While the classic catering businesses such as restaurants and cafés had to switch to new models in the Corona crisis and discovered that the delivery service was an alternative to the crisis, fast-food restaurants had an advantage at first glance. After all, large chains such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks have been relying on the “To Go” and “Drive Thru” concepts for years.
Due to the contact restrictions, some of the branches of the large catering chains were also closed. Wherever was open, customers made themselves scarce – or stayed away altogether. Many chains are therefore already exempting part of the fees that they should actually pay from their franchisees. For example, McDonald’s waives part of the rent. Many other chains spend hours or waive their franchise fees temporarily.
How heavy the losses from the lockdown weigh can only be guessed at so far. The business figures for the first quarter give a first taste. So far, the crisis has been noticeable in the large international catering chains:
This is how the food chains are in crisis
@imago images / Xinhua
With revenue of $ 6 billion, Starbucks sales in the first quarter were 5 percent lower than in the same period last year. The chain estimates that comparable revenue losses are $ 915 million, a drop of about a tenth compared to the previous year. In China, sales declined by 50 percent. For the full year 2020, the chain expects sales in China to decline by between 15 and 25 percent. In the United States, where comparable sales in the first three months of the year fell just three percent year over year, Starbucks is now focusing on store openings. By the beginning of June, around 90 percent of the American locations should start operations again.
@imago images / UPI Photo
Dunkin ‘Donuts already reacted to the economic developments in the first quarter and decided not to distribute the dividend to its shareholders. Instead, the chain that sells coffee and donuts has invested $ 33 million in funding for the second quarter. Dunkin ‘Donuts already got a taste of the business figures from April to June in the first quarter. Revenue increased $ 4 million year-over-year to $ 323.1 million. However, worldwide sales fell by two percent. After growth of 3.5 percent for most of the quarter, the slump of almost a quarter followed in the last three weeks of March.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
2020 McDonald’s will celebrate its 80th birthday. The fast food chain has only reason to celebrate given the business figures. Revenue decreased six percent to $ 4.7 billion. The increasing Corona measures in March are particularly noticeable. Global sales slumped 22 percent in the last month of the first quarter. Profits decreased 17 percent year over year to $ 1.1 billion. McDonald’s has withdrawn its original annual forecast.
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Burger King’s sales were down $ 290 million year-on-year. In the fifth quarter, the fast food chain generated almost $ 5 billion in sales – a decrease of three percent. The parent company Restaurants Brands International, which also includes the companies Tim Horton and Popeye’s, reports similar developments, with the end of the quarter in particular having a significant impact on business figures. If daily sales declined by almost 30 percent in the last two weeks of March, comparable daily sales at the end of April were in the negative double-digit range.
@imago images / Revierfoto
Even Pizza Hut, which together with KFC became the Yum! Brands heard, suffered noticeable losses in some key markets. Due to the US and China business of fast-food restaurants, branch sales dropped by more than a tenth, at eleven percent. Without the locations in the People’s Republic, the decline is halved. Revenues are also $ 8 million lower than a year earlier as a result of the corona pandemic. That corresponds to about three percent of revenue. Nevertheless, around 127 new branches were opened in the first quarter.
@imago images / Pacific Press Agency
At Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), comparable sales decreased eight percent in the first quarter. The main reason for this is the lockdown measures in China. More than a quarter of the 48,000 KFC branches are located in the People’s Republic. However, since the easing, almost all Chinese locations have been partially or fully opened. Internationally, sales collapsed by two percent. Revenue is still stable at $ 566 million compared to the previous year.