Fast-casual restaurant company Rave Restaurant Group reported a total same-store sales decrease of 2% for the fourth quarter ended June 27, breaking down to a 1% decrease at Pizza Inn and a 6.2% decrease at Pie Five.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. reported a same-store sales decrease of 6.8% for the fourth quarter ended July 30 when compared to the same quarter in 2019. CEO Sandra Cochran pointed to a sluggish summer travel season impacted by the delta variant as a major proponent of the results, as well as staffing challenges and customer preference for pricier special occasion dining over family dining occasions.
Eatertainment chain Dave & Buster’s reported a same-store sales increase of 3.6% over 2019 for the second quarter ended August 1. It was a record-breaking quarter featuring the company’s highest-ever revenues of $378 million, driven by the now fully-opened roster of stores and increased traffic.
Darden Restaurants Inc. reported same-store sales increases of 84.6% for its fine-dining brands, 37.1% at casual-dining Olive Garden and 47% at casual-dining LongHorn Steakhouse for the first quarter ended Aug. 29. CEO Gene Lee said that Sunday sales in particular increased markedly in recent months.
Domino’s Inc. reported a same-store sales decrease of 1.9% for the third quarter, ending its positive same-store sales streak of over a decade. CEO Ritch Allison attributed the loss to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and growing labor struggles, saying the company has introduced wage increases to corporate-owned units.
Del Taco reported same-store sales growth of 1.8% systemwide for the third quarter ended Sept. 7. CEO John D. Cappasola credited the launch of Crispy Chicken and product innovation including Double Cheese Breakfast Tacos and Stuffed Quesadilla Tacos, as well as the brand’s new loyalty app.
Wingstop reported a same-store sales increase of 3.9% at domestic units over 2020 and 29.3% over 2019 for the third quarter ended Sept. 25. CEO Charlie Morrison said the chain was retaining its digital mix and growing delivery sales, which were 27.2% in the quarter, about three percentage points higher than a year ago. Those digital sales also carry a check average about $5 higher than other transactions, he noted.
Ruth’s Chris reported a same-store sales increase of 66.8% over 2020 and 7.6% over 2019 for the third quarter ended Sept. 26. The company said “historically high” beef costs — CFO Kristy Chipman said prices were up 65% over last year — and inflation were pressuring menu prices, with a hike planned for November.
Bloomin’ Brands reported companywide same-store sales increases of 9.5% over 2019 and 25.5% over 2020 for the third quarter ended Sept. 26, with the following breakdown across its brands: Outback was up 6% over 2019 and 18.3% over 2020; Carrabba’s up 17.1% over 2019 and 28.8% over 2020; Bonefish up 5.7% over 2019 and 36.6% over 2020; and Flemings up 28% over 2019 and 59.6% over 2020. The casual-dining company said it was holding on to its off-premises sales even as customers cautiously returned to dining in.
First Watch reported a same-store sales increase of 46.2% compared to 2020 and 19.7% compared to 2019 for the third quarter ended Sept. 26. The breakfast-brunch brand was staving off price hikes in favor of growing traffic, which was up 40.1% compared to 2020 and 4.8% compared to 2019, according to CEO Chris Tomasso. The chain was also expanding its alcohol program to more restaurants.
BJ’s Restaurants Inc. reported same-store sales gains of 41.8% over 2020 and declines of 0.5% from 2019 for the third quarter ended Sept. 28. The company said in October that it was converting from QR codes back to physical menus, which CEO Greg Levin results in average checks rising by 70 cents.
Noodles & Company reported a 16.3% same-store sales increase for the third quarter ended Sept. 28, citing pasta innovation — particularly its tortelloni, introduced in June — and a healthy digital sales mix. The fast-causal chain was initiating its second price increase in three months in response to inflation and supply changes.
Texas Roadhouse reported a same-store sales increase of 30.2% from 2020 and 22.3% from 2019 at company-owned U.S. units, with even higher numbers at franchised restaurants, for the third quarter ended Sept. 28. The company said commodity costs were up 10% in the same period, and hiked its prices 4.2% in mid-October in response.
Denny’s Corp. reported a systemwide same-store sales decline of 0.1% for the third quarter ended Sept. 29 compared to the same period of 2019, including a 0.3% decrease at domestic franchised restaurants and a 1.9% increase at company-owned restaurants. The company said in early November it was investing in kitchen equipment to expand its daypart menus, a $65 million undertaking with a goal of completing it by the end of 2022.
For the first quarter ended Sept. 29, Brinker reported a same-store sales increase of 5.5% on a two-year basis, with an increase of 6.5% at Chili’s and a decline of 0.9% at Maggiano’s. The company was continuing to see tight-labor hotspots, especially in the Midwest, as executives cited some recruitment difficulties but expressed optimism for holiday staffing.
El Pollo Loco reported systemwide same-store sales increase of 9.3% for the third quarter ended Sept. 29, with growth of 11.9% on a two-year basis.
Shake Shack reported a same-store sales increase of 24.8% for the third quarter ended Sept. 29. In early November, the company said it was investing in a variety of store formats, with its first drive-thru unit of at least 10 planned set to open soon. The chain is also testing a tipping option at two units.
Restaurant Brands International reported U.S. same-store sales declines of 1.6% at Burger King and 4.5% at Popeyes for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. CEO José Cil said the decline at Burger King was the result of the brand doing away with paper coupons, as well as an underperformance of value offerings.
Chipotle reported a same-store sales increase of 15.1% for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 as digital sales stayed strong despite the return of dine-in guests. Recent menu price increases helped the company protect margins, and officials said in October they were considering further hikes.
Yum Brands reported domestic same-store sales growth of 13% at KFC and 8% at Pizza Hut and Taco Bell on a two-year basis for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. The company opened a record 760 units in the quarter, a 4% growth rate. CEO David Gibbs said momentum was primarily driven by digital sales growth, which retained 40% of sales mix, with 80% of restaurants offering delivery.
Dine Brands Global reported a domestic same-store sales increase of 12.5% over 2019 and 27.7% over 2020 for Applebee’s, and a 0.4% decline from 2019 and a 40.1% increase from 2020 for IHOP. Its third quarter ended Sept. 30. In early November, franchise operator Sun Holdings acquired 131 Applebee’s units, following its IHOP purchase last year.
Starbucks reported a same-store sales increase of 11% over pre-COVID levels for the fourth quarter ended Oct. 3. The company said its performance was driven by its U.S. division, as international sales crept up 3% in comparison, partially offset by a decline in average ticket and a resurgence of COVID-19 in China. In late October, Starbucks also announced it would be raising hourly pay for the third time in just over a year, with average hourly pay reaching $17 an hour by summer 2022.
Red Robin reported a same-store sales increase of 34.3% for the third quarter ended Oct. 3, and a 0.6% increase compared to the same period in 2019. The casual-dining chain was planning to add Donatos pizza to 38 more locations in the coming quarter.
Portillo’s, which started trading as a public company in October, posted same-store sales increases of 6.8% in the third quarter ended Sept. 26, largely attributed to an increase in check average.