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Popeyes, Burger King Owner Restaurant Brands Expects Continued Higher Digital Sales After Coronavirus

Jayson Derrick

Fast food restaurant operator Restaurant Brands International Inc (NYSE: QSR) penned an open letter to mark 100 days since the COVID-19 pandemic "turned business in our home markets upside down."

Return To Growth: Just days away from the start of the third quarter, Restaurant Brands said it's seeing a return to growth in certain parts of its business.

The company is now "far stronger" today after experiencing an "unplanned journey."

The company focused on digital innovation in mid-March when restaurants closed their doors and consumers were mostly confined to their homes.

Restaurant Brands rewrote code for its apps and worked quickly to introduce curbside pickup and expanded delivery.

"The outcome has been a significant increase in digital sales in North America and we believe this trend shift to digital is what guests will continue to demand," according to the company. 

Burger King Update: Nearly every U.S. Burger King restaurant is now open in some form. Comparable sales are trending around flat versus last year versus a drop in the mid-30s in March, according to Restaurant Brands. 

Tim Hortons Update: Nine out of 10 Tim Hortons stores in Canada are open. The majority of closed locations are inside a mall, food court, sporting complex or other public facility.

The iconic chain has shown sequential comparable sales improvement every week since mid-March, when it was trending in the negative mid-40s.

Popeyes Update: The chicken chain showed same-store sales growth in the very high 20s range last week, according to Restaurant Brands. Nearly every restaurant is open for delivery or takeout.

Financial Update: Restaurant Brands drew from a revolving credit facility in March out of an "abundance of caution."

But after seeing steady improvements across its brands, the company is in the process of repaying all of the outstanding amount borrowed from the revolver.

QSR Price Action: Restaurant Brands shares ended Monday's session higher by 4.98% at $55.25. 

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