Restaurant Brands posted a dip in first quarter revenue yesterday, but chief executive Russel Creedy says the company - which operates KFC, Starbucks and Pizza Hut - has a few tricks up its sleeve that should boost sales in the months ahead.
One of those is the KFC Chicken Pie, which he says is expected to hit stores next week.
Creedy said the pie contained a mix of the chain's famous potato and gravy and, of course, chicken.
The pie comes a year after the release of KFC's Double Down, the limited edition bunless chicken burger that proved a promotional coup for the brand and had customers queuing out the doors.
Creedy said he did not expect the pie, which will sell for $4.50, to be as much of a hit as the Double Down.
But it was expected to prove popular. "It's fantastic," he said. "I've had a few already."
Restaurant Brands, which said the Double Down will be back on the menu at KFC later this year, reported total sales of $70.6 million for the three months to May 21 - a 2.7 per cent decrease on the same period a year earlier.
The company attributed the drop in revenue to the success of the Double Down in the prior comparable period.
Same-store sales were down 3.7 per cent, Restaurant Brands said.
The company said KFC's total sales dropped 3.1 per cent on the prior year to $54.1 million, while same-store sales fell 6.4 per cent.
Starbucks' total sales for the quarter fell 3.5 per cent to $5.9 million
Pizza Hut's total sales were flat, despite the company owning nine fewer stores than it did in the first quarter of the prior year due to a sell-down of sites to independent franchisees.
But the company said same-store sales at the pizza chain rose 10.4 per cent on the prior year, largely due to the launch of its $4.90 pizza deal.
The company does not make any return on its $4.90 pizzas, but Creedy said the deal was attracting customers back to Pizza Hut.
And if enough pizzas were sold at that price it would have a positive impact on profits because the increased sales helped cover the fixed costs of the business, he said.
Paul Harrison, head of equities at BT Asset Management, said the drop in Restaurant Brands' total revenue was not a big concern.
"The sales might be a bit lower but I would imagine the margins are a bit better," he said.
Restaurant Brand shares, which have shed 21 per cent over the past year, closed down 4c at $2.11 last night.