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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 […]

Steak ‘n Shake Freezes Menu Prices

Steak ‘n Shake Freezes Menu Prices

Steak ‘n Shake will announce today that it will not raise menu prices in 2016. The move comes as other chains have been hiking menu prices to cover rising labor and other operational costs, as well as to compensate for soft customer traffic. For example, Shake Shack this month took another menu price increase, following […]

Burger King Heats Value-Menu Competition

Burger King Heats Value-Menu Competition

Burger King kicks up the quick-service burger category’s value-menu “numbers game” another notch today with a new “5 for $4” deal. That takes on Wendy’s “4 for $4” meal, McDonald’s just-begun “McPick 2 for $2” and other burger chains’ promotions targeting consumers who can’t afford some of the new premium-price sandwiches being offered, such as […]

Are Menu Prices Rising Too Fast?

Are Menu Prices Rising Too Fast?

Is menu-price inflation contributing to stagnant customer traffic? Several top chains have reported small same-store sales increases largely because of higher menu pricing that increases average checks enough to offset slight declines in customer traffic. That’s working now but higher labor costs and greater technology investments may push restaurants to further raise prices in 2016. […]

The QSR Burger Price Ceiling Rises to $6

The QSR Burger Price Ceiling Rises to $6

Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s introduction this week of their $5.59 Steakhouse Thickburger makes official the demise of $5 as the burger price ceiling above which quick-service chains fear customers will not go. So $6 is the new $5, and even that line already has been crossed at least one chain. In 2001, Carl’s Jr. introduced the “Six […]

Pricing Lifts Red Robin Q3

Pricing Lifts Red Robin Q3

Higher menu prices helped Red Robin Gourmet Burgers report for Q3. The chain reported a 3.5% in same-store sales for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 4, 2015. That gain was comprised of a 3.6% increase in the average check (2.2% from price; 1.4% from menu mix shifts) offset by a 0.1% decline in customer traffic. […]

Has Carl’s Jr. Shattered the $5 Burger Ceiling?

Has Carl’s Jr. Shattered the $5 Burger Ceiling?

Carl’s Jr. tomorrow (May 20) introduces its Most American Thickburger and most eyes will be on TV spokesmodel Samantha Hoopes or the burger’s unusual combination of a third-pound Angus beef patty topped with a split hot dog and potato chips. But what quick-service restaurant operators see is a test of consumer resistance to higher pricing. […]

Qdoba’s Gamble on All-Inclusive Pricing

Qdoba’s Gamble on All-Inclusive Pricing

How do you set your brand apart in a tough, competitive marketplace? Mexican fast-casual chain Qdoba is finding that the concept “No charge” can help. It’s a discovery from which burger concepts that charge for add-ons also can learn. Last month, the chain, owned by Jack in the Box, announced a new simplified pricing structure. […]

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