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FE&SFlashNews — 2005-01-10 — News

January 10, 2005

Chain Update: Darden, Applebee's And Others

A number of major chain restaurants have announced significant financial or operational news in recent days.

* Darden Restaurants reported its same-store sales results for the five-week fiscal month that closed on Jan. 2. Same-store sales at Olive Garden restaurants increased by approximately 14% during the period. The rise reflects a 12% to 13% increase in guest counts and 1% to 2% growth in the chain's average check. The company's Red Lobster concept also reported a 14% increase in same-store sales, citing an 11% to 12% higher guest count and a 2% to 3% higher average check. The company attributes approximately 5% of its same-store sales growth to shifts in holidays.

* Applebee's has released its same-store sales for the five-week period that ended on Dec. 26, 2004. Same-store sales for franchised restaurants increased by 2% vs. the same period a year earlier, while company-owned units reported a same-store sales decline of 0.9%. System-wide same-store sales grew by 1.3% year-over-year. According to Applebee's, the results reflect a 3% decrease in customer traffic, offset by a higher check average. The timing of Christmas negatively impacted the chain's same-store sales by approximately 2%, the company said.

* IHOP has announced its same-store sales results for the fourth-quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2004, increased by 4.3% compared to the year-ago period. For the full fiscal year, the company's same-store sales grew by 5.3%.

* Panera Bread has reported its same-store sales for the four-week period that closed on Dec. 25, 2004. Same-store sales at company-owned units increased by 6.5% compared to the year-ago period, while franchised units reported a year-over-year increase of 7.4% System-wide same-store sales grew by 7.1% vs. the same period a year earlier

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