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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

U.S. Market Share Trends Continue to Favor Restaurants Over Grocery Stores

We continue to look for the U.S. restaurant industry to win back additional market share over the next 12-18 months. Indeed, it’s looking much more likely that it’s just a matter of time that the market share for restaurants (versus grocery stores) will exceed the pre-pandemic market share it had of Americans’ food & beverage dollars. In addition, keep in mind that large restaurant concepts — and larger concepts tend to be the publicly-traded ones

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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q3E to +42.0%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -28.4% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q3E is at +1.7%. (These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early September.) At this point, we anticipate that the +1.7% figure will be

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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: 2-Year Average Check Gains Still Solid in August

August 2021 was the fifth full month in the U.S. to lap a year-ago month that was affected by the pandemic and related issues. How is average check changing in the U.S. quick-service and fast-casual segments given these recent dynamics? Our bottom line: average check is holding in better than expected for fast-casual and quick-service (and particularly so for the quick-service burger segment). To the extent two-year trends in average check don’t deteriorate all that

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Restaurant Industry
Mark Kalinowski

Restaurants: BlackBox Index Decelerates Somewhat in August

Earlier today (Thursday, September 9th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for August 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +6.1%, with two-year traffic off by -5.4%. The +6.1% figure — while clearly still in positive territory — nevertheless was below both June 2021’s +6.6% number and August 2021’s +8.1% showing. Since the August 2020 BlackBox Index was down by -12.3%, the two-year figure

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Cheesecake Factory (CAKE)
Mark Kalinowski

CAKE: Two Growing Opportunities for The Cheesecake Factory

There appear to be at least two growing opportunities for The Cheesecake Factory. First, ghost kitchens seem to be well-aligned with the goals of the company’s bakery business. Second, Europe represents an opportunity. We are likely getting closer than ever to the company’s opening (most probably via a licensed partner) of the first Cheesecake Factory restaurant in Europe. And even if this latter opportunity doesn’t happen any time soon, perhaps there have been some hints

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Wendy's (WEN)
Mark Kalinowski

WEN: Breakfast and “… Because That’s Where the Market Share is.”

Bank robber Willie Sutton reportedly replied — when asked why he robbed banks — “Because that’s where the money is.” Similarly, why is Wendy’s taking aim at privately-held Dunkin’ in its efforts to build its breakfast business? Because that’s where the market share is. In November 2019, we published a report entitled “WEN: What Concepts Might Wendy’s Take Breakfast Share from in 2020?” As part of that report, we noted how of the top 50

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