Recent Posts

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: Burger Sector Avg. Check Re-Accelerates in November

November 2021 was the 8th 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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7:00 AM

Restaurant Stocks: Potential Implications from Valuation

We have looked at several restaurant stocks’ historical valuations over 2015-19 (leaving out 2020 due to that year’s highly unusual nature), and examined what these valuations may imply about the future for these stocks. (We have never viewed valuation as the be-all and end-all of investing, but it is one of several tools in our analyst kit.) We examined the 2015-19 historical enterprise value-to-EBITDA valuations for these stocks — specifically, the average valuation over this […]

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7:00 AM

Burger Sector: What Same-Store Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes

Recently, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King (owned by Restaurant Brands International [QSR; Not Rated]) all reported their Q3 2021 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2021 — relate to these three concepts’ average unit volumes (AUVs). We further discuss what this means for the companies, and their stocks. For Q3 2021, U.S. same-store sales rose by +9.6% for McDonald’s, and by +2.1% […]

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7:00 AM

Which Restaurant Stocks are Most Below their 52-Week Highs? (11/19/2021)

Sometimes, relative bargains can be unearthed when looking at a group of stocks, and comparing their current prices with these stocks’ 52-week highs. We looked at 34 restaurant stocks’ closing prices as of this past Friday (November 19th), and we believe that at some point there will be an inflection favoring full-service names. If full-service stocks continue to decline in the near term, there may come a time in the near-to-medium term when some really […]

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7:15 AM

Restaurants’ Market Share Gains Slowing Down a Bit

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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9:01 AM

CMG: Kalinowski Equity Research Initiates Coverage of Chipotle Mexican Grill

Amongst the positives and opportunities for Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) are its great-tasting food that is responsibly sourced, (2) its speedy service, (3) Chipotle’s status as the largest concept in the fastest-growing major segment (fast-casual) of the U.S. restaurant industry, (4) the company’s growing use of “Chipotlanes,” units with drive-thrus that feature a Chipotle take on that method of service, (5) Chipotle’s digital capabilities, which are amongst the very best in the restaurant industry (and […]

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4:10 PM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index for October 2021 Steady as She Goes

Earlier today (Thursday, November 11th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for October 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +6.0%, with two-year traffic off by -6.4%. The +6.0% figure is very close to the September 2021 two-year figure of +6.1%. Since the October 2020 BlackBox Index was down by -7.5%, the two-year figure for October 2021 of +6.0% implies that the one-year October […]

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1:29 PM

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: Average Check Takes a Slight Step Back in October

October 2021 was the seventh 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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7:00 AM

Restaurants’ Market Share Expands in Q3 at the Expense of 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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9:01 AM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index for September 2021 Similar to that of August 2021

Earlier today (Thursday, October 14th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for September 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +6.1%, with two-year traffic off by -5.3%. The +6.1% figure matches the August 2021 two-year figure of +6.1%. Since the September 2020 BlackBox Index was down by -8.1%, the two-year figure for September 2021 of +6.1% implies that the one-year September 2021 number would […]

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2:43 PM

Updating Our Q3E Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q2E to +16.0%. On a two-year basis, this is approximately +13.7%. The U.S. chain restaurant business is coming back strong sales-wise, although we’d caution that there is a broad range of performances on both a one-year and a two-year basis when looking at individual concepts. In addition, while the +13.7% two-year number is the second-best quarter for the Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index in […]

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q3E to +6.3%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +4.1% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q3E is at +10.7%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and September. One reason for the solid one-year and two-year performance from the Quick-Service […]

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7:00 AM

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: More Good News on the Average Check Front

September 2021 was the sixth 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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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q3E to +6.0%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +7.2% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q3E is at +13.7%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early-to-mid September. As a reminder, we define “quick-service other” as all quick-service, excluding […]

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q3E to +2.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +14.4% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q2E is at +17.5%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early-to-mid September. We believe that the carryout/delivery parts of the quick-service pizza sector […]

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q3E to +12.2%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +5.2% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q3E is at +18.0%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early-to-mid September. One reason for the very good one-year and two-year performance from the Fast-Casual […]

