Restaurant Brands expects Burger King third-quarter sales to drop, Popeyes to shine

FILE PHOTO: The Burger King company logo stands on a sign outside a restaurant in Bretigny-sur-Orge, near Paris, France, July 30, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) – Restaurant Brands International Inc QSR.TOQSR.N on Wednesday forecast Burger King’s quarterly comparable sales to decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even though demand for its chicken sandwiches was likely to boost growth for Popeyes.

The company reported preliminary comparable sales drop of 7% for the three months ended Sept. 30 at its flagship Burger King operation globally.

However, that was an improvement from a 13.4% fall it reported in the previous quarter when most of its restaurants were closed for dine-in due to lockdowns.

Bigger rival McDonald’s Corp MCD.N earlier this month said global sales improved in the third quarter, down just 2.2%, as drive-through orders surged and special promotions lifted sales to double-digit percentage increases in September.

McDonald’s had great success with a limited-time promotional deal with rapper Travis Scott, which led to ingredient shortages.

Burger King last month unveiled a new restaurant design with touchless features, mobile order and curbside pick-up services as consumers avoid crowded areas and rely on delivery to curb the spread of the virus.

At Tim Hortons, its breakfast chain that has struggled this year as offices and colleges shift online, comparable sales are expected to fall 12.5%.

Popeyes is expected to lift sales for another quarter, with sales expected to rise 17.4%.

Revenue is likely to range between $1.32 billion and $1.34 billion, compared with Wall Street estimates of $1.34 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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