Restaurant spending trends higher
- Sales at eating and drinking establishments are up more than 4% this year to surpass the 3% rise in grocery store spending, according to YTD data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Higher prices account for some of the growth.
- "Generally speaking, the consumer — particularly the middle to upper middle-income consumer — is healthy. This group has benefited from stock market gains, stable asset markets, wage growth that is pretty healthy," notes Morningstar restaurant analyst R.J. Hottovy on the solid pace of restaurant sales.
- While sales may be topping expectations, operators have felt some margin pressure on the labor front and from new tech/delivery costs.
- Restaurant stocks: Arcos Dorados (NYSE:ARCO), Ark Restaurants (NASDAQ:ARKR), Biglari Holdings (NYSE:BH), BJ's Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI), Bloomin Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN), Brinker International (NYSE:EAT), Carrols Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:TAST), Chipotle (NYSE:CMG), Chuy's Holdings (NASDAQ:CHUY), Cracker Barrel (NASDAQ:CBRL), Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI), Dave & Buster's Entertainment (NASDAQ:PLAY), Del Frisco's Restaurants (NASDAQ:TACO), Del Taco (TACO), Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN), Dine Brands (NYSE:DIN), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), Dunkin' Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO), Famous Dave's of America (NASDAQ:DAVE), FAT Brands (NASDAQ:FAT), Fiesta Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:FRGI), J. Alexander's (NYSE:JAX), Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Nathan's Famous (NASDAQ:NATH), Noodles (NASDAQ:NDLS), Pepper Food Service (NYSE:PFGC), Performance Food Group (PFGC), RCH Hospitality (NASDAQ:RICK), Red Robin Gourmet (NASDAQ:RRGB), Restaurant Brands International (NYSE:QSR), Ruth's Hospitality (NASDAQ:RUTH), Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH) Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE), Habit Restaurants (NASDAQ:HABT), One Group Hospitality (NASDAQ:STKS), Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN), Waitr (NASDAQ:WTRH), Wingstop (NASDAQ:WING), Yum China (NYSE:YUMC), Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM).