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Trends decelerated slightly in September.

Malcolm Knapp reported that September casual dining same-store sales declined 6.1% with traffic down 5.5%.  These reported numbers represent a slight deceleration in trends from August. 

We don’t yet have too much visibility on how October is faring for the casual dining restaurants, but we learned from both McDonald’s and Sonic that trends remain soft quarter-to-date with Sonic citing weather as a problem.  PFCB did say that trends had improved slightly from 3Q but that average weekly sales at the Bistro were still running down 6.5%.  Based on these few comments, I am not expecting much improvement in October.

Comparable guest count growth results in September again came in better than same-store sales growth for the fifth consecutive month, which points to negative average check growth.  Restaurant operators are doing everything they can to drive traffic. 

This weeks we have DIN, BWLD, PEET, PNRA, CEC, RUTH and THI reporting earnings.