Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Use of Estimates



The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Significant estimates include the valuation of the investments, deferred tax asset valuation allowances, valuing derivatives, options and warrants using the Binomial Lattice and Black-Scholes models, intangible asset valuations and useful lives, depreciation and uncollectible accounts and reserves. Actual results could differ from those estimates.

Revenue Recognition



The Company generates revenues from the following sources: (i) restaurant sales; (ii) management fee income; (iii) gaming income; and (iv) franchise revenues, consisting of royalties based on a percentage of sales reported by franchise restaurants and initial signing fees.


Restaurant Sales, Net


The Company records revenue from restaurant sales at the time of sale, net of discounts, coupons, employee meals, and complimentary meals and gift cards. Sales tax and value added tax (“VAT”) collected from customers and remitted to governmental authorities are presented on a net basis within revenue in our consolidated and combined statements of operations.


Management Fee Income


The Company received revenue from management fees from certain non-affiliated companies in 2019, including from managing its investment in Hooters of America, which are generally earned and recognized over the performance period. No management fee income has been recognized during the three and nine month period ended September 30, 2020.


Gaming Income


The Company receives revenue from operating a gaming facility adjacent to its Hooters restaurant in Jantzen Beach, Oregon. Revenue from gaming is recognized as earned from gaming activities, net of payouts to customers, taxes and government fees. These fees are recognized as they are earned based on the terms of the agreements.


Franchise Income


The Company grants franchises to operators in exchange for initial franchise license fees and continuing royalty payments. The license granted for each restaurant or area is considered a performance obligation. All other obligations (such as providing assistance during the opening of a restaurant) are combined with the license and were determined to be a single performance obligation. Accordingly, the total transaction price (comprised of the restaurant opening and territory fees) is allocated to each restaurant expected to be opened by the licensee under the contract. There are significant judgments regarding the estimated total transaction price, including the number of stores expected to be opened. We recognize the fee allocated to each restaurant as revenue on a straight-line basis over the restaurant’s license term, which generally begins upon the signing of the contract for area development agreements and upon the signing of a store lease for franchise agreements. The payments for these upfront fees are generally received upon contract execution. Continuing fees, which are based upon a percentage of franchisee revenues and are not subject to any constraints, are recognized on the accrual basis as those sales occur. The payments for these continuing fees are generally made on a weekly basis.


Deferred Revenue


Deferred revenue consists of contract liabilities resulting from initial and renewal franchise license fees paid by franchisees, which are generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the underlying franchise agreement, as well as upfront development fees paid by franchisees, which are generally recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the underlying franchise agreement once it is executed or if the development agreement is terminated.

Restaurant Pre-opening and Closing Expenses



Restaurant pre-opening and closing expenses are non-capital expenditures and are expensed as incurred. Restaurant pre-opening expenses consist of the costs of hiring and training the initial hourly work force for each new restaurant, travel, the cost of food and supplies used in training, grand opening promotional costs, the cost of the initial stocking of operating supplies and other direct costs related to the opening of a restaurant, including rent during the construction and in-restaurant training period. Restaurant closing expenses consists of the costs related to the closing of a restaurant location and include write-off of property and equipment, lease termination costs and other costs directly related to the closure, and have been treated as an asset impairment charge in the income statement. Pre-opening and closing expenses are expensed as incurred.

Liquor Licenses



The costs of obtaining non-transferable liquor licenses that are directly issued by local government agencies for nominal fees are expensed as incurred. The costs of purchasing transferable liquor licenses through open markets in jurisdictions with a limited number of authorized liquor licenses are capitalized as indefinite-lived intangible assets and included in other assets. Liquor licenses are reviewed for impairment annually or when events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable. Annual liquor license renewal fees are expensed over the renewal term.

Accounts and Other Receivables



The Company monitors its exposure for credit losses on its receivable balances and the credit worthiness of its receivables on an ongoing basis and records related allowances for doubtful accounts. Allowances are estimated based upon specific customer and other balances where a risk of default has been identified, and also include a provision for non-customer specific defaults based upon historical experience. The majority of the Company’s accounts are from customer credit card transactions with minimal historical credit risk. As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company has not recorded an allowance for doubtful accounts. If circumstances related to specific customers change, estimates of the recoverability of receivables could also change.




Inventories are recorded at the lower of cost (first-in, first-out method) or net realizable value, and consist primarily of restaurant food items, supplies, beverages and merchandise.




