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Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen saw strong same-store increases in the third week of May, parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. reported.

Popeyes’ same-store sales up more than 40% in third week of May

Parent RBI says metric was negative for its Burger King and Tim Horton’s brands

Same-store sales at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen trended up more than 40% in the third full week of May as compared to last year, parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. said in federal filings Thursday.

The Toronto-based quick-service company, which also owns the Burger King and Tim Hortons brands, provided the same-store sales in a business update filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as the company reopened restaurants in many markets as coronavirus restrictions eased.

Earlier in May, RBI said that despite stay-at-home coronavirus orders broadly affecting U.S. restaurants in March, Popeyes posted same-store sales growth of 29.2% in the market during the first quarter.

Despite Popeyes’ strong performance in the third week of May, RBI said its Tim Hortons Canada same-store sales were trending in the negative mid-20s, but up from the negative mid-40s in the second half of March, and its Burger King units in the United States were trending in negative mid-single digits, up from the negative low-30s in the second half of March.

“Sequential improvement in comparable sales in our home markets has primarily been driven by the continued strength of our safe and convenient drive-thrus; the acceleration of our digital platforms, particularly in home delivery; growth in group orders and family bundles as an attractive and affordable dining option; and an overall improvement in guest perception of how our restaurant brands have positively responded to this crisis,” the company said.

The company also noted its monthly same-store sales were calculated with the exclusion of any restaurant closed for a significant portion of a month.

RBI said “substantially all of our restaurants in our home markets remain open.” In other markets, the company said about 60% of its restaurants were open in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, more than 85% of units were open in the Asia Pacific region (including 98% of restaurants in China) and about 50% of restaurants were open in Latin America.

“Many of our restaurants continue to operate with limited services modes,” the company filing said, “however, we are in the process of fully reopening restaurants where appropriate with extensive safety precautions and in accordance with local and government guidance. We expect to continue our reopening process very carefully and with guest and team member safety as our top priority.”

For the first quarter ended March 31, RBI posted net income of $224 million, or 48 cents a share, compared to $246 million, or 53 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenues were down 3.2% to $1.22 billion from $1.27 billion in the prior-year quarter.

As of March 31, Restaurant Brands had more than 27,000 restaurants in over 100 countries, including 18,848 Burger Kings, 3,336 Popeyes and 4,925 Tim Hortons.

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Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

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