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Analyst projects strong growth for casual-dining chains

Casual-dining chains should emerge from the pandemic quickly and see “golden years” of market share growth, same-store sales and unit growth, said Andy Barish, a Jefferies equities analyst.

He told Nation’s Restaurant News, “starting later this year and through 2024, according to our analysis, the chain casual-dining industry could be setting up for some ‘golden years’ of growth and share gains with higher levels of SSS and unit growth vs recent history.”

Barish said with the data showing more than 10 percent of restaurants and food trucks having closed during the pandemic, the altered landscape also presents big opportunities for full-service and varied-menu chains.

He specifically mentioned restaurant firms such as Brinker International Inc. BB #:153083, parent to Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Bloomin’ Brands Inc., parent to Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and other chains.

“Limited-service capacity was certainly less impacted (although a bit more than we initially expected),” he said. “We think limited-service chains will get back to ’19 levels quicker than full service and surpass ’19 levels by ’22 or ’23.”

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services