We determine if a contract contains a lease at inception. Our material operating leases consist of restaurant locations and office space. Our leases generally have remaining terms of 1-20 years and most include options to extend the leases for additional 5-year periods. Generally, the lease term is the minimum of the non-cancelable period of the lease or the lease term inclusive of reasonably certain renewal periods up to a term of 20 years. If the estimate of our reasonably certain lease term was changed, our depreciation and rent expense could differ materially.


Operating lease assets and liabilities are recognized at the lease commencement date. Operating lease liabilities represent the present value of lease payments not yet paid. Operating lease assets represent our right to use an underlying asset and are based upon the operating lease liabilities adjusted for prepayments or accrued lease payments, initial direct costs, lease incentives, and impairment of operating lease assets. To determine the present value of lease payments not yet paid, we estimate incremental borrowing rates corresponding to the reasonably certain lease term. We estimated this rate based on prevailing financial market conditions, comparable company and credit analysis, and management judgment. If the estimate of our incremental borrowing rate was changed, our operating lease assets and liabilities could differ materially.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments



The Company measures and records certain financial assets and liabilities at fair value on a recurring basis. U.S. GAAP provides a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value. The hierarchy gives the highest priority, referred to as Level 1, to quoted prices in active markets for identical assets and liabilities. The next priority, referred to as Level 2, is given to quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets or quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active; that is, markets in which there are few transactions for the asset or liability. The lowest priority, referred to as Level 3, is given to unobservable inputs. The table below reflects the level of the inputs used in the Company’s fair value calculations:


    Quoted Prices in Active Markets
(Level 1)

Observable Inputs

(Level 2)


Significant Unobservable Inputs

(Level 3)


Total Fair


September 30, 2020                                
Assets (Note 4)                                
Warrants to purchase common stock of Sonnet   $    —     $ 476,724     $     $ 476,724  
Liabilities (Note 10)                                
Make-whole provision of Convertible Preferred Series 2   $     $     $ 1,195,724     $ 1,195,724  


Inputs used in the Company’s Level 3 calculation of fair value are discussed in Note 10.


There were no assets or liabilities recorded at fair value on a recurring basis at December 31, 2019.


The Company is required to disclose fair value information about financial instruments when it is practicable to estimate that value. The carrying amounts of the Company’s cash, accounts receivable, other receivables, accounts payable, other current liabilities, convertible notes payable and notes payable approximate fair value due to the short-term maturities of these financial instruments and/or because related interest rates offered to the Company approximate current rates.

Property and Equipment



Property and equipment are stated at cost, less accumulated depreciation. Depreciation and amortization, which includes amortization of assets held under capital leases, are recorded generally using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the respective assets or, if shorter, the term of the lease for certain assets held under a capital lease. Leasehold improvements are amortized over the lesser of the expected lease term, or the estimated useful lives of the related assets using the straight-line method. Maintenance and repairs that do not improve or extend the useful lives of the assets are not considered assets and are charged to expense when incurred.


The estimated useful lives used to compute depreciation and amortization are as follows:


Leasehold improvements 5-15 years
Restaurant furnishings and equipment 3-10 years
Furniture and fixtures 3-10 years
Office and computer equipment 3-7 years
Long-lived Assets



Long-lived assets, such as property and equipment, operating lease assets, and purchased intangible assets subject to depreciation and amortization, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Some of the events or changes in circumstances that would trigger an impairment test include, but are not limited to:


  significant under-performance relative to expected and/or historical results (negative comparable sales growth or operating cash flows for two consecutive years);
  significant negative industry or economic trends;
  knowledge of transactions involving the sale of similar property at amounts below the Company’s carrying value; or
  the Company’s expectation to dispose of long-lived assets before the end of their estimated useful lives, even though the assets do not meet the criteria to be classified as “Held for Sale.”


If circumstances require a long-lived asset or asset group be tested for possible impairment, the Company first compares undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by that asset or asset group to its carrying value. If the carrying value of the long-lived asset or asset group is not recoverable on an undiscounted cash flow basis, an impairment is recognized to the extent that the carrying value exceeds its fair value. Fair value is determined through various valuation techniques, including discounted cash flow models, quoted market values and third-party independent appraisals, as considered necessary.


During the three and nine month periods ended September 30, 2020 the Company determined that triggering events occurred related to the COVID-19 outbreak requiring management to review the Company’s long-lived assets for impairment. Based on the analysis performed, management determined impairment indicators existed related to the Company’s tradename/trademark intangible asset, property and equipment and operating lease assets. See Notes 5,6 and 11.




