How Is Your Restaurant Faring Against the Competition? Q3 Benchmarking Update

Each quarter, we analyze the operating results of publicly-traded restaurant companies to compile timely benchmarking information to help you gauge how your restaurant stacks up. What were our top-line findings this quarter?
The industry as a whole continues to forge ahead as restaurants adjust to the demands of the marketplace, finding new and innovative ways to meet and exceed customers’ ever-evolving preferences. Same-store sales have climbed consistently this year across all segments, and Q3 was no exception. The pizza and fast casual segments led the charge with increases of 6.7 and 5.6 percent, respectively.
Pizza purveyors continued to reap the benefits of cheaper cheese, wheat and pork, which contributed to a 1.9 percent decline in the cost of sales for the segment. Domino’s sat atop the pizza pack for the fourth quarter in a row with a 13.3 percent jump in same-store sales, propelled by its focus on online ordering and improving the digital and delivery experiences – including unveiling a new delivery car that comes equipped with ovens.
This quarter, labor costs were top-of-mind for restaurants as minimum wage issues escalated and the trend of restaurants eliminating tipping picked up steam. The good news? Labor costs remained consistent during Q3, increasing by only one-tenth of a percent across segments, largely due to strong sales and effective labor management practices.
How do private companies stack up? Our past benchmarking surveys of medium-sized private companies found that, on average, their prime costs exceeded those of public companies by 1-2 percent. However, high quartile companies – the best performing – had prime costs three percent lower than the average public company.
For more information, download the full report here. And be sure to keep up with the Restaurant Practice’s latest thoughts by following us on Twitter at @BDORestaurant.