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Fine Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fine Dining Index for Q3E to +73.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -33.2% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Fine Dining Index for Q2E is at +16.1%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early-to-mid September. While fine dining same-store sales typically lagged those of most other […]

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3E Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q3E to +36.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -18.7% number from Q3 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q3E is at +11.1%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and early-to-mid September. Keep in mind, individual performance can vary wildly on a concept-by-concept […]

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7:00 AM

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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9:04 AM

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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7:00 AM

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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7:00 AM

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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1:40 PM

Which Restaurant Stocks are Most Below their 52-Week Highs? (8/31/2021)

Sometimes, relative bargains can be unearthed when looking at a group of stocks, and comparing their current prices with these stocks’ 52-week highs. For example, Papa John’s (PZZA; Buy, $127.53), Domino’s (DPZ; Buy, $516.89), and Wendy’s (WEN; Buy, $23.02) were all -21% or more below their 52-week highs as of March 5, 2021, and each of these has appreciated nicely in the (approximate) six months since that time. In those six months, PZZA rose by […]

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7:00 AM

U.S. Restaurants Could Set Market-Share All-Time High in 2022

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 2019 — the last full-year before the pandemic — U.S. Food Services and Drinking Places (think: primarily restaurants) […]

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9:34 AM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index Shows Best Two-Year Number in Many Years, But…

Earlier today (Thursday, August 12th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for July 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +8.1%, with two-year traffic off by -3.7%. Our monthly two-year data for the BlackBox Index goes back to December 2013 — over 90 months — and this +8.1% showing is the best monthly two-year number over this time period. This +8.1% figure is about […]

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10:48 AM

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: 2-Year Average Check Gains Remain Elevated in July

July 2021 was the fourth 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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5:05 PM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index a Little Stronger in June 2021

Earlier today (Thursday, July 15th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of same-store sales for June 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +6.6%, with two-year traffic off by -4.2%. This +6.6% figure is about +120 basis points sequentially better than the +5.4% two-year number from May 2021. Since the June 2020 BlackBox Index was down by -18.7%, the two-year figure for June 2021 of +6.6% implies […]

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2:27 PM

Updating Our Q2E Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q2E to +45.0%. On a two-year basis, this is approximately +12%. The U.S. chain restaurant business is coming back strong sales-wise, although we’d caution that there is a broad range of performances on both a one-year and a two-year basis when looking at individual concepts. For Q2 2021, the one-year numbers by segment are all in positive territory as follows:> Kalinowski Fine Dining […]

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8:12 PM

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: 2-Year Average Check Gain Remain Elevated in June

June 2021 was the third 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. To the extent two-year trends in average check don’t deteriorate all that much over the remainder of 2021, this could […]

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4:14 PM

Market-Share Dynamics for 2021-22 Favor Restaurants Over Grocery Stores

We look for the U.S. restaurant industry to win back additional market share over the next 12-18 months, and at some point it could even exceed the pre-pandemic market share it had of Americans’ food & beverage dollars. In 2019 — the last full-year before the pandemic — U.S. Food Services and Drinking Places (think: primarily restaurants) generated $773.8 billion in sales, according to U.S. Census data. Also in 2019, U.S. Grocery Stores generated $693.4 […]

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4:29 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q2E to +20.3%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -7.4% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q2E is at +11.4%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early-to-mid June. One reason for the robust one-year and two-year performance from the […]

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4:27 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q2E to +106.4%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -54.1% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q2E is at -5.3%. (These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early-to-mid June.) The negative two-year number for our Kalinowski Family Dining Index is […]

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5:09 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q2E to +0.9%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +14.1% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q2E is at +15.1%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early June. We believe that the carryout/delivery parts of the quick-service pizza sector […]

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5:00 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q2E to +97.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -42.3% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q2E is at +14.0%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early-to-mid June. Keep in mind, individual performance can vary wildly on a concept-by-concept […]

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5:20 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q2E to +11.3%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +1.5% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q2E is at +13.0%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early June. As a reminder, we define “quick-service other” as all quick-service, excluding […]

