Burger King ended Q2 with 7,058 U.S. restaurants, a decrease of 0.5 percent year-over-year. The brand has the fifth-largest domestic footprint, but that may change before 2022 is over. Taco Bell finished its second quarter with 7,044 U.S. stores after adding a net of 23. Cil said Burger King doesn’t expect significant shifts from historic closure levels, which averages around 200 per year.
“Different from what we’ve done in the past, we’re going site by site to determine the best path for each restaurant,” Cil said. “We’re considering remodels versus scrapes and rebuilds versus relocations or offsets. And this is centered on the guest experience, on digital, and also enhancing our throughput—the capacity for us to serve more guests in our restaurants. Ongoing closures is a natural part of this process and a natural part of this business as we look at portfolio optimization.”
Burger King’s international same-store sales grew 18.4 percent in Q2, and it increased unit count 4.9 percent year-over-year to 12,253 locations. Four of the company’s largest markets—France, Spain, Germany, and Brazil—experienced double-digit comps and collectively contributed $1.2 billion to systemwide sales. Guests in France, Germany, U.K, and Italy consider Burger King their top quick-service preference.
Elsewhere at RBI, Tim Hortons continued to impress, with global same-store sales soaring 12.2 percent year-over-year, including a 14.2 percent bump in Canada. The performance was the result of progress in core breakfast, baked goods, and coffee offerings, extensions to p.m. food and cold beverage lineups, and a second collaboration with Justin Bieber. All product categories, excluding hot beverages, were positive against 2019. Tim Hortons finished Q2 with 5,352 units globally (3,917 in Canada, and 1,435 internationally), a 5.7 percent increase versus 2021.
Popeyes U.S. comps dropped 0.1 percent in Q2, but they're still up 25 percent versus 2019 levels, thanks to the chicken sandwich. The chain is projected to accelerate off a record development year, with most openings coming in North America. The brand had 3,851 restaurants at the end of the second quarter, 8.1 percent more than it did in the year-ago period. That includes 2,827 U.S. stores (6 percent growth) and 1,024 international units (14.4 percent growth). Firehouse Subs saw comps drop 1.2 percent, after lapping a 31.3 percent increase in 2021. The fast casual sustained its record AUVs of $928,000 on a trailing 12-month basis, up from $700,000 prior to the pandemic. The numbers are driven by outperformance of new units, Cil said. Firehouse ended Q2 with 1,233 locations systemwide, 1,181 of which are in the U.S.
Overall, RBI’s systemwide sales lifted 14 percent to more than $10 billion in the second quarter. Digital sales grew double digits to more than $3 billion, good for a 33 percent mix.