The viability of mom-and-pop and small restaurant chains hinges on a new stimulus program, as these eateries "simply can't stay alive" as is with required social distancing and other health and safety precautions, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Thursday on "Mad Money."
Under a worst-case scenario for the industry, seven public names will likely emerge as "last man standing restaurants," he said.
It's inevitable that the large major chains and brands will take over space from closing eateries, Cramer said. The CNBC host named six public companies that are positioned to "take over the whole industry":
1. Wendys Co (NASDAQ:WEN): After tripling in value from its March lows, Wendys has room to "keep running," Cramer said.
2. Mcdonald's Corp (NYSE:MCD) provided a "rare upside surprise" when it pre-announced strong same-store sales growth.
4. Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM): The company will "ultimately benefit" from its size, but in the meantime, the "food is not that great, frankly," Cramer said.
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG): The "ever-present" restaurant chain's stock has "much more room to run," he said.
6. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX): Street analysts will start revising their estimates higher in the coming quarters, in Cramer's view.