Goodwill, which is not subject to amortization, is evaluated for impairment annually as of the end of the Company’s year-end, or more frequently if an event occurs or circumstances change, such as material deterioration in performance or a significant number of store closures, that would indicate an impairment may exist. Goodwill is tested for impairment at a level of reporting referred to as a reporting unit. Management determined that the Company has one reporting unit.


As discussed in Note 1, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic. Due to the continued impact of this pandemic on the Company’s business, management has performed an updated impairment analysis of goodwill as of September 30, 2020.


When evaluating goodwill for impairment based on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company may first perform a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that a reporting unit is impaired. If we do not perform a qualitative assessment, or if we determine that it is not more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount, we perform a quantitative assessment and calculate the estimated fair value of the reporting unit. If the carrying amount of the reporting unit exceeds the estimated fair value, an impairment charge is recorded to reduce the carrying value to the estimated fair value. The Company’s decision to perform a qualitative impairment assessment is influenced by a number of factors, including the significance of the excess of the reporting unit’s estimated fair value over carrying value at the last quantitative assessment date, the amount of time in between quantitative fair value assessments, and the price of our common stock.


The Company performed a quantitative assessment and determined that goodwill was not impaired as of September 30, 2020 due to the excess fair value of the reporting unit over its carrying value based on the best judgement of management for the future of the unit and on information known at the time of the assessment. Step one of the impairment test is based upon a comparison of the carrying value of net assets, including goodwill balances, to the fair value of net assets. Fair value is measured using a discounted cash flow model approach. The Company reviewed and adjusted the revenues for the remaining portion of 2020, as well as adjusted the ongoing operating cost structure to reflect management’s best estimate of the performance of the Company for the remaining portion of 2020. Then, the Company reviewed the projected performance of the business into 2021 and beyond. Additionally, the Company evaluated the key input factors in the models used to determine whether a moderate change in any input factor or combination of factors would significantly change the results of the tests. As a result of this impairment test the Company determined that the fair value of the reporting unit over book value was in excess of $8.6 million at September 30, 2020.

Intangible Assets



Trade Name/Trademark


The fair value of trade name/trademarks are estimated and compared to the carrying value. The Company estimates the fair value of trademarks using the relief-from-royalty method, which requires assumptions related to projected sales from its annual long-range plan; assumed royalty rates that could be payable if the Company did not own the trademarks; and a discount rate. Certain of the Company’s trade name/trademarks have been determined to have a definite-lived life and are being amortized on a straight-line basis over estimated useful lives of 10 years. The amortization expense of these definite-lived intangibles is included in depreciation and amortization in the Company’s condensed consolidated statement of operations and comprehensive loss. Certain of the Company’s trade name/trademarks have been classified as indefinite-lived intangible assets and are not amortized, but instead are reviewed for impairment at least annually or more frequently if indicators of impairment exist.


As discussed in Note 1, in March 2020, the World Health Organization declared coronavirus COVID-19 a global pandemic. Due to the continued impact of this pandemic on the Company’s business, management has performed an updated impairment analysis of its tradename/trademarks as of September 30, 2020 and determined that the carrying value of the asset was impaired (see Note 6). The determination was based on the best judgment of management for the future of the asset and on information known at the time of the assessment.


Franchise Costs


Intangible assets are recorded for the initial franchise fees for our Hooter’s restaurants. The Company amortizes these amounts over a 20-year period, which is the life of the franchise agreement. The Company also has intangible assets representing the acquisition date fair value of customer contracts acquired in connection with BGR’s franchise business. The Company also amortizes these amounts over its estimated useful life of the related intangible asset and amortizes the related asset over the weighted average life of the underlying franchise agreements.

Income Taxes



Deferred income taxes are provided on the liability method whereby deferred tax assets are recognized for deductible temporary differences and operating loss and tax credit carryforwards and deferred tax liabilities are recognized for taxable temporary differences. Temporary differences are the differences between the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and their tax basis. Deferred tax assets are reduced by a valuation allowance when, in the opinion of management, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are adjusted for the effects of changes in tax laws and rates on the date of enactment.


In connection with the Merger and Spin-Off, Amergent performed an analysis of the existing net operating loss carryforwards of Chanticleer and, based on the rules of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”), has preliminarily determined that Amergent expects to have approximately $20,100,000 of net operating loss carryforwards available to the Company as of April 1, 2020 to offset future taxable income of the Company. Approximately $7,200,000 of the net operating loss carryforwards available will be limited by section 382 of the IRC. Management expects to complete its analysis of the net operating loss carryforward but does not expect a significant change in the amount of available net operating loss carryforwards. There were no other income tax implications to Amergent as a result of the Merger and Spin-off.


