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Burger business bad? Presidential election might be to blame, CEO says

CEO of fast food chain Wendy's says sales are down and political unrest is at fault.

Wendy's blames its burger sales depression on the presidential election.

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Are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton messing with burger sales? Instead of "Where's the beef," Wendy's is asking, "Where's the money?"

Same-store sales are in a slump and Wendy's CEO, Todd Penegor, said the election season is the reason.

"When a consumer is a little uncertain around their future and really trying to figure out what this election cycle really means to them, they're not as apt to spend as freely as they might have even just a couple of quarters ago," Penegor saidon Wednesday, CNBC reported.

And it isn't just ginger-sponsored burgers and buns that are affected. McDonald's expected a growth of 3.4 percent in same-store sales in the U.S., but only saw a rise of 1.8 percent, CNBC wrote in a separate report.

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"I think generally, there's just a broader level of uncertainty in consumers' minds at the moment, both trying to gauge their financial security going forward, you know, whether through elections or through global events, people are slightly mindful of an unsettled world," McDonald's CEO Stephen Easterbrook said in a July earnings call, CNBC reported. "And when people are uncertain, when families are uncertain, caution starts to prevail and they start to hold back on spend."

Wendy's also blamed lower grocery prices. The cheaper it is to eat at home, the more people are staying in.

"There haven't been too many facts that can prove that. It's a lot of speculation," Nick Setyan, an analyst from investment firmWedbush, said of Wendy's casting blame on the election.

"It has a lot more to do with the gap between food at home and food away from home," Setyan told CNBC.

Wendy's same-store sale in North America missed the 1.9 percent rise projected, only rising 0.4 percent, CBNCreported. Wendy's 2016 forecast has been slashed to 1 to 2 percent.

"Restaurants are becoming less of a value relative to grocery stores," Setyan added.

 
 
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