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The Knapp Track numbers for January were sequentially stronger than December’s.

Estimated Knapp Track casual dining comparable restaurant sales grew 3.2% in January versus a final accounting period number of 2.8% (prior estimate was +2.9%) for December.  The sequential change from December to January, in terms of the two-year average trend, was +30 bps.

Estimated Knapp Track casual dining comparable guest counts grew 0.5% in January versus a final accounting period number of 0.0% (prior estimate was +0.4%) for December.  The sequential change from December to January, in terms of the two-year average trend, was +5 bps.

While the numbers are impressive, it is important to note that there were weather- and calendar-related issues that impacted the print.  PNRA suggested that as much as 350 bps of its 1Q to-date (mainly January) +8.9% comparable restaurant sales growth was due to a positive weather impact. That impact will clearly vary by concept and we will have a post up on the weather factor of 1Q this week.

Howard Penney

Managing Director

Rory Green

Analyst