Yum! Brands, McDonald’s post double digit growth driven by away from home consumption rebound

US – American multinational fast food companies McDonald’s and Yum Brands have seen sales surge in the first half of the year as more restaurants around the world reopen dining rooms and consumers become open to the idea of eating out.  

McDonald’s net income for the first half of fiscal 2021 was US$3.8 billion an impressive jump from the same time of the previous year when the company earned US$1.6 billion. 

The company’s digital efforts bore fruit, delivering sales of nearly US$8 billion across McDonald’s Corp.’s top six markets during the first six months of 2021. 

According to McDonald’s chief executive officer Christopher J. Kempczinski, this was a 70% increase versus last year. 

Quarterly sales were up 49% to US$5.9 billion while the company’s net income for Q2 rose significantly to US$2.2 billion from US$484 million recorded in the year prior.  

In the US, comparable sales increased 15% on a two-year basis, reflecting continued momentum, according to the company. 

To attract more customers, McDonald’s launched the MyMcDonald’s Rewards app and loyalty program in the US in early July.  

More than 22 million users have logged into the app, and more than 12 million have enrolled in the loyalty program, according to the company. 

Yum Brands delivers strong Q2 growth 

Meanwhile, the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell fast-food brands Yum! Brands has recorded a double-digit rise in net income for the second quarter ended June 30. 

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The company’s income jumped 89% to $391 million from $206 million, recorded in the same period a year ago.  

On a two-year basis, net income was up 26% while total revenues totaled US$1.6 billion, up 34% from US$1.2 billion a year ago and 18% from US$1.3 billion two years ago. 

The company attributed the impressive rise in income and sales to new menu items at KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell which drove more consumers to its stores in the second quarter. 

KFC saw strength in its new chicken sandwich while Pizza Hut benefited from its Detroit-style pizza, Edge Pizza, and two new offerings featuring plat-based sausage from Beyond Meat, said David Gibbs, chief executive officer. 

Worldwide system sales excluding foreign currency translation grew 26%, with KFC at 35%, Taco Bell at 24%, and Pizza Hut at 10%. 

“Looking across the more than 150 countries in which we operate, we’ve seen that while the overall is positive, the recovery will neither be consistent from country-to-country nor linear within a country,” Mr. Gibbs said.  

“We’ve seen that increased customer mobility driven by reopening trends and vaccinations contributed to strong performance in many of our markets.” 

Like its competitor KFC, Yum Brands has also invested heavily in digital capabilities to help the fast-food brands owner reach more customers. 

According to the company, it delivered more than US$5 billion in digital sales in the second quarter, up 35% from a former all-time high of US$3.5 billion in the same period a year ago. 

Group CEO notes that even as economies resume, it’s the company’s digital side will continue to be a priority. 

Recent digital investments include an in-house intelligent coaching app for Pizza Hut stores and an internally built KFC e-commerce platform.  

The company also has agreed to acquire Dragontail Technologies, a food preparation optimization company that automates kitchen flow, driver dispatch, and customer order tracking. 

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