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NRN editors discuss earnings season predictions and Starbucks’ pace in the industry

Plus, hear from Derrick Hayes, founder and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks


This week on the Extra Serving podcast, a product of Nation’s Restaurant News, NRN editors Holly Petre, Leigh Anne Zinsmeister, and Alicia Kelso spoke about what this quarterly earnings season could say about restaurants.

Now that it’s February, earnings season is upon us. Within the next week, some of the biggest brands and companies are set to report, including Brinker, McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Yum Brands. That’s the start of what’s sure to be a busy season, one that lapped a challenging Q4 2022, when winter storm Elliott ravaged sales. In Q4 2023, when Christmas fell on a Monday, giving restaurants an extra boost to finish out the year. The NRN editors talked about what we think may come out of this earnings season, and what we’re looking out for as brands continue to report.

Kicking off earnings season was Starbucks, which reported Tuesday night. The quick-service chain has been on a tear recently, seeing quarter after quarter of not only growth but record-breaking sales and profits. That all changed last quarter. In what is typically the brand’s best quarter, Starbucks saw sales slow, and the comparable sales increases were mostly due to menu price increases. We saw the less than stellar turnout for Red Cup Day last year, but the quarter also held Pumpkin Spice season, usually a boon for Starbucks’ business. Starbucks, however, partially blamed its sales downturn on the Israel-Palestine conflict and the subsequent protests against the stores from both sides. Does this finally mean Starbucks is losing market share to smaller chains?

This week’s interview is with Derrick Hayes, founder and CEO Of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks.


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