Hot numbers of the week: Chili’s use-it-or-lose-it figure; Wendy’s surprise check kicker; The Habit’s district scope


That’s the number of days a member of Chili’s new frequent guest program are allotted to spend their rewards points.  The use-it-or-lose-it approach contributes a bump in sales around Day 90, says Joe Buckley, the restaurant analyst for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. About 2.6 million people have joined My Chili’s Rewards since the new version was launched two months ago, according to parent company Brinker International.


The price of Wendy’s Ghost Pepper Fries, a limited-time product that was intended to draw the attention of consumers looking for a bargain-priced snack. That strategy worked, said CEO Emil Brolick, but the item also proved a popular add-on to meals. The average check for orders that included the fries fell just below $10, he said this week.


District managers in The Habit fast-casual burger chain oversee no more than that number of stores, CEO Russ Bendel revealed this week. The narrow focus (a scope of seven to 15 stores is the norm at many chains) is “another way we foster our operating culture,” Bendel said. 

30 minutes, 186 transactions

Throughput is so critical to Potbelly Sandwiches that the chain gauges traffic in half-hour increments and stores are in competition to see which can process the most orders in that tight timeframe, according to CEO Aylwin Lewis. The record, set in the second quarter, is 186 orders, or more than six per minute.


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