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McDonald’s: U.S. same-store sales dip in Nov.

McDonald's Corp said sales at established U.S. restaurants fell 0.6 percent in November, the latest sign that the fast-food sector that had performed well through most of the recession is weakening.
/ Source: Reuters

McDonald's Corp said sales at established U.S. restaurants fell 0.6 percent in November, the latest sign that the fast-food sector that had performed well through most of the recession is weakening.

Shares of the world's largest hamburger chain fell 2.5 percent in premarket trading as same-restaurant sales in its Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa same-store sales also fell, posting a 1 percent drop.

The decline in U.S. sales at stores open at least 13 months was McDonald's second straight monthly decline and comes less than a week after rival fast-food chain operator Yum Brands Inc forecast weaker than expected fourth-quarter sales.

Same-restaurant sales were up 0.7 percent overall for November, helped by a 2.5 percent rise in Europe, McDonald's said.

Fast-food chains like McDonald's were outperforming other restaurant categories until just recently, when rising unemployment began to take a noticeable bite of sales, particularly at breakfast -- where McDonald's leads the industry.

Despite the monthly same-store sales declines in the United States, McDonald's remains a leader in the fast-food industry it had a pivotal role in pioneering.

McDonald's has been outperforming Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc , Burger King Holdings Inc and other chains in the United States by offering a variety of items on its popular Dollar Menu.

But its rivals are stepping up with a broad range of inexpensive fare, including a new $1 double cheeseburger from Burger King, a new 99-cent menu from Dunkin Donuts and a value menu from Yum's Taco Bell that offers items for less than $1.

Elsewhere, grocery prices have been falling, prompting some consumers to eat more meals at home.