Placer Bytes: RBI, Chick-fil-A and GameStop

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In this Placer Bytes, we dive into the recovery of top Restaurant Brands International chains, Chick-fil-A and GameStop.

The Chicken Sandwich Effect in Full Effect

Looking at two of the top Restaurant Brands International chains shows the continued strength of QSR. Burger King saw the further shrinking of the year-over-two-year visit gap with visits down just -4.5% the week beginning July 12th. It was the strongest mark of 2021 for Burger King and continues the strong trend the brand has seen in in-store visits.

In the latest example of its newfound strength, Popeyes is again showing tremendous visits growth compared to 2019. Looking at the weeks beginning June 28th, July 5th and July 12th showed visits up 9.5%, 11.6% and 22.6% compared to the equivalent weeks in 2019.

The jump for Popeyes shows again the huge boost the brand received from its Chicken Sandwich launch in August 2019. While weekly visits were up an average of 16.0% from the week of April 19th through the week of July 12th when compared to their 2019 equivalents, the same average was -2.5% down when compared year over year. While the recovery is clearly showing visits moving in the right direction with year over year visits up 8.3% the week beginning July 12th, the results are a further testament to the ‘level’ the brand jumped on the back of the Chicken Wars.

Chick-fil-A’s Return

Chick-fil-A, like other QSR leaders, was already showing signs of a recovery in 2020, but while takeaway, delivery and drive-thru strengthened the brand over the last year, in-location visits are now returning as well. Looking at weekly visits compared to 2019 shows that the weeks beginning June 28th and July 12th saw visits down just 2.6% and 1.8% respectively. These are the best marks that Chick-fil-A has seen since the onset of the pandemic’s restaurant impact and indicate a full return could come by later this summer. 

Should Chick-fil-A manage to maintain their current strength across channels, the result could be even more impressive than the incredible standard already set by one of the leading QSR chains.

GameStop’s Brighter Future

There may not be a more notable meme stock than GameStop. And the brand not only saw an initial push as a result, but is currently in the midst of an impressive turnaround in terms of visits. Average weekly visits from January through April were down over -17% per week when compared to the 2019 equivalent. Yet, for the five week period beginning the week of June 14th, average weekly visits were down just -6.6%. And this was led by the week beginning July 12th, when visits were down just -2.3%. 

Should the brand prove capable of maintaining this trajectory through the Back to School season, the return to ‘normal’ visit rates could hit sooner than expected.

Will QSR leaders like Popeyes, Burger King and Chick-fil-A continue to recover in terms of visits? Can GameStop turn meme stock status into a long term positive trend? 

Visit Placer.ai to find out.

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