Speaking of the Golden Arches, McDonalds held its Q3 earnings call this week and reported strong Q3 sales and earnings, especially in the US. US same store sales were up 14.9% vs. 2019, and 9.4% against 2020. All dayparts–breakfast, lunch and dinner were positive in same store sales with breakfast and dinner up plus 10%. The company is boasting 21M members in its Loyalty Program with 15M of those active to date and crediting much of the lunch and dinner traffic to the musician collaboration with Rapper Saweetie. This has worked for McDonald’s at dinner, noted John Gordon, DDIFO’s Restaurant Analyst. There was no breakfast “new news” to explain the breakfast strength. McD executives noted that system price increases will be up 6% for the year, but the largest factor in sales gain was “selling more stuff” – more food items per transaction – resulting in a higher ticket via mix. Food and paper commodities remain a problem, with the company raising its full year inflation cost estimate to 3.5 – 4.0% vs. an earlier projection of 2.0%. Once again, the company noted franchisees recorded “record cash flow” – which is an EBITDA number before debt service, taxes and CAPEX, as our analyst John Gordon has confirmed. To put this report in a better context, Burger King US also held its earnings call on Monday of this week and reported very weak sales.