Brinker's happy holidays end on sour omicron note

The variant led to staffing headaches at Chili’s and Maggiano’s in January, putting a kink in their comeback from COVID.


Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson received a big pay increase last year

His total pay package topped $20 million in 2021, up 39% over 2020, as the company’s sales and stock price strength returned.

U.S. same-store sales hit a record in 2021, driven in part by price increases and the company’s promotions, including its new loyalty program.

Operator cash flow is up 50% in the past three years after the company shifted away from its value focus. But higher labor and food costs loom.

The latest COVID surge has meant reduced sales for the fast casual in recent weeks as it is forced to temporarily close restaurants and limit store hours.

The company’s results were improving in the fourth quarter but worsened in the last two weeks of December.

The fast-casual chicken chain said decreased staffing levels forced it to cut operating hours and sales channels last quarter.

The doughnut chain’s stock plunged 7% even after the company said earnings and profits would be better than expected.

Executives said the popular promotion had negative impacts—and it did just fine without it this year.

The food-and-games chain said it saw same-store sales dip in Q3 in markets that required patrons to be vaccinated and that its special events business remains far from 2019 levels.

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