Freshii lags behind due to slow urban recovery

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Toronto-based Freshii is still lagging behind its pre-pandemic sales, especially in markets in major cities like Chicago and Canadian urban areas, the chain reported this week.

For the quarter ended September 27, same-store sales of Freshii increased 10.6% year over year. But same-store sales remain down 20.1% from 2019 figures. Suburban stores, around 55% of the chain’s North American portfolio, are back to more than 90% of pre-market levels. pandemic, ”CEO Matthew Corrin told analysts.

Innovation in menus, especially an LTO taco with a high price tag and frequent additions of crisps and queso, helps drive sales, Corrin said.

“What we have found is that with our suburban locations which have a mix of residential and retail traffic, we continue to benefit from both the lunch day, but also the after. midday and dinner, ”CFO Daniel Haroun said during the results call. . “And so we’re optimistic that on the other side of the pandemic, we can also continue to build daylight periods beyond lunch.

Freshii recently signed its largest franchise deal, partnering with US-based Level Hospitality to open 20 new units in Texas over the next six years.

During the quarter, Freshii opened eight restaurants, some of which were previously listed as permanently closed during the pandemic. However, the chain closed seven units during the third quarter and had 12 locations listed as temporarily closed. The chain ended the period with 372 restaurants.

The chain said it plans to open fewer new stores in 2022 than in previous years, as growth was halted to conserve resources during the pandemic.

“Building our restaurant and development pipeline, particularly in Canada and the United States, continues to be an area we are focused on,” Corrin said.

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