February 23, 2009

Recession rattles restaurant chains

A recession pushing U.S. consumers to dine at home has drastically shrunk restaurant chain share values, data show.

In the past year, share values at the top 26 restaurant chains have dropped 49.3 percent, USA Today reported Monday.

With job losses mounting and diners staying at home, some share values have fallen out of the frying pan and into the fire. IHOP shares have dropped nearly 90 percent. Appleby's and Ruby Tuesday have also seen nearly 90 percent share price declines.

Everyone is pulling back, KeyBanc Capital Markets restaurant analyst Lynne Collier told USA Today. The economy is playing into it.

Some lower-priced chains are bucking the trend. Buffalo Wild Wings share values have jumped 22 percent in 2009. McDonald's reported sales rose 5.4 percent in January at stores open for at least a year, the newspaper said.

But, it will take a turnaround in the overall economy to pull restaurants out of the slump, Collier said to USA Today.