The return of business travel and conventions is driving traffic at fine-dining chains, many of which have recently reported positive same-store sales after suffering from empty dining rooms during the recession.
While steakhouse chains including Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris and The Capital Grille have taken advantage of the increased spending among their core markets, the high-end seafood chain McCormick & Schmick’s says it has suffered from the Gulf oil spill, which has kept consumers away.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. reported a 21-percent jump in profit and positive same-store sales for the third quarter.
Net income for the April 30-ended quarter totaled $14.4 million, or 62 cents a share, compared with a profit of $12.0 million, or 53 cents a share, in last year's third quarter, Cracker Barrel said.
Revenue rose 2 percent to $578.2 million. Same-store restaurant sales were up 0.6 percent, which reflected a 1.6-percent decline in traffic offset by a 2.2-percent bump in the average check. Same-store retail sales increased 3.2 percent.