Recent Posts

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

Restaurants’ Market Share vs. Grocery Stores Continues to Inch Upward to New Heights

Data out today from the U.S. Census shows that restaurants’ market share (with grocery stores/supermarkets making up the other component) was 55.3% in September 2023. This is the best-ever monthly market-share showing for the U.S. restaurant industry. The strong September percentage shows that, despite restaurant prices gaining steam at a more meaningful rate than grocery prices as of late, consumers have – at least through the end of September – not meaningfully shifted food dollars back to grocery stores and supermarkets.

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9:02 AM

Restaurant Pricing (and Grocery Pricing) Continue to Decelerate

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +2.4% in September (sequentially down by -60 basis points from August’s +3.0%). This +2.4% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +6.0% year-over-year in September (sequentially down by -50 basis points from August’s +6.5%). This marks the 7th 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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8:55 AM

Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Sequentially Weaken in Q3

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q3 2023 to +4.9%. This is a little stronger than we would have expected three months ago. It’s also above the 34-quarter (Q1 2015-Q2 2023) median of +3.3%. However, it’s sequentially weaker than Q1 2023’s +9.1% and Q2 2023’s +5.9%. Year-over-year comparisons being lapped became more challenging over the course of Q3, and will remain difficult in Q4.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q3 to +0.6%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +15.2% number from Q3 2020, the +1.4% figure from Q3 2021, and the +1.0% number from Q3 2022. Comparing to Q3 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q3 2023 is at +18.8%. So, not only does the quick-service pizza have the second-lowest one-year same-store sales figure for Q2 2023 (ahead of only fine fining), it also has the second-lowest four-year number for Q2 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 July, August, and September.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q3 to +7.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +4.3% number from Q3 2020, the +6.3% figure from Q3 2021, and the +5.7% number from Q3 2022. Comparing to Q3 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q3 2023 is at +25.5%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during July, August, and September.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Casual Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q3 to +3.6%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -18.7% number from Q3 2020, the +36.1% figure from Q3 2021, and the +4.9% figure from Q3 2022. On a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis, the Kalinowski Casual Dining Index for Q3 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.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q3 to +4.5%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +7.5% number from Q3 2020, the +3.0% figure from Q3 2021, and the +4.5% number from Q3 2022. Comparing to Q3 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q3 2023 is at +21.0%. 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.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q3 to +2.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -28.2% number from Q3 2020, the +40.3% figure from Q3 2021, and the +3.9% number from Q3 2022. Comparing to Q3 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q3 2023 is at +6.8%. 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 July, August, and early-to-mid September.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q3 Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q3 to +3.7%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +5.1% figure from Q3 2020, +13.9% number from Q3 2021, and the +6.1% figure from Q3 2022. Comparing to Q3 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q3 2023 is at +31.9%. This +31.8% 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 July, August, and early September.

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7:00 AM

Restaurants’ Market Share vs. Grocery Stores Stays Sequentially Steady in August

Data out today from the U.S. Census shows that restaurants’ market share (with grocery stores/supermarkets making up the other component) was 55.1% in August 2023. This is tied for the best-ever monthly market-share showing for the U.S. restaurant industry, and marks the third month in a row at that percentage. The strong August percentage shows that, despite restaurant prices gaining steam at a more meaningful rate than grocery prices as of late, consumers have – at least through the end of August – not meaningfully shifted food dollars back to grocery stores and supermarkets.

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9:05 AM

Gap Between Restaurant Pricing and Grocery Pricing Stays at -350 Basis Points

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +3.0% in August (sequentially down by -60 basis points from July’s +3.6%). This +3.0% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +6.5% year-over-year in August (sequentially down by -60 basis points from July’s +7.1%). This marks the 6th 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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9:03 AM

Quick-Service Restaurants: Reaches Agreement with Unions Regarding California’s Fast Act

Restaurant Business reports that “Representatives of the restaurant and franchise businesses have secured an agreement to kill California’s controversial Fast Act in exchange for accepting one of the law’s most contentious provisions, the creation of a panel to set wages and working conditions for California fast-food restaurants. The agreement also calls for shelving a legislative proposal currently under consideration that would have held restaurant franchisors accountable for the employment policies and practices of their franchisees, a measure blasted as an existential threat to restaurant franchising. The call for legislating a joint-employer standard is contained in a pending piece of legislation, AB 1228. The joint-employer provision would be killed, and the bill would be amended to include the various provisions of the new pact between industry, organized labor and pro-labor members of California’s legislature.”

