Is it a sign of an economic recovery when more coffee shops are serving customers across the country?
The CEO of Restaurant Brands International—the fifth-largest fast-food conglomerate in the world—suggested today that his company has come a long way over the past 100 days since COVID-19 delivered a major blow to his industry.
Jose Cil said that 90 percent of Tim Hortons outlets are open in Canada. Most of the shuttered shops are in malls, food courts, sporting complexes, and other facilities that are closed.
"Tim Hortons has shown sequential comparable sales improvements every week from the negative mid-40s in mid-March to the negative high teens as of last week," Cil noted in a statement.
RBI's major shareholder is a Brazilian investment firm, 3G Capital, which also owns Burger King and Popeyes.
Last year, it recorded more than US$34 billion in systemwide sales, which includes gross revenues from franchise holders. On its income statement, RBI records royalties, which are a percentage of those sales.
Cil said that Burger King comparable outlet sales "are now trending approximately flat to last year compared to the negative mid-30s in mid-March".
"This is driven by strong performance in drive-thru given most of our dining rooms throughout North America remain closed or offer reduced seating," he stated.
According to Cil, "Popeyes continues to demonstrate incredibly strong comparable sales momentum in the U.S. with sales growth remaining in the very high 20s last week."
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen opened its first outlet in Metro Vancouver in 2018 in Port Coquitlam.
The RBI CEO also pointed out that many of the company's outlets in other parts of the world have reopened.
"In Asia-Pacific, more than 90% of the restaurants are open; Europe, Middle East and Africa restaurants are now more than 80% open and approximately 60% of the Latin America restaurants are open," Cil added. "We are working closely with our franchise partners to ensure they exit the crisis as strong as possible, ready to recapture market share as their respective markets reopen."