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KFC-Parent Yum Brands Quarterly Sales Beat Estimates

KFC-parent Yum Brands recently reported that its quarterly sales beat estimates, thanks to new menu items added to its many brands and restaurants, as well as a strong online ordering demand that consumers have started to use. These strong quarterly sales come as other fast-food chains struggle to compete with constant favorites, as well as with less staff because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Yum Brands has done well throughout the pandemic, even with food and labor shortages. This last quarter did well because Yum Brands’ restaurants added new items to its menu, according to the corporation. For example, a Detroit-style pizza was introduced at Pizza hut, while a new crispy chicken sandwich taco was added to the Taco Bell menu. KFC, meanwhile, introduced a plant-based fried chicken imitation for those who don’t want to eat meat, yet still want to eat at KFC. 

However, new menu additions weren’t the only new factor that helped quarterly sales increase for Yum Brands. The corporation also increased its digital business to help consumers buy online or order online, or order through apps. According to the company, business done digitally has already doubled for all the restaurants, compared to how much digital was used before the pandemic ever began. Yum previously bought three separate firms to help them increase their digital presence and help consumers with browsing and ordering. 

As a result of this huge jump in digital usage, Yum believes that shifting to more digital channels will be permanent — and not just a trend. Yum also added automation into their restaurants to help with kitchen flow, especially because many restaurants may be working with a limited staff because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Out of all the restaurants owned by Yum Brands, Taco Bell continues to be the restaurant to bring in the most money and do the best across the board. Same-store sales at Taco Bell increased by about 8%. KFC, meanwhile, rose about 5%.

Since the pandemic began in the United States in 2020, fast food chains and restaurants have struggled in certain areas. While many brands have done phenomenally — especially in the beginning of the pandemic when consumers wanted to get food through the drive-thru, rather than have to go inside and eat — issues such as inflation and labor shortages now negatively impact how businesses are able to run. 

Now, restaurants have been raising the cost of their items because of inflation. This may negatively impact how much consumers are willing to spend when they go out to eat. Supply chain issues, especially how food and items get to individual stores or restaurants, have also been a problem, though there are many positive signs that the supply chain will continue to work towards recovery. 

The labor shortage, meanwhile, may be more complex. More workers have been returning to the workforce recently, which is positive. However, many people are still voluntarily quitting their jobs at record rates, which could hurt the service industry specifically. Fast-food chains will likely continue to struggle with worker shortages, especially if the pandemic has another wave that forces workers to call out. 



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