According to foot-traffic data provided by analytics company Placer, both Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands Inc., are experiencing strong consumer demand despite rising concerns about inflation. In the third quarter, Pizza Hut saw a notable increase of 6.4% in visits compared to the previous year, while Taco Bell experienced a 3% increase. However, KFC, another brand under Yum Brands, faced a decline of 2.9% in visits during the same period, following two consecutive quarters of significant growth.
Placer.ai's report highlights Pizza Hut's success in understanding and catering to consumer preferences. The company's strategic decisions, such as extending late-night hours in numerous U.S. locations and diversifying its product offerings, have contributed to its positive performance.
Yum Brands is set to release its third-quarter results on Wednesday before the market opens. Analysts surveyed by FactSet anticipate earnings of $1.27 per share and sales of $1.772 billion. Despite a slight increase of 0.01% in premarket trades on Wednesday, Yum! Brands' stock has seen a decline of 6.4% in 2023, while the S&P 500 index has gained 8.5%.
Placer.ai also analyzed foot traffic for Restaurant Brands International Inc.'s Popeyes and Burger King. In the third quarter, Popeyes experienced a 0.3% increase in visits compared to the previous year, outpacing the overall decline of 0.8% in chicken chains' foot traffic. On the other hand, Burger King witnessed a 1.1% decrease in visits year-over-year, but fared better than burger chains as a whole, which saw a decline of 2.5%.
Fast Food Chains Continue to Thrive Despite Inflation
In a recent statement, Placer.ai revealed that, apart from KFC, the five brands analyzed in their reports have experienced successful quarters within their respective dining segments. Despite the impact of inflation on consumer spending, there is still a strong appetite for fast food and Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) chains.
Positive Quarterly Results for McDonald's
McDonald's Corp. has reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, bolstering its position in the fast-food industry. This comes after a recent decline in the company's stock due to concerns surrounding consumer spending. However, McDonald's, along with rival Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., has outperformed the broader dining sector according to foot-traffic data from Placer.ai. Notably, Chipotle started off the restaurant earnings season with impressive third-quarter results.
Prospects for McDonald's in 2024
Looking ahead, McDonald's is well-positioned for success in 2024. The company is focusing on digital sales and restaurant growth, which are expected to drive further expansion and profitability. Despite a slight decline in stock performance in 2023, McDonald's remains poised for future growth. Similarly, Chipotle has seen a positive trajectory in its stock performance this year.
Ultimately, despite inflation concerns, fast food chains like McDonald's and Chipotle continue to thrive as consumer demand remains strong.