• 2Q quarter to date sales momentum on a 2-yr. stacked basis looks strong as the vast majority of restaurants are now open for dine-in and capacity constraints diminish across the country.
• Commodity Inflation Aggravated by Act of Terror.
• More sellers are coming to market, driven by improving sales & profit and by the prospect of a significant increase in the capital gains tax.
Preliminary 1Q:21 average comp growth of +9.7% for the $1B+ Chains (+7.5% 2-year stacked) is a testament to the industry’s tremendous resilience in the face of impossible circumstances. While easing restrictions and strong economy should help keep the sales momentum going, ramping commodity inflation and labor challenges represent significant headwinds.
• Strong April comp prospects reflect that RR’s Intent to Eat Out Index increased +17.4% y/y in March and an overlap over last year’s lockdown period will provide a favorable y/y comparison, especially for FSR.
• A +40% jump in the March BLS Foodstuffs index and sharply higher lumber prices could impact both COGS & development costs.