The Company has provided a valuation allowance for the full amount of the deferred tax assets in the accompanying condensed combined and consolidated financial statements.


As of September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company had no accrued interest or penalties relating to any income tax obligations. The Company currently has no federal or state examinations in progress, nor has it had any federal or state tax examinations since its inception. The last three years of the Company’s tax years are subject to federal and state tax examination.

Stock-based Compensation



The compensation cost relating to share-based payment transactions (including the cost of all employee stock options) is required to be recognized in the financial statements. That cost is measured based on the estimated fair value of the equity or liability instruments issued. A wide range of share-based compensation arrangements including share options, restricted share plans, performance-based awards, share appreciation rights and employee share purchase plans are included.

Loss Per Common Share



The Company computes net loss per share using the weighted-average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Basic and diluted net loss per share are the same because the conversion, exercise or issuance of all potential common stock equivalents, which comprise the entire amount of the Company’s outstanding warrants, as described in Note 9, and the potential conversion of the convertible debt, as described in Note 7, would be anti-dilutive.

Foreign Currency Translation



Assets and liabilities denominated in local currency are translated to U.S. dollars using the exchange rates as in effect at the balance sheet date. Results of operations are translated using average exchange rates prevailing throughout the period. Adjustments resulting from the process of translating foreign currency financial statements from functional currency into U.S. dollars are included in accumulated other comprehensive loss within stockholders’ equity. Foreign currency transaction gains and losses are included in current earnings. The Company has determined that local currency is the functional currency for each of its foreign operations.

Comprehensive Income (loss)



Standards for reporting and displaying comprehensive income (loss) and its components (revenues, expenses, gains and losses) in a full set of general-purpose financial statements requires that all items that are required to be recognized under accounting standards as components of comprehensive income (loss) be reported in a financial statement that is displayed with the same prominence as other financial statements. We are required to (a) classify items of other comprehensive income (loss) by their nature in financial statements, and (b) display the accumulated balance of other comprehensive income (loss) separately in the equity section of the balance sheet for all periods presented. Other comprehensive income (loss) represents foreign currency translation adjustments.

Recently Adopted Accounting Pronouncements



On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted ASU 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842),” along with related clarifications and improvements. This pronouncement requires lessees to recognize a liability for lease obligations, which represents the discounted obligation to make future lease payments, and a corresponding right-of-use asset on the balance sheet. The guidance requires disclosure of key information about leasing arrangements that is intended to give financial statement users the ability to assess the amount, timing, and potential uncertainty of cash flows related to leases. The Company elected the optional transition method to apply the standard as of the effective date and therefore, the Company has not applied the standard to the comparative period presented in its condensed consolidated financial statements.


The practical expedients elected in connection with the adoption of Leases Topic 842 were as follows:


    Implications as of January 1, 2019
Practical expedient package   The Company has not reassessed whether any expired or existing contracts are, or contain, leases.
    The Company has not reassessed the lease classification for any expired or existing leases.
    The Company has not reassessed initial direct costs for any expired or existing leases.
Hindsight practical expedient   The Company has not elected the hindsight practical expedient, which permits the use of hindsight when determining lease term and impairment of operating lease asset


Upon adoption of Leases (Topic 842), the Company recorded operating lease right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities and derecognized deferred rent liabilities (including unamortized tenant improvement allowances) and favorable/unfavorable lease assets and liabilities upon transition. Upon adoption, the Company recorded operating lease liabilities of approximately $22.1 million based on the present value of the remaining rental payments using discount rates as of the effective date. In addition, the Company recorded corresponding operating lease right-of-use assets of approximately $19.8 million, calculated as the initial amount of the Company’s operating lease liabilities adjusted for deferred rent (including unamortized tenant improvement allowances) and unamortized favorable/unfavorable lease assets and lease liabilities. As of September 30, 2020, the Company maintained an operating lease right-of-use assets of approximately $10.1 million, and operating lease liabilities (current and long-term) of approximately $16.7 million.


In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board “FASB” issued Accounting Standards Update “ASU” 2016-13, Financial Instruments – Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (“ASU 2016-13”). ASU 2016-13 requires companies to measure credit losses utilizing a methodology that reflects expected credit losses and requires a consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to inform credit loss estimates. The adoption of ASU 2016-13 on January 1, 2020 did not result in a material change to our consolidated and combined financial statements.


We reviewed all other recently issued accounting pronouncements and concluded that they were either not applicable or not expected to have a significant impact to the condensed consolidated and combined financial statements.