidated operating margin was 26.7%, 19.7%, and 2.1%, respectively.
Below is a table which reflects segment contribution to income from operations (in thousands):
202220212020
Nightclubs$82,798 $43,815 $13,056 
Bombshells11,504 13,264 9,237 
Other57 35 (614)
Corporate(22,900)(18,566)(18,933)
$71,459 $38,548 $2,746 
Nightclubs operating margin was 40.1%, 31.9%, and 14.8% in 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, primarily due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the closure of underperforming units, fixed expense leverage on increasing sales, and impairment of assets of $1.2 million, $13.6 million, and $10.4 million for 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively. Bombshells operating margin was 19.2%, 23.4%, and 21.4% in 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, mainly due to one new unit and same-store sales decrease in 2022, two new units and same-store sales increase in 2021, partially offset by COVID-19 impact in 2020.
Excluding certain items, non-GAAP operating income (loss) and non-GAAP operating margin are computed in the tables below (dollars in thousands). Refer to discussion of Non-GAAP Financial Measures on page 37.
2022
NightclubsBombshellsOtherCorporateTotal
Income (loss) from operations$82,798 $11,504 $57 $(22,900)$71,459 
Amortization of intangibles2,042 61 2,118 
Settlement of lawsuits1,287 18 — 112 1,417 
Impairment of assets1,238 650 — — 1,888 
Loss (gain) on sale of businesses and assets(2,010)17 — (382)(2,375)
Gain on insurance(463)— — — (463)
Stock-based compensation— — — 2,353 2,353 
Non-GAAP operating income (loss)$84,892 $12,195 $118 $(20,808)$76,397 
GAAP operating margin40.1 %19.2 %3.9 %(8.6)%26.7 %
Non-GAAP operating margin41.2 %20.4 %8.2 %(7.8)%28.5 %
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2021
NightclubsBombshellsOtherCorporateTotal
Income (loss) from operations$43,815 $13,264 $35 $(18,566)$38,548 
Amortization of intangibles187 14 57 — 258 
Settlement of lawsuits275 59 1,010 1,349 
Impairment of assets13,612 — — — 13,612 
Costs and charges related to debt refinancing17 — — 40 57 
Loss (gain) on sale of businesses and assets(580)72 — (14)(522)
Gain on insurance(1,209)— — (44)(1,253)
Non-GAAP operating income (loss)$56,117 $13,409 $97 $(17,574)$52,049 
GAAP operating margin31.9 %23.4 %2.7 %(9.5)%19.7 %
Non-GAAP operating margin40.9 %23.7 %7.5 %(9.0)%26.7 %
2020
NightclubsBombshellsOtherCorporateTotal
Income (loss) from operations$13,056 $9,237 $(614)$(18,933)$2,746 
Amortization of intangibles211 15 383 — 609 
Settlement of lawsuits174 — — — 174 
Impairment of assets10,370 245 — — 10,615 
Loss (gain) on sale of businesses and assets(639)16 — (38)(661)
Loss (gain) on insurance433 — — (13)420 
Non-GAAP operating income (loss)$23,605 $9,513 $(231)$(18,984)$13,903 
GAAP operating margin14.8 %21.4 %(83.1)%(14.3)%2.1 %
Non-GAAP operating margin26.7 %22.0 %(31.3)%(14.3)%10.5 %
Other Income/Expenses
Interest expense increased by $2.0 million from 2021 to 2022 and by $181,000 from 2020 to 2021. The increase in interest expense in 2022 was primarily caused by the significantly higher average debt balance from borrowings to finance our acquisitions. The net increase in interest expense in 2021 was primarily caused by the expensed loan costs and written off unamortized debt issuance costs related to the September 2021 Refinancing Note (see Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements), partially offset by the impact of a lower average debt balance. During 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain debt principal and interest payments were deferred, but we continued to accrue interest on these debts. At the end of 2021, we refinanced several of our existing bank and seller-financed real estate debt with the issuance of a $99.1 million 5.25% note with a term of 10 years.
We consider lease plus interest expense as our occupancy costs since most of our debts are for real properties where our clubs and restaurants are located. For occupancy cost purposes, we exclude non-real-estate-related interest expense. Total occupancy cost rate (total occupancy cost as a percentage of revenues) was high in 2020 due to lower sales activity caused by the pandemic, as shown below.
