Restaurants Blame Weak Consumer Confidence for Sales Slowdown

Several typically-resilient U.S. restaurant chains are putting a face on the nation’s slower economic growth, reporting a pullback in customer traffic growth in June as consumer confidence weakened–a trend that seems to have bled into July.

Overall, U.S. economic growth pulled back during the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday, as consumer spending slowed. The nation’s gross domestic product–the value of all goods and services produced–grew at an annual rate of 1.5% between April and June: a reading that suggests domestic fiscal worries may be having a greater impact on consumer confidence.

McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (CMG), which have in the past proved resilient during tough economic times, said they saw a bit of a slowdown in U.S. guest count-growth in the second quarter, which took some executives by surprise.

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