Coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurant dining rooms began to take hold in the United States in mid-March, when most companies were approaching the end of a financial quarter. As a result, quarterly results for most restaurants were only down slightly, if at all. But as days stretched into weeks where consumers couldn’t dine-in, same-store sales numbers quickly became stark — and clear winners and losers began to emerge.
Brands with strong pre-existing off-premise programs thrived in a world where dine-in was forbidden, with Wingstop seeing growth and Papa John’s recording its best month ever in April. Popeyes, running on the strength of last year’s popular chicken sandwich, also posted double-digit gains in the last quarter.
Even as quick service seemed to come out ahead of other segments, QSR chains reliant on the breakfast and late-night dayparts, such as McDonald’s, Dunkin’ and Taco Bell, saw declines as consumers were forced to stay home.
Meanwhile, casual-dining chains, traditionally reliant on their dining rooms, saw sharp drops in same-store sales. Dine Brands, Brinker and Darden all posted double-digit negative numbers for the current quarter so far, as the first two said they were preparing to reopen dining rooms as soon as allowed in various states.
Click through to see how 24 restaurant companies fared in their most recent quarters, how the current quarter is looking so far, and how they are preparing for a post-pandemic world.
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