202220212020
Lease2.5 %2.0 %3.1 %
Interest4.5 %4.8 %7.4 %
Total occupancy cost7.0 %6.8 %10.5 %
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The 2021 interest expense rate above excludes certain costs and charges related to the September 2021 Refinancing Note amounting to approximately $637,000, or 0.3% of consolidated revenues. The $637,000 interest expense includes $103,000 in unamortized debt issuance costs that were written off and $228,000 in expensed new loan costs.
In fiscal 2021, we received 11 notices of forgiveness for our PPP loans approving the forgiveness of 100% of each of the 11 PPP loans amounting to $5.3 million in principal and interest, which were included in non-operating gains (losses), net. In November 2021, we received a partial forgiveness of the remaining $124,000 PPP loan for $85,000 in principal and interest. See Note 9 to our consolidated financial statements.
Income Taxes
Income taxes were an expense of approximately $14.1 million in 2022, $4.0 million in 2021, and a benefit of $493,000 in 2020. Our effective income tax rate was a 23.4% expense in 2022, 11.7% expense in 2021, and 7.2% benefit in 2020. The components of our annual effective income tax rate are the following:
202220212020
Federal statutory income tax expense/benefit21.0 %21.0 %21.0 %
State income taxes, net of federal benefit3.0 %2.1 %(3.7)%
Permanent differences0.2 %(1.3)%(5.8)%
Change in state tax rate1.5 %(2.4)%— %
Change in valuation allowance0.6 %(1.9)%(18.7)%
Tax credits(3.0)%(3.5)%13.9 %
Other0.2 %(2.4)%0.6 %
Total effective income tax rate23.4 %11.7 %7.2 %
*Positive or negative percentages are in relation to income or loss before income taxes of the respective fiscal year.
The effective income tax rate difference from the statutory federal corporate tax rate of 21% comes from offsetting impact of state income tax, net of federal benefit, and tax credits that are mostly FICA tip credits. The effective income tax rate for fiscal 2020 was also affected by the pre-tax loss mostly caused by the pandemic and the changes in the deferred tax asset valuation allowance in all three fiscal years presented.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to our financial information presented in accordance with GAAP, management uses certain non-GAAP financial measures, within the meaning of the SEC Regulation G, to clarify and enhance understanding of past performance and prospects for the future. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s operating performance, financial position or cash flows that excludes or includes amounts that are included in or excluded from the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. We monitor non-GAAP financial measures because it describes the operating performance of the Company and helps management and investors gauge our ability to generate cash flow, excluding (or including) some items that management believes are not representative of the ongoing business operations of the Company, but are included in (or excluded from) the most directly comparable measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Relative to each of the non-GAAP financial measures, we further set forth our rationale as follows:
Non-GAAP Operating Income and Non-GAAP Operating Margin. We calculate non-GAAP operating income and non-GAAP operating margin by excluding the following items from income from operations and operating margin: (a) amortization of intangibles, (b) impairment of assets, (c) gains or losses on sale of businesses and assets, (d) gains or losses on insurance, (e) settlement of lawsuits, (f) costs and charges related to debt refinancing, and (g) stock-based compensation. We believe that excluding these items assists investors in evaluating period-over-period changes in our operating income and operating margin without the impact of items that are not a result of our day-to-day business and operations.
Non-GAAP Net Income and Non-GAAP Net Income per Diluted Share. We calculate non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP net income per diluted share by excluding or including certain items to net income attributable to RCIHH common stockholders and diluted earnings per share. Adjustment items are: (a) amortization of intangibles, (b) impairment of assets,
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(c) gains or losses on sale of businesses and assets, (d) gains or losses on insurance, (e) unrealized loss on equity securities, (f) settlement of lawsuits, (g) gain on debt extinguishment, (h) costs and charges related to debt refinancing, (i) stock-based compensation, (j) the income tax effect of the above-described adjustments, and (k) change in deferred tax asset valuation allowance. Included in the income tax effect of the above adjustments is the net effect of the non-GAAP provision for income taxes, calculated at 22.8%, 13.5%, and 26.0% effective tax rate of the pre-tax non-GAAP income before taxes for the 2022, 2021, and 2020, respectively, and the GAAP income tax expense (benefit). We believe that excluding and including such items help management and investors better understand our operating activities.
