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With the Retailers out with April sales trends, here is a collection of comments from the restaurant industry on April trends.  In general, it seems that April was either in line or better than 1Q for restaurant stocks.


“We expect our second quarter sales dynamics to be similar to the first quarter for our divisions.  We expect moderate same-store sales growth in China in the second quarter.  For the U.S. in the second half of the year we expect positive sales growth.”

“We haven’t seen a significant change since the first quarter.”


“I would say, without really disclosing or talking about really April or April trends or anything like that, we do see, as Doug said, business spending starting to come back. We do see banquet bookings as we go out looking better than they have, same way with some social bookings. So your thesis around the business spending recovering, I would say we saw that in our quarter and feel pretty comfortable that that’s continuing to happen.”


“Our momentum is continuing into April with comparable sales trending positive across all of our geographies”

“I think that the consumer is starting to feel a little bit better. We see consumer confidence scores getting better over the last couple of months. We see a little more spending in the marketplace and yet the stubborn unemployment being at 9.7% still is a factor, I think, relative to that overall spending and net confidence.”

“For April, what we said in the release was that we expect April to be at least as strong as the quarter on a global basis. So what we’re setting there is a floor, saying that it won’t any lower than 4.2 is what our expectation is.”


[In terms of sales trends] “What we saw in March did continue into April…”


“As we move through the balance of the year in CPG, we expect to see accelerated revenue growth in relation to the second quarter driven by both VIA and the SBC QSR expansion.”


“We should note that our comparable sales trends for the first three weeks of fiscal April continue to be in the plus-4% range, and we’re also continuing to see positive guest traffic comparisons.  However, we have seen some increased choppiness in April due to the Easter and spring break holiday calendar shift as compared to the prior month.”


“As is generally our practice, we do not plan to give any more specifics on second quarter-to-date comparable sales trends on this call. With that said, for the second quarter of 2010, we estimate diluted earnings per share between $0.34 and $0.36 based on an assumed range of comparable sales of between flat and positive 1%.”


“For April to date, our same-store sales are negative 3.7% at company-owned and negative 2.4% at franchised locations.”

“Last, and of greater impact in April, is that we have experienced a decline in our alcohol sales, which we believe is a result of aggressive competition and advertising for our bar business, as competitors, both local and on a national level, are offering significant discounts for both food and alcohol.”


“We’re encouraged by the improved traffic trends and these trends have held up this far in April.”


“April comps are tracking at 10.3% for company and 10.4% for franchise bakery-cafes.”

“The first 27 days of the April fiscal period ran at a two-year comp of 8%. As already mentioned, this implies that two-year comps will accelerate the rest of the second quarter.”


“Thus far in April, both concepts are experiencing roughly a 200 basis point improvement from their first quarter comp results [1Q Bistro SSS were -4.4%, 1Q Pei Wei SSS were +1.6%].”

“The pickup from 1Q is primarily traffic.”


“April traffic in the U.S. continues to be positive while comp sales, albeit negative, have been slightly better than March. We believe continued positive traffic is a leading indicator and will play a critical role in improving our comp sales over time. Although it’s still too early to tell what the rest of the quarter will look like, we remain cautiously on cautiously optimistic.”

“U.S. and Canada comp sales were -2% in March…April traffic in the U.S. continues to be positive while comp sales, albeit negative, have been slightly better than March.”


“And during April, sales growth continues to be in the low single digit range.” [Following +2.4% Q1]


“The second half of April was much better than the first half.”


“One should assume a reverse benefit in the second quarter from Easter shift. “


“Clearly, this rare pace of sales growth [+14.3%] is not something we expect to sustain at this level but we do, nevertheless, still expect solid growth in our domestic business in the second quarter.”


“The Pizza category is healthy, and as a whole during the first quarter was gaining traffic from other QSR categories. This trend has continued into the second quarter.”


“April got better than March. We saw about a point and a half improvement in April over where we were in March.”


“April got better than March. We saw about a point and a half improvement in April over where we were in March.”

Howard Penney

Managing Director