With Q1 earnings calls being held over the past week or so, DDIFO restaurant analyst John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group noted much about competitors: Starbucks (SBUX) reported very solid Q1 earnings results last week with same store sales +7% (2% in traffic and +5% in ticket value). They also introduced a boatload of new beverages, breakfast sandwiches nationwide and Yogurt/Juice Smoothies. They target to grow 600 Americas units in 2015, and are slowly working delivery, in Seattle and at the Empire State Building in New York City. Their “My Starbucks Card” load dollars increased 19% to $1.1 billion. With Tim Horton’s now owned by 3G and combined with Burger King, their business visibility will decline as 3G reveals very little background. From last week’s Q1 earnings report however, we see very strong same store sales for US stores at 9.8%, although sales components (traffic, check, etc) are not provided. Future store development is focused internationally with US development model reverting to larger developers. While their US franchisees aren’t making much money, a note is that the high same store sales rate will attract attention, and potentially new US developers. Speaking of Burger King, we noted in this story that their same store sales were up 7% in Q1. And then there’s McDonald’s, which reported closing some 350 stores worldwide last week while same store sales at the Golden Arches dropped 2.3% during the first quarter and operating income plummeted 11%.