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8:19 AM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Fine Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fine Dining Index for Q2E to +204.0%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -64.3% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Fine Dining Index for Q2E is at +8.5%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early June. Fine dining same-store sales have typically lagged those of casual dining […]

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8:50 PM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index Rises on a Two-Year Basis for May 2021

Earlier today (Thursday, June 10th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of samestore sales for May 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +5.4%, with two-year traffic off by -5.3%. The +5.4% figure is about -140 basis points sequentially worse than the +6.8% twoyear number from April 2021. Since the May 2020 BlackBox Index was down by -39.5%, the two-year figure for May 2021 of +5.4% implies […]

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5:22 PM

Updating our Q2E Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q2E to +32.6%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -10.7% number from Q2 2020. On a two-year basis, the Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q2E is at +18.3%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early June. One reason for the very good one-year and two-year performance from the FastCasual […]

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9:05 PM

Quick-Service/Fast-Casual: 2-Year Average Check Gain Holds Mostly Steady in May

May 2021 was the second 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. To the extent two-year trends in average check don’t deteriorate all that much over the remainder of 2021, this could […]

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9:12 PM

Looking to Popeyes to Learn about Domino’s and Papa John’s

Over the last six months, have published multiple reports suggesting that to learn how Domino’s and Papa John’s might lap very challenging same-store sales comparisons over Q2 2021-Q1 2022, keep an eye on Popeyes — and how Popeyes is lapping its highly challenging same-store sales comparisons during Q4 2020-Q3 2021. Our bottom line remains that Domino’s and Papa John’s could end up lapping these tough numbers better than the Street anticipates. This report updates our […]

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9:19 PM

Pizza Sector: What Same-Store Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes

Recently, Domino’s, Pizza Hut (owned by Yum Brands [YUM; Neutral, $119.71]), and Papa John’s all reported their Q1 2021 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2021 — relate to these three concepts’ average unit volumes (AUVs). We further discuss what this means for the companies, and their stocks.

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12:31 PM

The Top 25 U.S. Restaurant Concepts of 2021 and 2022?

Given the upheaval going on in the domestic restaurant industry last year and so far this year, we thought it would be intriguing to take a look at what restaurant concepts might end up as the largest in the U.S. (based on U.S. systemwide sales) for both full-year 2021 and full-year 2022. What concepts would be relative winners? What concepts might find themselves sliding down in rank?

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12:33 PM

Burger Sector: What Same-Store Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes

Recently, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King (owned by Restaurant Brands International [QSR; Not Rated]) all reported their Q1 2021 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2021 — relate to these three concepts’ average unit volumes (AUVs). We further discuss what this means for the companies, and their stocks.

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12:39 PM

Restaurants: BlackBox Index Up on a Two-Year Basis for March 2021

Earlier today (Thursday, April 15th), we learned that the BlackBox Index of samestore sales for March 2021 — importantly, these data points are on a two-year basis — was up by +1.8%, with two-year traffic off by -9.4%. The +1.8% two-year number implies a one-year March 2021 figure of about +42%. This +42% figure is the first positive month for the BlackBox Index since February 2020’s +0.3%. We also calculate that two-year traffic is down […]

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5:42 PM

Updating our Q1E Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q1E to +7.1%. This is the first positive quarter since Q4 2019’s +4.2% showing. The Q1 2020/21 two-year number works out to +3.5%. (The Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index declined by -3.4% in Q1 2020, followed by its worst-ever performanceof -17.5% in Q2 2020.) For Q1 2021, all four of our limited-service (quick-service and fast-casual) indices are in positive territory, while all three of […]

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4:45 PM

Updating our Q1E Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q1E to +7.3%. This +7.3% figure reflects implicit monthly numbers of about +7% for January 2021 (helped by consumer spending driven by stimulus), flattish for February 2021 (reflecting a dwindling of the prior month’s stimulus benefits, and coupled with bad weather across a good chunk of the U.S. in mid-to-late February), and +23% for March (helped by more stimulus-related consumer spending, plus easy […]

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4:57 PM
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