Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Upset tummies in the food sector?


mcd1Check out sluggish results in the U.S. food sector.

Fast food giant McDonald’s and Kroger, the largest U.S. grocery chain, saw shares decline 2.5 percent and 10 percent, respectively, after reporting weak results.

McDonald’s said same-store sales at its U.S. restaurants slipped 0.6 percent in November, marking the second straight monthly decline. Following Yum Brands’ recent weaker-than-expected sales, it was the latest sign that the fast-food sector that had performed well through most of the recession was weakening.

Rising unemployment has begun to take a noticeable bite out of sales, particularly at breakfast — where McDonald’s leads the industry.

Kroger reported a much lower-than-expected quarterly profit and cut its full-year forecast as it feels pressure from falling food prices and stepped up competition.

Free breakfast at Denny’s? I’m there!


Denny’s has finally figured out a way to get people to come out to a casual dining restaurant during a recession – give them a free breakfast.
It probably isn’t a sustainable business model, but the chain gave free Grand Slam breakfasts to anybody who came in on Tuesday, an offer it advertised on Sunday during the Super Bowl.


The company was on pace to serve about 2 million of the free breakfasts, a spokeswoman said.
The free breakfast promotion also slammed the company’s web site.

You asked for a bailout


This man wants to bail you out — with breakfast. marchioli.jpg

Denny’s Chief Executive Nelson Marchioli is offering the Weekday Express Slam, a budget-version of the company’s mainstay $6 Grand Slam breakfast, for $4 on weekdays from 5 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The move from Denny’s, the always-open restaurant chain, comes as companies use timely pitches and discounts to tempt consumers who are increasingly worried about recession to crack open their wallets.