TAST/BKC – $1 DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER IS TAKING SHARE

TAST expects its Burger King comparable sales to be positive for the balance of the year.

Carroll’s Restaurant Group (TAST), which operates 314 Burger King franchise units in the U.S., along with 91 Pollo Tropicals  and 155 Taco Cabanas, reported 3Q09 results yesterday after the close.  On its earnings call, management commented that although Burger King comparable sales were running -5% in October, that same-store sales should turn positive for the balance of the quarter. 

Specifically, management stated, “Now been about two weeks since the Burger King $1 Quarter Pound Double Cheeseburger was launched, and while it's still pretty early, we believe that the improvement in sales trends so far indicate that Burger King same store sales should be positive for the balance of the quarter.” 

TAST provided Q4 same-store sales guidance for Burger King of flat to +0.5%.  Based on October trends, management is making a big bet on the $1 double cheeseburger as its guidance implies comparable sales trends will be up about 2.5% to 3.5% on average in November and December.  This sequential improvement, which would be driven primarily by traffic gains, would point to market share gains for Burger King.

TAST/BKC – $1 DOUBLE CHEESEBURGER IS TAKING SHARE - bk