Chuy’s, El Pollo Loco, Ruth’s Chris, Good Times, Bad Daddy’s
The surge in March and April that pushed sales for many large full-service chains above 2019 levels proved less intense for smaller operations such as Chuy’s and Ruth’s Chris, according to figures released by these. public holdings in recent days. Many of the small, occasional brands have seen significant improvements, but not a return to positive comparable sales. Comps were negative despite a pronounced stickiness in offsite sales, most chains attest.
Size did not seem to matter for quick service operations. El Pollo Loco’s same-store sales are well above pre-pandemic levels last month. Even the 24-unit Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard delivered a 22.9% same-store sales gain for the first quarter, although measured against the same period of 2020 rather than 2019.
Here’s a more in-depth look at how several second-tier chains have performed since the start of the year.
Chuy sales exceed 99% of April 2019 total
Sales of the Tex-Mex chain’s 94 units climbed to an average of $ 85,415 per week in April, just 0.3% below the figure for the same month of 2019. That compares to a weekly intake. typical of $ 69,399 in January. Officials said Chuy struggled to match the sales gains of bigger brands in the quarter as it uses free-standing tables rather than kiosks, which don’t require six-foot spacing to meet security protocols. federal if dividers are used.
Takeout and delivery sales remained at 30% of total intake as total unit volumes increased.
Management said a priority going forward would be to arm stores with a pay-to-table option.
Executives also revealed that a new 5,500-square-foot prototype shaped by the brand’s experiences during the pandemic will become Chuy’s expansion vehicle from 2022. “We believe this new prototype will provide the same unique dining experience while allowing us to better serve our offsite customers.CEO Steve Hislop told financial analysts. “WWe will have a little more practical space to take away and maybe a small patio.
El Pollo Loco dominates pre-COVID sales thanks to drive-thrus
Drive-thrus and other offsite channels are giving El Pollo Loco the boost it needs to recover from the pandemic.
Comparable store sales for the first quarter of 2021 were up 5.9% system-wide from the first quarter of 2019 before COVID, the Fast and Easy Chicken chain reported Thursday.
Until April 28, El Pollo’s two-year same-store sales increased 13.5%. And on April 1, in honor of National Burrito Day, the Costa Mesa, Calif.-Based brand reported its highest single-day sales.
El Pollo Loco has extended its test of order-taking tablets to 10 restaurants, a change that allows steering-wheel controls and payments to be taken while cars are queuing.
“Drive-thru is the lion’s share of what drives the company right now,” CEO Bernard Acoca told analysts. “We’re slightly below 70% of our drive-thru business.”
For the quarter ended March 31, El Pollo reported total revenue of $ 107.7 million, compared to $ 105.2 million for the same period last year.
2019 sales threshold proves elusive for Ruth’s Chris
Unit sales of the upscale steakhouse operation have moved closer to 2019 levels every month this year on a comparable basis, but still ended April 12.2% behind the pre-count. pandemic for the same period of two years ago. Comparable store sales were slightly 0.7% higher than April 2020.
Management of the 149-unit chain said it would focus on resuming development as well as capturing additional sales in the near term. He noted that all but two of the restaurants are now open.
Net income totaled $ 9 million, compared to a loss of $ 3.8 million a year ago, on revenue of $ 87.3 million, down 20.8%.
Both Good Times Restaurants brands post positive sales
The parent company of Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar and Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard saw same-store sales increase for its two burger-focused brands in the first quarter, albeit looking decidedly different. (The company did not provide comparisons to 2019 numbers.)
Bad Daddy’s, a full-service operation with 37 branches, generated a 9.1% gain in lineup for the first quarter. The Good Times brand, a drive-thru concept with 24 stores, posted an increase of 22.9%.
CEO Ryan Zink called Q1 “a turning point for us ”because all of the company’s restaurants were open. He revealed that the two Good Times brands are on the verge of adopting a number of programs to boost employee recruitment and retention.
The company posted Q1 net income of $ 1.6 million, compared to a loss of $ 14.5 million a year ago, on revenue of $ 29 million, up 11.5% .