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McDonald's quarterly comps in the U.S. swing positive.

McDonald’s guest counts negative, but U.S. same-store sales swing positive in Q3

The Chicago-based burger chain releases a same-store sales update; average check growth contributed to a 4.6% comp increase

Though guest counts remain negative, McDonald’s Corp. reported a 4.6% increase in same-stores sales for its U.S. business, the chain announced Thursday in a business update. The results were primarily driven by average check growth from larger group orders, as well as stronger sales at dinner.

The company said prior investments in “smart tech for digital, delivery and drive thrus prepared us to adapt to customers’ changing needs” during the pandemic. Menu innovation in September, including the introduction of Spicy Chicken McNuggets & the Travis Scott meal, helped to drive sales in the last month of the quarter.

The Chicago-based chain told Nation’s Restaurant News that its Dynamic Yield menu boards are contributing to average check growth. The digital menu boards, installed at 11,000 of nearly 14,000 restaurants, automate upselling to customers.

“Our unique strengths, including our unrivaled drive-thru presence around the world, advanced delivery and digital capabilities, and marketing scale have become even more important during the pandemic.,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement. “Our prior investments in these areas position us to further our competitive advantage and enable restaurant crew to continue to safely provide customers our great-tasting food.”

For the third quarter ended Sept. 30,  global same-store sales declined 2.2%.

The company declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.29 per share of common stock payable on Dec. 15. It represents a 3% increase from the previous quarterly dividend, the company said.

“Today’s dividend increase reflects our strong financial position and represents continued confidence in our ability to drive profitable growth and long-term shareholder value while still investing in our people and the business,” Kempczinski said in a statement.

McDonald’s will release full third-quarter earnings Nov. 9.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected] 

Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven

Correction: October 08, 2019
This story was edited to correct a same-store sales figure.
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