Yum Brands Closes 7.000 Restaurants, Cites COVID-19 Impact

Yum Brands, the world’s largest restaurant company, has temporarily closed 7,000 restaurants around the globe and issued guidance about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on same-stores sales, saying it will grow progressively worse through mid-summer. The parent company of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and The Habit Burger Grill owns more than 50.000 outlets and has switched to a “low contact” to-go model, serving customers through delivery, drive-thru or curbside pick-up, where available.

Of those 7.000 restaurants, 1.000 were Pizza Hut Express units in the US, while 900 KFCs were closed in the UK because of the lockdown imposed by authorities.

“We and our franchisees have also experienced significant store closures and instances of reduced store-level operations that have resulted in reduced operating hours and dining-room closures,” Yum stated in the filing. “In markets where governments have imposed restrictions on travel outside of the home or where customers are practicing social distancing, restaurant traffic has also been significantly impacted.”

In a regulatory filing, Yum Brands stated that same-store sales would decline by mid-to-high single digits for the quarter ending March 31. According to equity research firm BTIG, Yum’s March same-store sales will be down 20% to 25% “with a steeper decline in the last 10 days.”

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