*Quarters ended closest to Sept. 30, 2019, or between Aug. 25 and Nov. 1, with 68 of 71 tracked chains or divisions reporting.
**Excludes Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen global results.
***Excludes dated Ruth’s Chris Steak House worldwide franchisee and Dave & Buster’s results.
* Corporate Texas Roadhouse locations, or 87% of U.S. system compared with 24 other NRN-tracked casual-dining systems or divisions
Papa John’s International Inc.’s North America division’s 1.0% growth in third-quarter systemwide same-store sales marked its first positive comps since founder and former chief executive John Schnatter’s controversial comments tied to race beginning in late 2017. Rob Lynch, CEO since August, cited the positive momentum from a “Better Day” advertising campaign with former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who is also a board member and franchisee, as well as the chain’s new garlic-Parmesan crust — its first variation in three decades. More food news is likely coming, he indicated, as “we’ve literally taken the guard rails off the innovation team.”
The Pie Five fast-casual pizza brand of Rave Restaurant Group Inc. suffered sequential and year-over-year same-store sales setbacks in its first quarter, ended Sept. 29, as comps dipped 12.2% compared with decreases of 7.3% and 1.8% in the previous and year-earlier quarters, respectively. The double-digit decline came a year after then-chief-executive Scott Crane, who left in July, shared, “We believe that Pie Five is turning a corner.” Brandon Solano, who was named CEO in October, noted that “Pie Five was a pioneer in the fast-casual pizza space” and said that “by reconnecting with consumers and tightly defining the key differentiators of the brand, we’re going to regain traction and turn the brand around.”