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How your restaurant sales and profits compare to competitors' and what you can do to improve financial performance


The holidays were good to Cracker Barrel

Takeout sales grew 20% last quarter as the company’s focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas paid off.


Are consumers trading their burgers for steak?

The diverging performances of chains such as Outback Steakhouse and Steak ‘n Shake show an economy heading in two directions, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

The largest restaurant concepts proved resilient last year, while Chick-fil-A leapfrogged Burger King and Wendy's to become the fifth-largest chain and Panera Bread joined the top 10.

Same-store sales plunged last year, so the chain is refranchising and improving its speed.

After a turnaround year, both of the Dine Brands holdings are looking at ways of increasing off-premise sales, particularly catering, and expanding into new types of markets.

The Midwestern beer-focused concept is plotting its expansion.

Quick-service giants McDonald’s and Burger King lost out to chains such as Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A last year, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

The casual chain is betting that a more comfortable work environment will boost retention, resulting in speedier service, better food quality and ultimately higher sales.

The company said its sales improved last quarter after it shifted to more price promotions.

But the company opened its most stores in 20 years last year as operators shift to unit growth.

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