OVERLAND PARK Kan. Citing more severe winter weather this year than last, Applebee's International Inc. reported a 4-percent drop in domestic systemwide same-store sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 25. Same-store sales decreased 3.9 percent at domestic franchised restaurants and fell 4.3 percent at corporate restaurants.
Applebee's said guest traffic at its corporate locations declined between 5.5 percent and 6 percent from year earlier levels, matching the same negative traffic trends experienced last summer when gas prices hit record highs and consumers spent little of their reduced disposable income at casual-dining restaurants. February's severe winter weather, experienced throughout the Midwest and Northeast, negatively affected systemwide comparable sales by as much as 2 percent, Applebee's reported.
For the eight weeks ended Feb. 25, systemwide domestic same-store sales decreased 4.9 percent, with corporate units and domestic franchised restaurants reporting drops of 5.4 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Applebee's operates or franchises a system of 1,942 namesake units.