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Four Quarterly Reports & Two Mergers

Four Quarterly Reports & Two Mergers

◊ Shake Shack is doing so well it can tell competitors what its next pitch will be and dare them to hit it.◊ CEO Randy Garutti told analysts (and everyone listening in) Shake Shack will deliver a double promotion in Q1 of 2017: a new BBQ ShackMeister burger and a BBQ Chick’n Shack sandwich with a […]

Gimmicks Lose Appeal as BK Sales Dip

Gimmicks Lose Appeal as BK Sales Dip

Burger King may have gone to the well too often. US/Canada same-store sales were negative (-0.5%) as Cheetos Chicken Fries—playing off its Chicken Fries and Mac ‘n Cheetos items—failed to draw a crowd. Daniel Schwartz, CEO of Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), cited undeniable “industry softness” for the decline, an explanation that loses some persuasiveness […]

Pricing, Promotions Push McD’s Growth

Pricing, Promotions Push McD’s Growth

A rich mix of ingredients—higher menu prices, lower commodity costs, continued customer enthusiasm for All Day Breakfast and McPick 2—combined to produce Q3 results for McDonald’s Corp. that exceeded the predictions of The Street and the brand’s doubters. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2016, global comparable sales increased 3.5%, with U.S. same-store sales up […]

Shake Shack: Burger Business Outlier

Shake Shack: Burger Business Outlier

Shake Shack continues to swim against the current in a difficult economy. Its comp sales are up nicely; it’s opening stores globally; existing stores are averaging $102,000 a week, evenly split between lunch and dinner; and it can succeed with LTOs priced at nearly $7 and thinks they could go higher. For its Q2, ended […]

Wendy’s Ponders ‘Appropriate’ Pricing

Wendy’s Ponders ‘Appropriate’ Pricing

Emil Brolick, who retired as Wendy’s CEO in May, used to give wonderful, thoughtful mini-lectures on industry issues occasionally during earnings calls. In February, I called his report a “QSR Tutorial.” I’m pleased that his successor, Todd A. Penegor, is maintaining that style. Wendy’s Q2 reported included weak same-store sales—0.4%–but some gains, including a boost […]

Hot Dogs, Mac n’ Cheetos Take BK Down

Hot Dogs, Mac n’ Cheetos Take BK Down

Restaurant Brands International CEO Daniel Schwartz wanted to talk about its very exciting Tim Hortons development deal in The Philippines rather than the very disappointing Q2 performance of its larger brand’s largest market. For the three months ended June 30, 2016, Burger King’s same-store sales in the U.S. & Canada declined to -0.8%, compared with […]

Sonic: There’s an Industry Slowdown

Sonic: There’s an Industry Slowdown

Sonic Drive-In Chairman-CEO Cliff Hudson and EVP-CFO Claudia San Pedro voiced what many have believed for some times: The burger segment, if not the whole restaurant industry, is mired in a slowdown. For the quarter ended May 31, 2016, Sonic reported a 2% increase in same-store sales (a 2.1% increase at franchise drive-ins and an […]

Customer Loss Cripples Red Robin Q1

Customer Loss Cripples Red Robin Q1

The new advertising agency handling Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews has its work cut out. The burger chain says it has selected that agency, succeeding Vitro, but wouldn’t share the name during today’s Q1 earnings call. Instead, Red Robin CEO Steve Carley and President Denny Marie Post, outlined the chain’s marketplace problems that caused […]

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