Updating our Q1E Kalinowski Fast-Casual Same-Store Sales Index

By Ryan D. Lavender Published on April 1, 2021 at 4:57 PM

With this report, we update our data-driven Kalinowski Fast-Casual Index for Q1E to +12.9%. This is based on what we believe was better-than-expected same-store sales for the fast-casual sector in both January and March, partially offset by a weakerthan-expected February. Of particular note is that for the week of March 16-22, we believe that segment same-store sales rose by 50%+ on a one-year basis, or by positive mid-teens on a two-year basis. Factors driving this mid-to-late March surge appear to include: (1) consumer-related stimulus spending, (2) growing consumer optimism as more folks get vaccinated for Covid-19, and (3) the return of the March Madness college basketball tournament — generating TV ratings on par with 2019 levels, unlike many other major sports games/events — seems to be driving demand for delivery, including for Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG; Not Rated) and Wingstop (WING; Not Rated).

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YUM: What Concept Could Yum Acquire Next?

By Ryan D. Lavender Published on March 9, 2021 at 4:55 PM

On January 6, 2020, Yum Brands announced its plan to acquire The Habit Burger Grill, which as of full-year 2019 was the 17th-largest burger concept in the U.S. (in terms of domestic systemwide sales, at $450+ million), and in the top 100 overall. The Habit Burger Grill is meaningfully smaller than Yum’s core brands of KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. As such, the acquisition of Habit (which closed on March 18, 2020) suggests that: (1) Yum Brands may be generally acquisitive in the future (incidentally, in keeping with current general industry trends), and (2) it isn’t hesitant to make an acquisition that it believes will create shareholder value in the long term, even if the size of that acquisition isn’t all that large relative to its core brands today.

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Restaurants The BlackBox Index for November 2020 Shows Sequential Deceleration

By Mark Kalinowski Published on December 3, 2020 at 12:00 AM

Earlier today (Thursday, December 3rd), we learned that the BlackBox Index of samestore sales for November 2020 was down by -10.3%, with same-store traffic off by -16.3%. The -10.3% figure is -280 basis points worse than the -7.5% number for October 2020, and -220 basis points worse than the -8.1% figure for September 2020.

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