Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

People collect takeout food at a McDonald's restaurant as New Zealand eases its strict regulations implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020.

STRINGER/Reuters

Slumping sales at big fast-food chains could get a boost as hungry and restless customers spend stimulus cheques after long lockdowns, analysts and some operators said ahead of quarterly earnings that will show the extent of damage from the coronavirus slowdown.

McDonald’s Corp. and Starbucks Corp. issued earnings updates on April 8 that showed a sales hit from coronavirus disruptions. Investors will get more information this week – along with updated outlooks – when they and other companies officially report.

More states are beginning to ease restrictions on businesses that were shuttered to stem the spread of the outbreak – meaning more people will pick up meals and coffee before, after and during work.

Story continues below advertisement

Tired of eating at home for weeks, consumers may also seek someone else’s cooking, and restaurants are trying new ways of operating including continued use of masks and physical distancing alongside plexiglass dividers at checkout.

“Sales trends have appeared to bottom, with restaurants suggesting benefits from a reduction in pantry loading, stimulus checks and home cooking fatigue have supported improving trends throughout April,” Credit Suisse analyst Lauren Silberman wrote in a note.

Stay-at-home orders from local governments and mandated closings have hurt big chains, though not as much as independently owned sit-down restaurants without drive-thrus or take-away.

Global same-store sales for McDonald’s, which reports earnings on Thursday, fell 3.4 per cent in the first quarter, according to an investor update the company on released April 8.

While the effect could linger, sales could be on the upswing after falling as much as 30 per cent in the first week of April, according to a Kalinowski Equity Research survey of 20 franchisees published on Monday.

Broadly, breakfast and late-night sales suffered, said Peter Saleh, restaurants analyst at BTIG.

Nobody knows how many consumers will return and how quickly, he said.

Story continues below advertisement

Brands with widely used, easy-to-operate apps – including the ability to order and pay in advance for pick up – may fare better, as results for Chipotle Mexican Grill and Domino’s Pizza showed last week.

“That is critical. You’re seeing digital spike for almost every brand out there,” Mr. Saleh said. “Those are exceedingly important avenues to the recovery.”

Also reporting this week are Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and Yum Brands Inc., which owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and the Habit Burger Grill, as well as Restaurant Brands International Inc., which owns Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Tim Hortons.

Starbucks, which reports second-quarter results Tuesday afternoon, still had only 44 per cent of its U.S. company-run stores open as of the last week of March, it said in an April 8 update.

Its China business began to recover in late February and picked up pace through the end of March.

“Each week, we see more evidence reinforcing our belief that the business will fully recover over the next two quarters,” it said.

Story continues below advertisement

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies