While casual-dining restaurants continue to languish in the midst of the nation’s slow-motion economic recovery, quick-service chains have rebounded to pre-downturn levels, according to Goldman Sachs securities analysts.
According to a new report from Michael Kelter and Chris Cerrone, the gap in same-store sales performance between quick-service and casual-dining chains — with the exception of Darden Restaurants — has widened over the past few quarters.
“QSRs have recovered their pre-recession trajectory, while casual diners are hovering around 0-percent to 1-percent growth,” they wrote. “We do not see any catalysts that would change recent trends, as most economists expect the U.S. economy to continue to grow at a very modest rate in 2012, and casual dining is highly macrosensitive.”
Goldman Sachs does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. The comments from analysts do not necessarily reflect the views of Nation's Restaurant News, nor should any statement be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security.
Chipotle, Dunkin’ poised for growth in near term
Kelter and Cerrone wrote they expect 1,200-unit Chipotle Mexican Grill to be the best-performing restaurant stock of 2012, saying they are bullish because the brand is very early in its growth lifecycle, with plenty of upside still possible for same-store sales and profit margins.