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Restaurant Brands International reports strong unit growth, digital sales in first quarter of 2021


Toronto – Restaurant Brands International Inc. reported strong unit growth for the company overall and strong digital sales for Tim Hortons, along with its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.

System-wide sales were up compared to 2019, the company reported. RBI added 148 net new restaurants, nearing “best-ever” first-quarter unit growth.

The company highlighted the following bright spots:

  • Tim Hortons posted 31 per cent digital sales in the first quarter in Canada and reported two million app downloads in March 2021 alone.
  • Burger King’s U.S. launch of $1 Your Way value menu is providing encouraging results, the company reported.
  • Popeyes announced plans to add more than 1,000 restaurants over 10 years across the U.K., India, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

“Our first quarter results signal our return to growth with system-wide sales surpassing Q1 2019 and net restaurant growth nearly matching our best-ever Q1 performance in 2018,” said José E. Cil, chief executive officer of RBI.

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“Our home market recovery from the pandemic is well-underway, including at Tim Hortons in Canada where our business fundamentals have continued to improve as we execute on our Back to Basics plan, which included exciting product launches in Q1 like our new dark roast coffee and fresh cracked egg breakfast sandwiches. Our C$80-million investment announced during the quarter to supercharge our advertising and digital platforms is a further indication of our strong confidence in Tim Hortons’ market-leading position as the Canadian economy fully reopens later this year.”

RBI reported that, as of the end of March, 95 per cent of its restaurants were open worldwide, noting that Canada, Europe, Brazil and other regions that had eased restrictions during 2020, re-imposed lockdowns and curfews.

For full results, see the company’s news release.