There always seems to be restaurant news on the menu. Let's take a look at some of this week's more appetizing stories.
1. Ask Carl: He knows everything
Leading fast-food chains continue to thrive in this tricky environment. Shares of CKE Restaurants
Earnings from continuing operations clocked in at $0.23 a share, well above both the $0.18 a share it earned a year earlier and the $0.20 a share that Wall Street analysts were projecting. An aggressive share repurchase helped pad results, but the analysts knew that before they made their guesstimates.
Revenue dropped slightly as a result of the company's refranchising efforts: It's selling company-owned Hardee's and Carl's Jr. units to franchisees. It's a win-win for both, especially because same-store sales at each of the chains rose by more than 3% during the quarter.
2. If you see the chair a-rocking, you may as well come knocking
Shares of CBRL Group
I guess CBRL is willing to put its money where its projected mouth is, too. Two days after the report, CBRL announced that it was hiking its quarterly dividend by 11%.
3. Breadsticks for everyone
Earnings also took a hit at casual dining bellwether Darden Restaurants
Thankfully, Darden expects growth for all of its fiscal year. It is encouraging, especially because the casual dining sector clearly hasn't held up as well as its value-minded quick-service peers.
4. Game on, Yum!
Who knew that Yum! Brands
Is Pizza Hut sure that a pie-delivery chain wants to be associated with a racing game? Will it cover drivers who get speeding tickets? Will it cover customers who get so pumped that they take the delivery driver's car for a joyride? I'm kidding of course, but I'm sure that there's some activist group out there already circulating a petition.
5. The wind beneath KFC's wings
Sometimes no news is good news. Panera Bread
With other market darlings talking down their prospects last week, Panera stepping up to say nothing says everything. Well done, Panera. Now put my fave Chicken Tomesto sandwich back on the menu of my local Panera!
Check out this week's dessert specials:
Panera Bread is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems Pay Dirt selection. Take-Two Interactive Software is a Rule Breakers pick. Activision Blizzard is a Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is the rare foodie who embraces restaurant chains. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story, save for CBRL Group. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.