Recent Posts

Burger Sector: What Same-Store Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes (5/23/2024)

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King (owned by Restaurant Brands International [QSR; Not Rated]) each recently reported their Q1 2024 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2024 — 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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7:00 AM

Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Index for Q1 2024 Shows Sluggishness

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q1 2024 to +1.3%. This is the lowest showing since Q4 2020’s -2.2% — and that quarter was hit in part by the pandemic. Looking at quarters not affected by the pandemic, we have to go back to Q4 2016’s weak +0.6% number to find a quarter as sluggish as Q1 2024 was. While some of this reflects adverse weather, particularly during January 2024, it could be a sign of challenging same-store sales in general for the rest of 2024, particularly if lower-income consumers remain more conservative in their restaurant spending than they were during 2023.

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7:03 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index (4/8/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q1 to +1.9%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -1.1% number from Q1 2020, the +13.0% figure from Q1 2021, the +2.3% number from Q1 2022, and the +11.0% result from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q1 2024 is at +29.3%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index (4/8/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q1 to +1.9%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -1.1% number from Q1 2020, the +13.0% figure from Q1 2021, the +2.3% number from Q1 2022, and the +11.0% result from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q1 2024 is at +29.3%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and March.

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7:00 AM

Chick-fil-A Sets a Spectacular New AUV Record for its Non-Satellite, Non-Mall Franchised Restaurants

We continue to hear that privately-held Chick-fil-A — the 3rd-largest U.S. restaurant concept — targets $10 million average unit volumes (AUVs) for its traditional (non-satellite, non-mall) restaurants. And, given the concept’s distinct advantages — such as great in-store technology — it is looking like that target might be met in the not-too-distant future.

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3:15 PM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index (4/2/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q1 to +0.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -0.3% number from Q1 2020, the +17.2% figure from Q1 2021, the -3.1% number from Q1 2022, and the +4.2% result from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q1 2024 is at +18.0%. Our +0.1% figure is based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index (3/28/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q1 to -1.0%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -15.7% number from Q1 2020, the -1.2% figure from Q1 2021, the +19.5% number from Q1 2022, and the +8.6% figure from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q1 2024 is at +6.9%. This is the lowest such number of any major U.S. restaurant industry segment. Our latest numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and early-to-mid March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index (3/27/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q1 to +4.2%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +1.6% figure from Q1 2020, +15.3% number from Q1 2021, the +7.7% figure from Q1 2022, and the +11.2% number from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q1 2024 is at +40.3%. This +40.3% figure is the best of any major restaurant sector. Our latest fast-casual numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and mid-March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index (3/20/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q1 to +1.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +5.4% number from Q1 2020, the +8.4% figure from Q1 2021, the +2.3% number from Q1 2022, and the +5.2% figure from Q1 2023. Comparing to Q1 2019 levels — a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q1 2024 is at +25.0%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and early-to-mid March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index (3/18/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q1 to -0.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -13.3% number from Q1 2020, the +9.8% figure from Q1 2021, the +18.9% figure from Q1 2022, and the +8.3% number from Q1 2023. On a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q1 is at +22.4%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and early-to-mid March.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q1 Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index (3/18/2024)

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q1 to -0.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -13.3% number from Q1 2020, the +9.8% figure from Q1 2021, the +18.9% figure from Q1 2022, and the +8.3% number from Q1 2023. On a five-year (pre-pandemic) basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q1 is at +22.4%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during January, February, and early-to-mid March.

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7:00 AM

Restaurant and Grocery Pricing Sequentially Decelerate Again in February

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +1.0% in February (sequentially down by -20 basis points from January’s +1.2%). This +1.0% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +4.5% year-over-year in February (sequentially down by -60 basis points from January’s +5.1%). This marks the 12th month in a row for which restaurant pricing is outpacing grocery/supermarket pricing.

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8:51 AM

Family Dining: Do Lower Gas Prices Help Same-Store Sales?

At times in the past, we have guessed that – generally speaking – when gas prices go down, all else equal, family-dining sector same-store sales are helped. (Correspondingly, we have also guessed that when gas prices go up, all else equal, family-dining sector same-store sales are hampered.) Our supposition has been that when low-income and middle-income folks have a little more money in their wallets when they’re paying less for gas, and that some of that extra money finds it way into the registers at family-dining restaurants. To what degree, if any, does data back up this assertion?

