State of the Consumer: (1) While government stimulus was successful at buoying the 2-year annual growth rate for total retail sales to a level slightly higher than pre-lockdown results, there was a clear market share shift among industries as consumers pivoted to a new reality; (2) The key question is how much grocery spend will return to the restaurant space over time?
• While 2020 was perhaps the industry’s worse year ever, there were definitely winners and losers mixed-in the overall results.
• To this end, relative $1B+ chain outperformance reflected the clear benefit of scale – helping the national brands to pivot around tech, access and marketing in ways which the smaller players were not able to replicate.
• Executive summaries for Wendy’s, Domino’s, and Little Caesar’s.
• We decided to survey franchisees to check comments from some 1Q21 investor calls in which management teams portrayed the labor market as possibly one of the worst ever.
• Despite a relatively high level of unemployment, it seems clear that the industry is facing a labor shortage.