LOS ANGELES Nov 23 U.S. full-service chains
such as Olive Garden, Applebee's and Chili's
saw a steep, 5.1 percent drop in sales at established
restaurants during the week prior to the Nov. 8 U.S.
presidential election, data showed on Wednesday.
While limited in scope, the data appears to back restaurant
executives' claims that the tense and tumultuous U.S. election
dented their business.
"Sales were down seriously around the country," for the week
ending Nov. 6, said Malcolm Knapp, a restaurant consultant whose
Knapp-Track service monitors restaurant sales and guest counts.
"The uncertainty was sky-high," he said, adding that
full-service same-restaurant sales had been down slightly for
the week ended Oct. 30.
The same-store sales decline eased to 1.4 percent for the
week of the election, Knapp said. The gyrations at high-end
steak houses were even more exaggerated, he said.
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Chris