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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 […]

Cowen Sees ‘Arms Race to the Bottom’

Cowen Sees ‘Arms Race to the Bottom’

Quick-service restaurants’ continuing focus on aggressive discounting is an “unhealthy industry dynamic” that could bring future problems, according to a late-June report from financial-services firm Cowen and Company. Cowen analyzed Facebook posts from January 2015 through May 2016 for eight top QSRs: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Subway, Taco Bell and […]

NPD: Discounting Not Increasing Visits

NPD: Discounting Not Increasing Visits

Consumer restaurant traffic was flat in Q1, but restaurant visits on deal were up twice that rate overall and up 3% for quick-service restaurants, according to The NPD Group. A significant driver in that “deal” traffic has been the discount competition among QSR burger chains, especially McDonald’s heavily marketed McPick 2 for $2 or $5, […]

Burger Deals Escalate; Is BK’s a Value?

Burger Deals Escalate; Is BK’s a Value?

Yesterday’s post spotlighted the accelerating discounting competition among burger chains. Burger King’s introduced a “2 for $10 Whopper Meal” deal and Sonic added a new $5 Boom Box meal bundle to compete with similar “value deals” from McDonald, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr., Checkers and others. But yesterday had barely begun before several interesting reactions occurred. One […]

BK’s 2 for $10; The Counter’s New Menu

BK’s 2 for $10; The Counter’s New Menu

Burger King today responded to McDonald’s “McPick 2 for $5” with a new set of numbers to the burger-chain discount game. Its new “2 for $10 Whopper Meal” deal offers two quarter-pound Whopper burgers, two small fries and two small drinks for one bundled price. But will consumers see two three-item meals as better than […]

McD’s Operators Applaud Move to 2 for $5

McD’s Operators Applaud Move to 2 for $5

McDonald’s is doing well enough that Nomura analyst Mark Kalinowski increased to 4.6% from 3.8% his Q1 U.S. same-store sales forecast for the chain. First quarter results will be announced on Friday. While not quite as strong as the 5.7% comp-sales gain in 2015’s Q4, 4.6% would signal that McDonald’s recovery is continuing. But it’s […]

Jack, Taco Bell Turn Up Discount Heat

Jack, Taco Bell Turn Up Discount Heat

Jack in the Box is making good on its promise to be a more aggressive discounter. Merrill Lynch restaurant analyst David Silvati reports that the chain last week launched a $3.99 Jumbo Jack bundled meal with the burger, two tacos, fries and drink in 40% of its markets. In the other 60% it has bundled […]

McDonald’s Breakfasts on Strong Q4 Sales

McDonald’s Breakfasts on Strong Q4 Sales

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook avoided the Dubya pitfall and refused to prematurely declare victory. He also resisted the temptation to gloat despite a year’s worth of snarky headlines doubting a turnaround and even Wall Street’s wary consensus expectation of only a 2.7% Q4 same-sales gain. In fact, McDonald’s delivered a 5.7% U.S. increase in Q4 […]

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