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Consumers are cutting back on restaurant spending, but CEOs say not all chains are affected

Howard Schultz

David Ryder | Reuters

Some restaurants are reporting weaker sales or declining traffic in the second quarter, signaling that diners are cutting back on eating out to save money.

But CEOs are split on how consumer behavior is changing and whether it’s impacting their companies.

McDonald’s Chris Kempczinski and Chipotle Mexican Grill’s Brian Niccol are among those who told investors that low-income consumers are spending less money at their locations, while higher-income customers are visiting more frequently. Other chief executives, like Starbucks’ Howard Schultz and Bloomin’ Brands’ David Deno, said they haven’t seen their customers pull back.

The mixed observations come as restaurant companies hike menu prices to pass along higher costs for ingredients and labor. Prices for food eaten away from home have risen 7.7% in the 12 months ended in June, according to the Bureau of…

Read more at www.cnbc.com

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