Roundup of The Week's Biggest Restaurant Stories
These past five days were probably the most eventful for full service since the calendar turned over. Applebee’s, Outback, Red Robin, The Cheesecake Factory, Cracker Barrel, Bloomin’ Brands, and Texas Roadhouse were among those reporting quarterly financials. And for the most part, it was a very promising string of results. Traffic is climbing at some legacy brands, like Outback, and others, such as Applebee’s, are seeing comps turn back into green territory. These numbers, of course, are measured against 2017’s declines, which lend credence to the wait-and-see approach. But let’s look at it another way: Just because numbers were bad in 2017 doesn’t mean they couldn’t have gotten worse in 2018. What’s driving this? Off-premise and tax reform are probably the two topics creating the most significant short-term buzz. It’s up to brands to figure out how best to allocate these funds and meet a challenging future head-on. Welcome to one of the most transformational times in casual-dining history.
Here were the biggest stories of the week.