Dave & Buster’s Entertainment reported a 35% same-store sales decline for the first quarter ended May 2, as compared with 2019. In June, the company was leaning into new menu items — 23 in total — and enhanced digital offerings, such as NFTs as prizes.
Darden Restaurants Inc. — parent to Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and other casual-dining brands — reported an overall same-store sales decline of 0.5% across all brands, compared with 2019, for the fourth quarter ended May 30. CEO Gene Lee credited the company’s technology investments related to smoothing off-premises sales, noting that consumer demand for convenience is “stickier than we originally thought.”
Domino’s Pizza reported that U.S. same-store sales were up 3.5% and international sales up by double digits year-over-year in the first quarter. This came despite what CEO Ritch Allison described as “one of the most difficult staffing environments we’ve seen,” which also slowed unit growth.
The Cheesecake Factory reported a same-store sales increase of 150% in the second quarter ended June 29 compared with 2020, and an increase of 7.8% compared with 2019. The company in July announced plans for a new rewards program to launch in 2022, as it said it has seen success driving sales and customer frequency with targeted marketing campaigns throughout the pandemic.
McDonald’s reported global same-store sales growth of 40.5% and U.S. same-store sales growth of 25.5% year-over-year for the second quarter ended June 30. The company attributes its recent success to its new chicken sandwich and a digital marketing initiative with K-pop band BTS.
Wingstop reported same-store sales growth of 2.1% for the second quarter ended June 26, building off record same-store sales growth of 39.1% in Q2 of 2020. The company said in late July that it expects elevated costs for bone-in chicken wings to prevail through the rest of 2021 and into 2022, and was looking at the possibility of larger and more frequent menu price increases in the second half, compared with one or two 1-2% adjustments Wingstop traditionally makes each year.
Yum Brands reported overall same-store sales growth of 4% on a two-year basis for the second quarter ended June 30, with that metric positive for all four brands (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and The Habit Burger Grill). CEO David Gibbs credited recent investments in technology, such as the acquisition of Kvantum and TicTuk and the more recent purchase of Dragontail Systems Limited, which is expected to close later this year.
Texas Roadhouse reported same-store sales growth of 21.3% at company restaurants and 19.4% at franchise restaurants as compared with 2019 for the second quarter ended June 29, though inflation challenges persist for the steakhouse chain.
Bloomin’ Brands reported overall same-store sales growth of 12.1% for the second quarter ended June 27 compared with 2019. CEO David Deno attributes the momentum to a mix of on- and off-premises growth, with the company having put delivery and digital marketing efforts in place long before the pandemic hit.
Restaurant Brands International reported the following same-store sales changes for its brands for the second quarter ended June 30: up 27.6% at Tim Hortons, up 18.2% at Burger King and down 0.3% at Popeyes. The company credits its growth to digital investments and menu innovation, and plans to focus on remodels, loyalty programs and digital menu board use going forward.
Noodles & Company reported same-store sales growth of 56.8% for the second quarter ended June 29. The company said digital sales remained high even as customers returned to dining rooms, and the chain benefitted from the successful rollout of its tortelloni line.
Denny’s reported systemwide same-store sales growth of 2.7% above 2019 levels for the second quarter ended June 30. CEO John Miller said the pandemic had placed a new value on consumer convenience and technology, with off-premises sales remaining strong for both the base and virtual brands.
Ruth’s Chris Hospitality reported same-store sales growth of 5% in the second quarter ended June 27. The company had been making “surgical” increases in menu prices, including a 2.5% hike in May, to offset pressures in commodities as it moves toward full capacity.
Wendy’s reported same-store sales growth of 16.1% in the United States for the second quarter ended July 4, with breakfast continuing to gain traction. The company and REEF technology have agreed to a deal that calls for 700 delivery kitchens over the next five years un the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.
Brinker International reported same-store sales numbers on a pre-pandemic 2019 comparison: up 5.1% systemwide, up 8.5% at Chili’s and down 17.5% at Maggiano’s. In August, the company said it had launched its second delivery-only virtual brand, Maggiano’s Italian Classics, from 250 restaurants.
Chipotle reported a same-store sales increase of 31.2% for the second quarter ended June 30, thriving on the return of the lunchtime diner. In July the brand set a goal of doubling in size to 6,000 units across North America.
Red Robin reported that same-store sales were up 66.3% over 2020 and down 2.4% from 2019 for the second quarter ended July 11. The casual-dining brand was banking on Donatos as a long-term growth driver, expecting pizza sales to reach $60 million annually by the end of this year.