Wendy's (NYSE:WEN) may have talked about hurricane damage just last week, but today's revelation of September's same-store sales served up more of the same. The fast food purveyor's same-store sales dipped 1.4% in September, though the company is still standing by its previous earnings forecast.

Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Ivan have done a number on a bunch of businesses -- even stalwarts such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) -- especially in Florida and the Gulf Coast. Then, Hurricane Jeanne blew into town last weekend as well, resulting in more than 400 lost store days. Furthermore, torrential rains, flooding, and the general gray-day blahs likely suppressed customer traffic, and the company definitely mentioned that possibility.

Wendy's says that its Tim Hortons concept is still going strong, and for the year thus far, overall same-store sales are up 5.6%. Meanwhile, as was revealed last week, Mexican grill concept Baja Fresh continues to lag behind, possibly trounced by the McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) version, Chipotle.

Today, Wendy's stood firm that it will increase earnings by 10% to 12% in 2004, the number it gave last week when it ratcheted down earnings estimates, complaining of hurricanes and high beef prices.

However, one might wonder at some point whether McDonald's and Burger King are making headway against Wendy's; as far back as June, Wendy's same-store sales had started trending into more tepid, though still positive, zones.

Hurricane damage to same-store sales is understandable; McDonald's same-store sales for August were also a bit sedate, although we're still awaiting September figures. Wendy's investors were already prepared for this news last week. Any skepticism about whether Wendy's customer traffic is really keeping up with the Joneses of fast food should probably be reserved until hurricane season has passed us by.

Is Wendy's losing sizzle? Talk to other Fools about fast food investments on the Wendy's discussion board.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.