This Week In Foodservice

Jerry Stiegler aggregates key industry information and provides brief analysis to help foodservice professionals navigate the data.


This Week in Foodservice

New York City Restaurant Operators Await a Plan to Reopen On-Premises Dining

The National Restaurant Association’s Performance Index crept up in July. Some landlords offer a clause in leases to reduce the renter’s payments if another pandemic occurs. New York City restaurant operators anxiously await a plan to reopen on-premises dining. These stories and a whole lot More This Week in Foodservice.

The National Restaurant Association’s Performance Index hit 97.1 in July, an improvement of 0.7 from June. While the moderate gain is encouraging, any reading less than 100 still indicates the industry remains in contraction territory, per the NRA.

The Current Situation component posted a 1.4-point increase in July for a final reading of 96.2. Same-store sales and customer traffic increased for the third consecutive month after hitting historic lows in April. The Expectations index, the other major component, remained unchanged from June at 98.0.

As for operators willing to invest in their businesses, 50% said they had made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the last 3 months, which is up 3% from June. Looking ahead, 44% of those surveyed plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next 6 months. This represents a 5% increase from June.

The bottom line: while operators report some improvement, they remain very concerned about the future.

Economic News This Week

Foodservice News This Week

  • Golden Gate Capital plans to sell its stake in Red Lobster to a consortium of investors. Golden Gate Capital purchased Red Lobster from Darden for $2.1 billion in 2014. Thai Union bought a minority position in Red Lobster for $575 million in 2016. The price of this latest deal was not provided.
  • New York City restaurant operators are looking to the government for direction but there doesn’t seem to be much. Governor Cuomo has been quoted as saying that New York City must be “more careful” than other places, with respect to how it reopens from the pandemic-related shutdowns. He then gave jurisdiction for reopening dining areas to New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who put indoor dinning on hold on July 1. De Blasio has since indicated that he might keep it that way until next year. While noting the last thing they want is another surge, restaurant operators also say no plan is being shared with them.
  • Buffalo Wings & Rings Debuted a fast-casual design. Simply called Wings & Rings, the new design will open in Milford, Ohio and provide what the company describes as a club-like experience for guests.
  • The pandemic presents problems and benefits to truck stops. Most of full-service restaurants at travel centers closed due to the pandemic. And the Travel Centers of America CEO said the company learned it is a poor manager of full-service restaurants and may bring in a company to run them. But the pandemic also drove sales growth when e-commerce took off and put more truckers on the road. Also of benefit was consumers choosing to take driving trips as opposed to flying vacations.
  • Growth Chains: VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen will open its second unit in the first quarter of 2021. The Cajun-themed cuisine restaurant is owned by Ron Lynch, who led the growth of Tilted Kilt and Schlotzsky’s Deli. Lynch thinks VooDoo Daddy’s could have 200 locations in a decade.
  • Comparable Store Sales Reports: Applebee’s down 49..4%, Baskin Robbins down 6.0%, BJ’s Restaurants down 57.2%, Chuy’s Holdings down 39.0%, Dunkin’ down 18.7%, El Pollo Loco (system wide down 9.7%, company-owned units down 8.5% and franchised units down 10.6%), IHOP down 59.1%, Luby’s (all concepts down 78.9%, Luby’s Cafeteria down 73.6%, Fuddrucker’s down 90.8%, Cheeseburger in Paradise down 96.1% and combination units down 88.2%) and Red Robin down 41.4%.

For details and same store sales of other chains, Please Click Here for the latest Green Sheet.