Well I have been looking at some data from 2000 and 2001, economic data. And some of the hot trends then are certainly changed now. For instance in August of 2000 in Chain Leader News for QSR-Quick Service Restaurants, national sandwich chains were losing market share to independents, nearly 41% over the previous two years and as much as 9.1% in the first and second quarter of 2000. This trend was changed in part by Wendy’s open late program and the recession where Brand Names and Franchises always thrive. Back then Thursdays and Fridays were the busiest days. 19% of revenue coming from Thursday and 18.5 from Friday, primarily due to the biggest shopping day of Thursday due to grocery ads and fast food coupon inserts. Friday due to increased spendable income from cashing paychecks. A trend we also see in our washing business on the consumer side of things.
Fast Food back then drew in a generally married customer 56.7 % of the time and singles 33% with divorcees only 10% of the time. Back then the customer was generally white 83% of the time and had a sizeable household income of 50K plus nearly 30% of the time and the second highest percentage of revenue came from the customers whose household income was 75K plus. Middle Class and Upper Middle class people buy more fast food, they also tend to get more car wash services and pay more for add-ons too. Lunch was the favorite meal 57% of customers came in at lunch back in 2000. Unfortunately they were spending money they should have spent to wash their car. You see, QSRs are a good weather meter of the economy. In August of 2001 QSRs all reported lower same store sales with only Wendy’s reporting only modest same store sales, with lower profits and higher cost to stay open later. That strategy worked as it is working for us running multiple shifts and washing at night, thus employing more people. McDonalds reported lower than expected same store sales and actually thought they would go into the car wash business. It was not until this month that they changed their minds and decided they would not enter this industry. Good idea, because from what I have read about Ray Kroc the team he left behind was not quite the tiger he was and our team is tougher that Ray ever thought he was.