(Bloomberg) -- Cava Group Inc. lifted its annual sales outlook as it prepares a new steak offering and diners load up on extra sides of pita chips. While results outpaced expectations, the Mediterranean eatery reported a decline in customer traffic in the first quarter. 

The shares, which gained 92% this year through Tuesday’s close, slipped 5.4% at 4:33 p.m. in extended New York trading. 

The company now expects same-store sales growth of as much as 6.5%, up from a previous outlook of 5% at most. Guests are favoring premium proteins such as harissa honey chicken, Chief Executive Officer Brett Schulman said, while tacking on beverages and other extras.

“We’re seeing a very resilient consumer consistent across the country and across all income brackets,” Schulman said in an interview. “We’re not seeing check management,” he added.

Cava’s upbeat outlook echoes that of peers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Sweetgreen Inc., which have posted better-than-expected results even as inflation-weary Americans cut back on dining out. The price gap between fast-casual eateries and fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s Corp. has narrowed in recent years, making the former a better deal in the eyes of many consumers who are looking for healthier options.

Read More: Pricier Fast Food Vaults Chipotle and Cava to Lunch Winner

The Mediterranean chain is launching grilled steak across all locations on June 3, Schulman said. Cava expects consumers to swap in the pricier protein, helping drive its higher sales outlook. The chain hasn’t yet factored potential traffic growth from the steak launch into its annual guidance.

Guest traffic declined in the first quarter, which Schulman attributed to frigid January temperatures — a factor other restaurants also have cited. While the chain’s closures due to weather this year were closer to the roughly three days seen in typical quarters, he said, Cava had zero in 2023.In the first quarter, Cava’s same-store sales grew 2.3%, ahead of the average estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg.

The chain raised prices by 3% in January, Schulman said, adding he doesn’t expected further hikes this year.

(Updates share trading)

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