Adjusted EBITDA. We calculate adjusted EBITDA by excluding the following items from net income attributable to RCIHH common stockholders: (a) depreciation and amortization, (b) income tax expense (benefit), (c) net interest expense, (d) gains or losses on sale of businesses and assets, (e) gains or losses on insurance (f) unrealized gains or losses on equity securities, (g) impairment of assets, (h) settlement of lawsuits, (i) gain on debt extinguishment, and (j) stock-based compensation. We believe that adjusting for such items helps management and investors better understand our operating activities. Adjusted EBITDA provides a core operational performance measurement that compares results without the need to adjust for federal, state and local taxes which have considerable variation between domestic jurisdictions. The results are, therefore, without consideration of financing alternatives of capital employed. We use adjusted EBITDA as one guideline to assess the unleveraged performance return on our investments. Adjusted EBITDA multiple is also used as a target benchmark for our acquisitions of nightclubs.
We also use certain non-GAAP cash flow measures such as free cash flow. See “Liquidity and Capital Resources” section for further discussion.
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The following tables present our non-GAAP performance measures for the periods indicated (in thousands, except per share amounts and percentages):
202220212020
Reconciliation of GAAP net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA
Net income (loss) attributable to RCIHH common stockholders$46,041 $30,336 $(6,085)
Income tax expense (benefit)14,071 3,989 (493)
Interest expense, net11,539 9,739 9,487 
Settlement of lawsuits1,417 1,349 174 
Impairment of assets1,888 13,612 10,615 
Gain on sale of businesses and assets(2,375)(522)(661)
Depreciation and amortization12,391 8,238 8,836 
Unrealized loss on equity securities— 84 64 
Gain on debt extinguishment(138)(5,329)— 
Loss (gain) on insurance(463)(1,253)420 
Stock-based compensation2,353 — — 
Adjusted EBITDA$86,724 $60,243 $22,357 
   
Reconciliation of GAAP net income (loss) to non-GAAP net income
Net income (loss) attributable to RCIHH common stockholders$46,041 $30,336 $(6,085)
Amortization of intangibles2,118 258 609 
Settlement of lawsuits1,417 1,349 174 
Impairment of assets1,888 13,612 10,615 
Gain on sale of businesses and assets(2,375)(522)(661)
Costs and charges related to debt refinancing*— 694 — 
Unrealized loss on equity securities— 84 64 
Gain on debt extinguishment(138)(5,329)— 
Loss (gain) on insurance(463)(1,253)420 
Stock-based compensation2,353 — — 
Change in deferred tax asset valuation allowance343 (632)1,273 
Net income tax effect(729)(1,845)(1,700)
Non-GAAP net income$50,455 $36,752 $4,709 
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202220212020
Reconciliation of GAAP diluted earnings (loss) per share to non-GAAP diluted earnings per share
Diluted shares9,383,4459,004,7449,199,225
GAAP diluted earnings (loss) per share$4.91 $3.37 $(0.66)
Amortization of intangibles0.23 0.03 0.07 
Settlement of lawsuits0.15 0.15 0.02 
Impairment of assets0.20 1.51 1.15 
Gain on sale of businesses and assets(0.25)(0.06)(0.07)
Costs and charges related to debt refinancing*— 0.08 — 
Unrealized loss on equity securities— 0.01 0.01 
Gain on debt extinguishment(0.01)(0.59)— 
Loss (gain) on insurance(0.05)(0.14)0.05 
Stock-based compensation0.25 — — 
Change in deferred tax asset valuation allowance0.04 (0.07)0.14 
Net income tax effect(0.08)(0.20)(0.18)
Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share$5.38 $4.08 $0.51 
   
Reconciliation of GAAP operating income to non-GAAP operating income
Income from operations$71,459 $38,548 $2,746 
Amortization of intangibles2,118 258 609 
Settlement of lawsuits1,417 1,349 174 
Impairment of assets1,888 13,612 10,615 
Costs and charges related to debt refinancing*— 57 — 
Gain on sale of businesses and assets(2,375)(522)(661)
Loss (gain) on insurance(463)(1,253)420 
Stock-based compensation2,353 — — 
Non-GAAP operating income$76,397 $52,049 $13,903 
    
202220212020
Reconciliation of GAAP operating margin to non-GAAP operating margin
GAAP operating margin26.7 %19.7 %2.1 %
Amortization of intangibles0.8 %