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7:00 AM

Restaurants: A Closer Look at California’s Fast Food Council and its Members

Late last year, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a revised version of Assembly Bill (AB) 1228. This act creates a so-called Fast Food Council that will have nine voting members on it. Our bottom line: as expected, the business-unfriendly members outnumber the business-friendly members. As such, expect the minimum wage for most quick-service and fast-casual employees in California to go up by +3.5% annually. This suggests that the minimum wage for these employees could get to at least $23.75 per hour as of January 1, 2029.

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10:34 AM

Restaurant and Grocery Pricing Sequentially Decelerate Slightly in January

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +1.2% in January (sequentially down by -10 basis points from December’s +1.3%). This +1.2% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +5.1% year-over-year in January (sequentially down by -10 basis points from December’s +5.2%). This marks the 11th month in a row for which restaurant pricing is outpacing grocery/supermarket pricing.

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9:10 AM

Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Lowest in Q4 2023 for Any Quarter in 2023

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q4 2023 to +3.7%. This is -130 basis points sequentially below the Q3 2023 figure of +5.0%. However, it’s nearly equal to the 35-quarter (Q1 2015-Q3 2023) median of +3.6%. With a lot of macro factors that greatly impacted 2020-23 same-store sales fading into the background (albeit not all of them), we may be back – finally! — to what might be considered “normal” same-store sales trends. We’ll see if 2024 plays out that way (or not).

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q4 to +0.6%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +10.7% number from Q4 2020, the +3.3% figure from Q4 2021, and the +1.9% number from Q4 2022. Comparing to Q4 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q4 2023 is at +17.3%. So, not only does the quick-service pizza have the second-lowest one-year same-store sales figure for Q4 2023 (ahead of only fine fining), it also has the second-lowest four-year number for Q4 2023 (ahead of only the family dining segment). Our +0.6% figure is based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and December.

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7:00 AM

Restaurant and Grocery Pricing Sequentially Decelerate in December

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +1.3% in December (sequentially down by -40 basis points from November’s +1.7%). This +1.3% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +5.2% year-over-year in December (sequentially down by -10 basis points from November’s +5.3%). This marks the 10th month in a row for which restaurant pricing is outpacing grocery/supermarket pricing, following no such months during all of 2022.

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9:02 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q4 to +3.5%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +1.2% number from Q4 2020, the +5.2% figure from Q4 2021, and the +6.3% number from Q4 2022. Comparing to Q4 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q4 2023 is at +17.1%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and December.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q4 to +6.4%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +3.3% figure from Q4 2020, +14.0% number from Q4 2021, and the +5.6% figure from Q4 2022. Comparing to Q4 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q4 2023 is at +32.2%. This +32.2% figure is one of the best of any major restaurant sector. Our latest fast-casual numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and December.

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7:00 AM

McDonald’s (MCD) and Yum Brands (YUM): A Simple Investment Strategy (Updated)

In the past, we’ve sometimes remarked to buysiders that it wouldn’t be a bad investment strategy — when choosing between large-cap restaurant stocks McDonald’s and Yum Brands — to simply pick the one with the more attractive (i.e., lower) valuation. In that frame of mind, we published a note examining this simply strategy back on January 8, 2023. With this note, we take an updated look at that approach as a possible simple investment strategy.

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10:30 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q4 to +2.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -18.9% number from Q4 2020, the +35.8% figure from Q4 2021, and the +6.3% figure from Q4 2022. On a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q4 is at +17.4%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and December.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q4 to +0.9%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -28.3% number from Q4 2020, the +37.4% figure from Q4 2021, and the +4.0% number from Q4 2022. Comparing to Q4 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q4 2023 is at +3.5%. This is the lowest such number of any major U.S. restaurant industry segment. Our latest numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and December.

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7:00 AM

Family Dining: Same-Store Traffic vs. Pre-Pandemic for IHOP and Denny’s

This report looks at same-store sales trends for multiple concepts in the family dining sector, breaking them down into their components (traffic and average check). We do this in large part to see how much traffic is down for some of the largest concepts in family dining, with this report specifically looking at IHOP (the largest U.S. family dining concept, with about $3.2 billion in 2022 domestic system sales) and Denny’s (tied with Cracker Barrel for being the 2nd-largest U.S. family dining concept with about $2.6 billion in 2022 domestic system sales). For more info:

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7:00 AM

Restaurants: Kalinowski Equity Research’s Top Stock Pick for 2024

Looking back to the end of 2009, and through the end of 12/27/23, the value of $10,000 invested in the Kalinowski top picks would now be worth $108,203 (a CAGR of about +18.5%). The value of $10,000 invested in the S&P 500 over that time would now be worth $61,776 (a CAGR of about +13.9%).