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6:28 PM

Restaurants: Black Box Index Starts Lapping Tougher Comparisons

Black Box Intelligence has released its latest monthly Black Box Index – an index which aggregates same-store sales for 175+ domestic restaurant concepts. Black Box notes that its data represents over 50,000 restaurant units, $75 billion in annual sales, and 300+ clients.

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9:13 AM

Restaurants Set Another New All-Time Record for Market Share vs. Grocery Stores

Data out today from the U.S. Census shows that restaurants’ market share (with grocery stores/supermarkets making up the other component) was 55.3% in July 2023. This is the best-ever monthly market-share showing for the U.S. restaurant industry, surpassing the previous record of 55.1% from June 2023. This shows that, despite restaurant prices gaining steam at a more meaningful rate than grocery prices as of late, consumers have – at least through the end of July – not meaningfully shifted food dollars back to grocery stores and supermarkets.

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8:55 AM

Gap Between Restaurant Pricing and Grocery Pricing Widens to -350 Basis Points

The latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows that prices for food-at-home (grocery stores and supermarkets) rose by +3.6% in July (sequentially down by -110 basis points from June’s +4.7%). This +3.6% number compares with price for food-away-from-home (restaurants) that increased by +7.1% year-over-year in July (sequentially down by -60 basis points from June’s +7.7%). This marks the fifth 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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9:57 AM

Restaurants Set a New All-Time Monthly Record for Market Share vs. Grocery Stores

Data out today from the U.S. Census shows that restaurants’ market share (with grocery stores/supermarkets making up the other component) was 55.0% in June 2023. This is the best-ever monthly market-share showing for the U.S. restaurant industry, surpassing the previous record of 54.9% from January 2023. This shows that, despite restaurant prices gaining steam at a more meaningful rate than grocery prices as of late, consumers have – at least through the end of June – not meaningfully shifted food dollars back to grocery stores and supermarkets.

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9:14 AM

Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Same-Store Sales Stronger than Expected in Q2

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Restaurant Industry Index for Q2 2023 to +6.3%. This is stronger than we would have expected three months ago. This +6.3% figure is also slightly more than double the 33-quarter (Q1 2015-Q1 2023) median of +3.0%, suggesting sales trends remain healthy – at least through the end of Q2 – despite multiple large macroeconomic challenges.

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7:00 AM

Gap Between Restaurant Pricing and Grocery Pricing Widens to -300 Basis Points

Before we discuss the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data as relates to restaurants and grocery stores, we want to briefly mention that we favor Domino’s (DPZ; Buy, $349.79) and its news out this morning that it has signed a global agreement with Uber to allow Domino’s to be ordered through the Uber Eats and Postmates apps. While the agreement is global in nature, specific to the U.S. four markets will be pilot-tested this autumn, with nationwide rollout expected to be complete by end-of-year 2023.

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9:19 AM

Updating our Q2 Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q2 to +2.0%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +15.3% number from Q2 2020, the +4.1% figure from Q2 2021, and the -2.7% number from Q2 2022. Comparing to Q2 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Pizza Index for Q2 2023 is at +19.0%. So, not only does the quick-service pizza have the second-lowest one-year same-store sales figure for Q2 2023 (ahead of only fine fining), it also has the second-lowest four-year number for Q2 2023 (ahead of only the family dining segment). Our +2.0% figure is based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and June.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q2 Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q2 to +3.1%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the +2.4% number from Q2 2020, the +13.9% figure from Q2 2021, and the +2.9% number from Q2 2022. Comparing to Q2 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Other Index for Q2 2023 is at +23.7%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and June.

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7:00 AM

Updating our Q2 Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q2 to +8.8%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -7.3% number from Q2 2020, the +21.6% figure from Q2 2021, and the +2.8% number from Q2 2022. Comparing to Q2 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Quick-Service Burger Index for Q1 2023 is at +26.1%. These numbers are based on our latest proprietary checks/data as regards same-store sales performance for this segment during April, May, and early-to-mid June.

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7:04 AM

Updating our Q2 Kalinowski Family Dining Same-Store Sales Index

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q2 to +3.6%. This is the one-year figure, lapping the -54.0% number from Q2 2020, the +99.1% figure from Q2 2021, and the +5.0% number from Q2 2022. Comparing to Q2 2019 levels — a four-year (pre-pandemic) basis — the Kalinowski Family Dining Index for Q2 2023 is at -0.3%. This is the lowest such number (and only negative 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 April, May, and early-to-mid June.

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7:00 AM
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