From McDonald’s Corp. to Wendy’s Co., America’s biggest restaurant chains are serving up exactly what Wall Street is hungry for this summer: Robust sales combined with little or no tariff exposure. But peer deeper, and the outlook isn’t so rosy.
That’s because the growth has been rooted in higher prices—not necessarily new customers. Traffic has been flat or falling across the industry as U.S. consumers cut back on eating out in favor of dining on the couch. Unless restaurants can reverse this trend, the recent gains could be fleeting.. . . more