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7:00 AM

Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Index: Our Full Track Record

We began publishing our Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index – a same-store sales index with all components consisting of publicly-traded restaurant concepts, weighted by those concepts’ domestic system sales – back in mid-2018, starting with an index number for Q2 2023. As of this writing, through the end of Q3 2023, we have published 22 index numbers ahead of these components publicly reporting their same-store sales results. In that context, it’s a reasonable question to ask: how has our index performed over time, relative to the eventual, publicly-reported results for the components?

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q4 Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q4 to +4.5%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +4.7% number from Q4 2020, the +6.1% figure from Q4 2021, and the +8.7% number from Q4 2022. Comparing to Q4 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q4 2023 is at +26.2%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during October, November, and early-to-mid December.

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7:02 AM

Quick-Service Burger: Same-Store Traffic vs. Pre-Pandemic for MCD, WEN, and Burger King

This report looks at same-store sales trends for multiple concepts in the quick-service burger sector, breaking them down into their components (traffic and average check). We do this in large part to see how much traffic is down for some of the major concepts in the restaurant industry, with this report specifically looking at McDonald’s (the largest restaurant concept in the U.S.), Wendy’s (the 5th-largest restaurant concept in the U.S.), and Burger King (the 6th-largest restaurant concept in the U.S.).

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7:00 AM

China: Examining Same-Store Sales Correlations for Starbucks China and Yum China

This report examines historical same-store sales correlations between Starbucks China, Starbucks International, KFC China, Pizza Hut China, and Yum China. These correlations may be helpful in getting a sense of same-store sales trends for Starbucks China (on those occasions when Yum China reports its quarterly earnings before Starbucks does). These correlations may also be helpful in getting a sense for same-store sales trends for Yum China (on those occasions when Starbucks reports its quarterly earnings before Yum China does).

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7:00 AM

Restaurant and Grocery Pricing Both Decelerate, Tommy DeVito Celebrates with Cutlets

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +1.7% in November (sequentially down by -40 basis points from October’s +2.1%). This +1.7% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +5.3% year-over-year in November (sequentially down by -10 basis points from October’s +5.4%). This marks the 9th month in a row for which restaurant pricing is outpacing grocery/supermarket pricing, following no such months during all of 2022.

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9:06 AM

Pizza Sector: What Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes (11/30/2023)

Recently, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Papa Johns all reported their Q3 2023 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2023 — 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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7:00 AM

Burger Sector: What Same-Store Sales Trends Hint at re: Average Unit Volumes (11/21/2023)

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King (owned by Restaurant Brands International [QSR; Not Rated]) each recently reported their Q3 2023 U.S. same-store sales. In this report, we discuss how these same-store sales results — and potential results for full-year 2023 — 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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7:00 AM

Restaurants’ Market Share vs. Grocery Stores Remains High, But…

Data out today from the U.S. Census shows that restaurants’ market share (with grocery stores/supermarkets making up the other component) was 55.5% in October 2023. This was only 10 basis points away from tying the all-time monthly record of 55.6%. We are somewhat surprised at this strength, as we believe that U.S. restaurant industry same-store sales in general have slowed down over the first half of Q4 2023. Nevertheless, the robust October percentage shows that, despite restaurant prices gaining steam at a more meaningful rate than grocery prices for more than a half-year now, consumers have – at least through the end of October – not meaningfully shifted food dollars back to grocery stores and supermarkets.

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9:21 AM

Restaurant Pricing (and Grocery Pricing) Decelerate Yet Again

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +2.1% in October (sequentially down by -30 basis points from September’s +2.4%). This +2.4% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +5.4% year-over-year in October (sequentially down by -60 basis points from September’s +6.0%). This marks the 8th month in a row for which restaurant pricing is outpacing grocery/supermarket pricing, following no such months during all of 2022.

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8:54 AM
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