SALES GROWTH REFLECTS THAT MENU PRICE INCREASES ARE OFSETTING TRAFFIC DECLINES
Industry sales growth is mostly a function of rather aggressive menu price increases which have offset traffic declines. Notably, higher menu prices have been better tolerated by the higher-income demo while causing the lower-income demo to increasingly trade-down to value offers (without driving them to trade-out for now). Consumers seem to be holding their own for now so long as they remain employed and gas prices remain within reach. Please see our nobull 15 second posts for quick take-aways from the early reporting here.
It helps that the gap between food-at-home CPI and food-away-from-home CPI is at an all-time high.