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Malcolm Knapp reported that August casual dining same-store sales declined 5.4% with traffic -4.6%.  For the fourth consecutive month, comparable guest count results were better than sales by close to 1%, which points to the significant discounting in the industry. 

These reported numbers improved on a sequential basis from July, becoming less bad after getting increasingly worse for five consecutive months.  Although comparable sales growth came in 2.9% better than July on a 1-year basis and 1.6% better on a 2-year basis, the rumor mill was suggesting a -4.0% August number versus the reported -5.4% so overstated expectations may offset some of the impact of this sequentially better sales news.