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BJS RESTAURANTS INC filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2012
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operating problems related to one or more of our restaurants, could adversely affect sales for all of our restaurants and make our brand and menu offerings less appealing to consumers. If our restaurant guests or team members become ill from food-borne illnesses, we could be forced to temporarily close the affected restaurants.

Our brewing operations are subject to certain hazards and liability risks faced by all brewers, such as potential contamination of ingredients or products by bacteria or other external agents that may be wrongfully or accidentally introduced into products or packaging. While we have not experienced any serious contamination problem in our products, the occurrence of such a problem could result in a costly product recall and serious damage to our reputation for product quality, as well as claims for product liability.

Our operations are susceptible to changes in our food, energy and supply costs, which could adversely affect our profitability, and our costs to open new restaurants are susceptible to many commodity costs including copper, steel and lumber which could adversely affect our return on investment profiles.

Our profitability depends, in part, on our ability to anticipate and react to changes in food and supply costs. Our supply chain department negotiates prices for all of our ingredients and supplies through either contracts (with terms of one month up to one year, or longer in a few cases), spot market purchases or commodity pricing formulas. Furthermore, various factors beyond our control, including adverse weather conditions and governmental regulations, could also cause our food and supply costs to increase. We cannot predict whether we will be able to anticipate and react to changing food and supply costs by adjusting our purchasing practices. A failure to do so could adversely affect our operating results or cash flows from operations. We also have a single or a limited number of suppliers for certain of our commodity and supply items. Accordingly, supply chain risk could increase our costs and limit the availability of some products that are critical to our restaurant and brewing operations.

The overall cost environment for food commodities in general has and may continue to be volatile primarily due to domestic and worldwide agricultural, supply/demand and other macroeconomic factors that are outside of our control. Commodity prices for key agricultural commodities such as corn, wheat, and soybeans have been extremely volatile. The availabilities and prices of food commodities are also influenced by increased energy prices, animal-related diseases, natural disasters, increased geo-political tensions, the relationship of the dollar to other currencies, and other issues. Virtually all commodities purchased and used in the restaurant industry—meats, grains, oils, dairy products, and energy — have varying amounts of inherent price volatility associated with them. Our suppliers also may be affected by higher costs to produce and transport commodities used in our restaurants and breweries, higher minimum wage and benefit costs, and other expenses that they pass through to their customers, which could result in higher costs for goods and services supplied to us. While we attempt to manage these factors by offering a diversified menu and by contracting for our key commodities for extended periods of time whenever feasible and possible, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in this respect due to the many factors that are outside of our control. In addition, raw materials that we may purchase on the international market are subject to fluctuations in both the value of the U.S. dollar and increases in local demand, which may increase our costs and negatively impact our profitability.

Our restaurant-level operating margins are also affected by fluctuations in the availability and cost of utilities services, such as electricity and natural gas. Interruptions in the availability of gas, electric, water or other utilities, whether due to aging infrastructure, weather conditions, fire, animal damage, trees, digging accidents or other reasons largely out of our control, may adversely affect our operations. In addition, weather patterns in recent years have resulted in lower than normal levels of rainfall in certain areas that could produce droughts in key states such as California, thus impacting the price of water and the corresponding prices of commodities grown in states facing drought conditions. There is no assurance that we will be able to maintain our utility and commodity costs at levels that do not have a material adverse effect on our operations.