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1Q24 Restaurant Overview & Same Store Sales

1Q24 Restaurant Company Updates covers 17 QSR and 11 FSR companies and provides valuable insights on brand strategy, sales trends, company margins, unit development, state of the consumer and more!

1Q24 QSR SSS Chart

Dutch Bros Inc. 1Q24: Nice!

Dutch Bros reported +10% y/y same-shop sales, +39% revenue & a +120% increase in adjusted operating income. System AUVs increased to a record $2MM.

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WK Kellogg Co. 1Q24: Strong Margin Growth Despite Slight Sales Decline

Kellogg reported that while the U.S. cereal category improved sequentially during 1Q, sales were flat with volume declining low single digits. While other food companies are reporting that stressed consumers are shifting their spending towards at-home meals, Kellogg has not observed this trend although management noted that it could represent a potential tailwind for its sales in the future.

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The January Affect

It is no secret that restaurant sales fell-off a cliff during January 2024, with everyone conveniently blaming the weather for this anomaly. However, an analysis of the USDA’s historical sales during the month of January for food at home & food away from home reveals another explanation…

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McDonald’s 2024

McDonald’s enjoys substantial brand equity as the largest and possibly most influential restaurant chain with its “I’m lovin’ it” positioning and iconic brands including the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, chicken nuggets & fries. While McDonald’s is well positioned in QSR as the go-to brand, the chain may have to make more margin unfriendly price adjustments for its lower-income customers in the near term while it continues its very important work of improving its service speed.

McDonalds Building

Sit-Down Dining Challenges Revealed by Mother’s Day Visit

Restaurant traffic has been challenged since covid, with the most current explanation attributed to elevated menu prices & a punk economy. Further, traffic declines have been most notable at sit-down restaurants which offer a more expensive, discretionary experience relative to fast food. A Mother’s Day trip to an independent sit-down restaurant provided us with an eye-opening 360-degree view of the sector’s problems.   

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Tyson Foods, Inc. 2QFY24: Outlook Update on Consumers, Chicken, Beef & Pork

Tyson Foods reported that the consumer is under pressure, especially lower-income households who are struggling with 20% cumulative retail inflation over the last 3 years & a historically low savings rate. Price-sensitive consumers are prioritizing essential staples over discretionary categories and management reported shifts from fine dining into QSR & QSR slippage into meals consumed at home. Tyson is closely monitoring the cattle cycle & key commodity costs.

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RBI 1Q24 Revenues +9.3% & Operating Income +7.7%; Burger King U.S. Comps +3.9%; Tim Hortons Comps +6.9%; Popeyes U.S. Comps +6.2%; Firehouse Subs U.S. Comps Flat

Burger King’s results reflect traction from investments in remodels, digital, & equipment. Tim Hortons seeks to improve its afternoon menu offerings, Popeyes is riding the success of its wing platform & Firehouse Subs is making a big push to have a 100% digital mix (currently at 40%) while providing franchisees with incentives to develop new stores.

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Spotlight on CVS Health Corp’s Health Care Benefits (Health Insurance) Segment

CVS Health Corp’s 1Q24 operating profit declined -47% y/y because of a significant increase in costs to treat patients insured by its Medicare plans. CVS, which owns the large health insurer Aetna, reported that seniors were using medical services at a much higher rate than expected. Hopefully everyone is doing OK, or at least better than CVS shares…

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The Fed’s Customer Satisfaction Score

Powell is perhaps the most powerful non-elected official (or elected for that matter), maybe just behind Sir Anthony Fauci (remember him?). To whom do we submit a complaint?

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