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2019 Restaurant sales outlook grim, Panera expands delivery, management shuffles: news bytes

Softening global economy, tariffs to impact sales

According to TDn2K’s Black Box intelligence, August comparable sales were down 0.71 percent from last year. Comparable traffic declines of 3.87 percent took a toll on performance. Employee retention, a drop in traffic going into restaurants and a changing restaurant landscape are all factoring into what is happening.

Restaurant sales outlook

With tariffs, a softening economy and hurricane impacts, the outlook for positive sales results in the last third of the year is not turning rosy. Add to this the tougher comparisons to more robust sales last year at this time paints an even grimmer picture. And the restaurant sales outlook is not expected to change any time soon.

Management, executive changes

There have been a lot of management shuffles at restaurant chains in the past few weeks.

  • Red Robin appointed a new CEO, Paul Murphy, and turned down a takeover bid from Vintage Capital, reported the company. Murphy was a former board chairman of Noodles & Company and chief executive of Del Taco.
  • At Fiesta Restaurant Group, Dirk Montgomery was named chief financial officer.
  • Over at Moe’s Southwest Grill, Eric Hess was appointed president.
  • Bojangle’s named Reese Stewart CFO.
  • Also, according to Restaurant Business Online, Fazoli’s promoted Jodie Conrad to chief marketing officer.
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Third-party delivery services still hot

Panera Bread is the latest chain to embrace third-party restaurant delivery services. According to CNBC, the chain has partnered with Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub. This is similar to an arrangement that Domino’s Pizza has, Panera Bread will fulfill orders through the apps, but use its own employees to deliver its fast-casual food.

Also, El Pollo Loco just signed with Postmates. And Houlihan’s tapped DoorDash to expand delivery in its corporate markets.

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Photo credit: Moe’s Southwest Grill (photo), Eatery Pulse Streem (video)

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