Burger King’s same-store sales fall in the U.S. but flourish internationally

Tim Hortons’ Canada sales surge, Popeyes declined and Firehouse Subs beat difficult comparisons.
Restaurant Brands International
Photograph: Shutterstock

International markets and its newest brand led sales growth at Restaurant Brands International in the first quarter, the company said on Tuesday, while franchisees of its various fast-food chains sped their unit growth.

Tim Hortons Canada continued its recovery from the pandemic as same-store sales rose 10.1% in the period ended March 31.

Same-store sales at Burger King U.S. declined 0.5% in the period as the brand’s weak recovery from the pandemic continued. But the chain’s restaurants outside the U.S. flourished, with same-store sales up more than 20%.

Same-store sales fell 4.6% at Popeyes in the U.S. in the period. That’s the fourth straight quarterly decline for the chicken chain as consumers shift some of their spending to the many other brands that sought to compete with its chicken sandwich.

That hasn’t kept operators from building new units. Popeyes operators domestically have built 151 locations over the past 12 months. The brand now operates nearly 2,800 locations in the U.S. and nearly 3,800 worldwide.

Firehouse Subs, RBI’s newest acquisition, generated 4.5% same-store sales growth in the first quarter.

RBI said that digital sales for its brands in their home markets reached their highest levels in the first quarter.

Revenues at the company rose 15% to $1.45 billion. Net income increased 2% to $183 million, or 59 cents per share.

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