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Restaurant companies like McDonald’s, Yum Brands, Shake Shack respond to coronavirus with closures, layoffs, other business updates

Nation’s Restaurant News rounds up the latest business updates from the largest restaurant chains

The coronavirus pandemic has caused massive disruption in the restaurant industry, forcing public restaurant companies to pull back on previous guidance and give cautious updates on the most recent quarter.

Results so far have been a mixed bag of bad news, for the most part, as restaurants across the country were forced to close their dining rooms and offer only takeout, delivery or curbside pickup. Many restaurants have closed entirely — hopefully temporarily.

Restaurant companies known for delivery, like Domino’s and Papa John’s, saw same-store-sales gains in the first quarter, including the month of March.

Meanwhile, fast-casual burger chain Shake Shack saw sales drop by 29% as it shifted to delivery; Yum Brands, known for quick-service chains like Taco Bell and KFC, closed over 1,000 Pizza Hut Express units in March.

Darden Restaurants, which expanded its sick leave policy to include 180,000 hourly workers, reported same-store-sales were down 60% in its casual-dining restaurants including Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse.

Cheesecake Factory, which last week sent a letter to landlords informing them that the brand may not pay April rent in some locations, furloughed 41,000 workers. 

In the following gallery, Nation’s Restaurant News has rounded up the largest companies’ financial information as released to the public, including how much each company or restaurant group has borrowed for liquidity, and same-store-sales, if reported. Additionally, we’re tracking the total layoffs and unit closures.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct misinformation about Darden and provide more clarity.


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