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Restaurant Industry Performance Pulse: June 8, 2022

Restaurant Industry Performance Pulse

Dine-In Sales Continue Recovering for Restaurants, But the Traffic Erosion Continues

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Data through the week ending May 29, 2022

  • Restaurant sales growth remained unchanged from the previous week, which means it may be stabilizing at a lower rate than previous months. The good news is the industry is achieving better sales than in the same period a year ago, despite the many challenges faced by consumers and restaurants, in addition to increasingly harder sales in the last year. 
  • Better sales continue to come from increases in average spend per guest or transaction, while restaurant traffic has been negative for the last twelve weeks. Traffic growth improved compared to the previous week, posting the third best week over the last eight-week period. 
  • To keep track of sales and traffic week to week and understand how you are performing compared to the market, subscribe to Financial Intelligence. Subscribers will know the results of the previous calendar week each Friday. Click here for more information. 
  • The only segments that achieved positive traffic growth during the week were upscale casual and fine dining. 
  • From a sales growth perspective, the top performers during the week were fine dining, upscale casual and quick service. All segments were able to experience positive sales growth during the week. 
  • Dine-in sales continue recovering across the industry, with almost all of its segments consistently posting positive dine-in sales growth over the last few months. The only exception is quick service, which is still seeing some occasional weeks of negative dine-in growth year over year. 
  • Most of the country (40 states) were able to post positive sales growth during the week. The best performing regions from a sales growth perspective were New England, Florida, California and the Western region. The regions with the softest sales growth were New York-New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic, the Southwest and Midwest. Only New York-New Jersey experienced negative sales growth during the week. 

Burgers and Steaks Most Popular Menu Items At Restaurants, Remain Unchanged Year Over Year 

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  • The most popular menu items from restaurants have not changed much year-over-year. These most popular items are those that received the largest number of positive mentions in restaurant reviews during the period between March and May of 2022, as well as the same months last year. 
  • Burgers remain the most popular menu item in limited-service restaurants. This item was ranked number one this year as well as during the same period in 2021. Following in popularity this year were chicken (including chicken sandwiches) and pizza. The only difference was that last year, pizza was the second most popular item after burgers, followed by chicken in the third spot. Perhaps due to covid, the large amount of people ordering pizza for delivery a year ago drove some of that popularity during this period in 2021. 
  • Steak was the most popular menu item during March through May periods in both 2021 and 2022 in full-service restaurants. Following in popularity were salads in number two and burgers in number three. Similarly to limited-service, these two menu items also switched places in full-service. A year ago, burgers were the second most popular item at full-service restaurants, followed by salads. 

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