Raw Data Report: Restaurants

Includes: CPKI, TAST, YUM
by: TickerMine

Each day, Wall Street is flooded with stock research offering a multitude of conflicting investment opinions. As such, TickerMine is not in the business of providing more opinions. We believe that accurate raw data points can be used to gain insight in to the stock selection and valuation process.

43% of Long John Silver's (NYSE:YUM) Respondents Say their Specials Don't Inspire New Business

Long John Silver's, America's fish and chippery, was surveyed this week. This was after the YUM brand reported a 4% higher 2Q profit. We consulted 32 locations and asked which shift was busier, what were the most popular menu items and how these help business.

59% of those polled said lunch was busiest, while 41% said it was dinner. 66% reported having weekly specials while 34% had none. 43% said the specials did nothing to attract more customers, while 57% felt it helped. And 31% said the lobster bites were the best-selling menu item this week, 13% said it was the Treasure Chest Family Meal and 16% said their Value Baskets sell best. 69% said these menu items have been around forever, and 31% said they were reasonably new. But none of the locations, we polled, all 32 or 100% said they had been around over a year.

California Pizza Kitchen (NASDAQ:CPKI) Reports a Busy Month

Business continues to be up from prior months according to employees at California Pizza Kitchens across the country. Tickermine surveyed 31 restaurants and 18 (58%) reported that July was busier than June. The Barbeque Chicken Pizza continues to be the most popular menu item at 10 (38%) restaurants. Buffalo Chicken Pizza (13%) and White Pizza (10%) were also noted as popular menu items.

Dinner remains the busiest time compared to lunch at 20 (65%) restaurants, and 2 (6%) restaurants were reported as new locations. Menu items were the restaurants' draw at 20 (65%) restaurants compared to atmosphere at 10 (32%) restaurants. The average check size for a party of two is between $20-$40 at 28 (90%) of the California Pizza Kitchens surveyed.

The Chicken Fajitas is the Only Meal Worth Mentioning at Tropical Pollo (NASDAQ:TAST)

We surveyed Carrols' Tropical Pollo, the Miami-based Carribean restaurant chain this week after the Carrol Group reported its second quarter earnings had fallen 36% due to higher operating costs. 24 respondents at 24 different locations around the country were asked whether lunch or dinner is busiest, how much their customers spend, what the most popular menu items were and how long the location has been open.

Chicken Fajitas are the most popular menu item according to 38%. No other meals received more than a mention. 54% of those polled said dinner is busiest and 48% said lunch. 17% of those interviewed said their location was newer than a year (this percentage is quite high compared with other restaurants we poll), and 83% said their location was older than a year. 50% of those interviewed said it was a particular menu item that attracted their clientele. 25% said it was the atmosphere and another 25% said it was the prices. And that makes sense considering 75% of those polled said their customers don't spend over $20-$30 per table of two. Only 25% said their customers spend $35-$45, which still isn't much. And while 45% said their restaurant was busier than a year ago, 55% said nothing had changed.