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The beef is back at Wendy’s: COVID-19 business update

The chain’s comp sales are now trending positive

With many restaurants’ dine-in service reopening in the Wendy’s system as part of a phased approach, the QSR sandwich chain posted a 1.9 percent decrease in comp(arable) sales in May at U.S. stores. Each week in May has seen improvement in comp sales as it recovers from a beef supply disruption. Furthermore, the last week of May showed a single-digit comp sales increase. Wendy’s customers are no longer asking “Where’s the beef?” as Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s says its beef supply is once again near normal levels.

According to its latest COVID-19 business update, digital sales at Wendy’s have also increased, now totaling 4.5 percent of U.S. systemwide sales. Breakfast has performed well, according to the fast-food chain, and now totals 8 percent of U.S. sales.

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Yet, most Wendy’s restaurants are still operating in pickup and drive-thru format only. Reopening each store’s dining room is occurring on an individual basis as it continues its rolled approach in concert with state and local easing of restrictions.

Wendy’s cash on-hand is $375M, which executives say is a healthy amount for its operations. Quarter-to-date (QTD) comp sales in 2Q are down 8.6 percent, while global QTD comp sales showed a decrease of 9.9 percent. Moreover, Wendy’s announced it will discontinue providing intra-quarter updates related to the coronavirus.

Photo credit: Wendy’s (featured preview image of breakfast items)

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