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Taco Bell same-store sales decline as chain loses breakfast and late-night customers

A deliveryman is seen passing by a closed Taco Bell restaurant during the 45th day of state of alarm on April 28, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain.

David Zorrakino | Europa Press News | Getty Images

As the coronavirus pandemic upends consumers’ normal routines, Taco Bell is losing critical breakfast and late-night sales.  

Parent company Yum Brands said Tuesday that the chain’s U.S. same-store sales have declined by high-single digits so far in the quarter ending June 30, although they turned positive from the end of April through May. 

On the other hand, both KFC and Pizza Hut reported domestic same-store sales growth so far in the quarter. The company did not disclose same-store sales results for Habit Burger Grill, the smaller burger chain it acquired earlier this year.

The crisis has helped Pizza Hut, which is typically the laggard of Yum’s portfolio, grow its digital and delivery sales, a long-term goal of the brand as it shies away from its reputation as a dine-in pizzeria. Yum said that in early May, the U.S. division of the pizza chain recorded its highest delivery and carryout average sales week in the last eight years. 

Similarly, KFC U.S. reported a record high of average sales per store in a week in early May.  

Yum said in the regulatory filing that sales outside of the U.S. across the three chains continue to be “choppy,” due to temporary restaurant closures. About 10% of its locations worldwide have not reopened. Globally, Yum’s same-store sales have declined 19% so far in the quarter, excluding Habit Burger. KFC has seen the steepest drop, with global same-store sales plunging 26%. 

Yum said that it would resume its typical quarterly reporting schedule going forward.

Shares of the restaurant company were flat in morning trading. The stock, which has a market value of $29.1 billion, has fallen 4% so far in 2020.

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