Taco Bell

Taco Bell is extremely well positioned as the only $1B+ national QSR Mexican player (category of 1) with core equity around abundant value, craveable innovation and a bold flavor profile. Its compelling value equation extends well beyond the notion of “cheap food” to affordable food that also offers appealing taste, flavor & gratification (food people want, not just what they can afford) and it is notable that the brand has been successful at balancing value with margins which reflects a material COGs out-performance which is facilitated by its ability to mix & match an abundance of inexpensive ingredients.

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Dashboard: Jul 2020

Hopefully 2Q Represents a Volatile Bottom: Value Mix Reflects Segment Realities; More Stimulus is Coming; Commodity Prices Remain Volatile; 1H:20 Valuations In-Line with Sales Trends; Restaurant Stocks Weighed Down by FSR; Record Gap Remains Between Cap Rates & 10 Yr.

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Unit Economics

Unit Economic report provides: (1) FYE 2019 unit level AUV along with COGS, labor, royalty, advertising, other operating and EBITDAR margin estimates for 49 chains; (2) a 5-year history of unit economic performance; (3) an analysis of food and labor cost drivers; and (4) aggregate G&A margins, rent margins and leverage ratios based on RR’s annual lender survey.

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Popeyes’ brand positioning around a unique, flavorful Louisiana heritage (slow cooking, served fast) provides the brand permission to extend its menu beyond bone-in chicken. Its core bone-in chicken is infused with a Louisiana-inspired seasoning dry rub that is applied to fresh chicken which marinates for 12 – 72 hours and is then hand-breaded. The brand’s resounding social media marketing success around its new chicken sandwich continues to be the talk of the town.

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Insights Journal: July 2020

The sit-down model is broken in the post-lockdown world, but all is not lost as this crisis has simply brought to light weaknesses in the dine-in foundation that were there all along. So it is time for operators to do what they do best – analyze, innovate & improve!

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TraffiCast: Forward Looking Consumer Survey

• RR’s Intent to Eat Out Index (our survey of 1,500 consumers’ plans to eat-out over the next month) increased +6% y/y after peaking last month.
• We see a higher percentage of “about the same” responses as consumers return to more normal routines (particularly among the 18 – 24 year-olds).

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Unit & Sales Growth

Unit & Sales Growth Report provides a 10-year history for 56 $1B+ chains including: (1) total units; (2) company vs. franchisee ownership; (3) new units; (4) closures; (5) franchise transfers; (6) average units per franchisee by concept; (7) systemwide sales; and (8) system sales market share.

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Applebee’s (the 2nd largest player by sales in the casual segment) benefits from its “Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood” grill & bar positioning (approachable, accessible & affordable) which provides a place to connect with family & friends. Culinary innovation (leveraging mainstream American recipes/flavors) and buzzworthy Neighborhood drink of the month deals keep the restaurants interesting and LTOs almost always feature attractive price points and popular promotions including its All-You-Can-Eat Riblets.

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