How does your restaurant compare? Q1-12 benchmarking update
First quarter 2012
How do you compare to your competition? SS&G compiled operating results of publicly traded restaurant companies to provide you timely benchmarking information. Our past benchmarking surveys of medium-sized private companies indicated, on average, their prime costs were higher than public companies by 1–2 percent. However, high-quartile (best performing) participants in our surveys had prime costs 3 percent lower than the average public company.
Overall same-store sales for the first quarter of 2012 are up 3.8 percent from an increase in traffic and continued menu price increases. The mild weather for much of the country also positively impacted customer traffic. Quick-serve restaurants increased 4.9 percent, led by McDonald’s with an increase of 8.9 percent. The upscale casual segment continues to recover with a 3.1 percent increase. Overall same-store sales for the other segments are all positive, reflecting consumers’ increased willingness to spend again. Soft comparisons and recession fatigue are spurring positive comp sales. Chipotle continues to impress with an increase of 12.7 percent.
Cost of sales increased 0.4 percent as commodity prices continued to increase during 2012. Commodities are expected to increase throughout the rest of the year. Many companies have increased menu prices to balance this out, and they continue to react through less discounting, lower labor costs (overall decrease of 0.3 percent), cost negotiations, menu engineering, and lowering other costs.