CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday offered investors a list of his favorite stocks in the restaurant industry that he believes will do well as the economy eventually stabilizes.
“Maybe the economy’s normalizing here, or at least the Fed chief thinks it could be soon to normalize. And in a normal environment, stock picking is much more about identifying the best players in any given industry, rather than just jumping from sector to sector,” he said.
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His comments come after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the central bank could ease back its aggressive pace of interest rates as soon as December, setting off a market rally.
Cramer explained that he chose to examine restaurants because investors can easily understand their “totally consumer-facing” business operations.
Here are his favorite restaurant stocks:
Growth stock pick: Chipotle Mexican Grill
Cramer praised the burrito chain for its mobile ordering technology and brand loyalty, which boosts its pricing power.
“What really gets me excited about Chipotle is simple: As their costs come down — and that’s happening now that the Fed’s winning its war on inflation — their earnings can soar higher,” he said.
Defense stock pick: McDonald’s
McDonald’s is a classic defensive stock that typically continues performing well during tough economic times, according to Cramer.
He added that “between the technology improvements, the global store growth and the excellent marketing, they thrive in good times.”
‘Special’ situation pick: Restaurant Brands International
The parent company of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons is a special case because it recently appointed former Domino’s Pizza CEO Patrick Doyle as Restaurant Brands‘ executive chair, Cramer said.
Doyle helmed the pizza chain from 2010 to 2018, during which it became a formidable force in the restaurant industry. He joined Restaurant Brands as it attempts to revive Burger King’s U.S. sales.
“If Doyle can boost the growth without spending like crazy, and improve the taste, I think you’ve got a big winner on your hands,” Cramer said, adding, “Just remember that you’ve got to be patient with this one because it could take a little while for Doyle’s plans to kick in.”