According to GuestMetrics, food & beverage sales at table service restaurants and bars through mid-June 2013 lost some of the improvement seen towards the beginning of 2Q13. While total F&B sales were up +1.3 percent in 1Q13 and improved slightly to +1.6 percent during 2Q13 to-date, when looking specifically at the most recent 4 weeks ending June 16th, sales were softer at +0.6 percent.
“While there were signs of improvement in food & beverage sales during April and the first half of May after a weak 1Q13, the full service restaurant and bar channels appear to have decelerated during the 4-week period through June 16th,” says Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC. “On-premise alcohol volumes were in negative year-over-year territory during 1Q13 at -2.3 percent, then improved slightly during 2Q13 to-date to -1.1 percent, but looking specifically at the most recent 4-week period ending June 16th, they softened further into negative territory at -1.4 percent. It will be important to monitor in the coming weeks and months whether this is just a temporary pause in the recovery perhaps due to either weather or a temporary slowdown in consumer discretionary spending, or an early sign of a negative inflection point as we head further into the important summer season.” According to GuestMetrics, alcohol dollar sales were up +1.1 percent during 1Q13, accelerated to +2.6 percent for 2Q13 to-date, but looking specifically at the most recent 4 weeks, softened to +2.2 percent. Price/mix in overall alcohol has remained fairly consistent at +3.5 percent in 1Q13, +3.7 percent in 2Q13 to-date, and +3.6 percent, though the various alcohol categories have taken differing degrees of pricing during those periods.
“Looking at the alcohol categories, on-premise beer volumes were -4.3 percent during 1Q13, but improved to -2.1 percent during 2Q13 to-date, and remained consistent with that pace at -2.0 percent in the past 4 weeks,” says Peter Reidhead, vice president of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics. “Spirits saw a difficult 1Q13 with volumes at -1.7 percent, improved to -0.8 percent during 2Q13 to-date, and in the most recent 4 weeks remained consistent with that pace at -1.0 percent. Looking at wine, however, we see a different story. Wine started out the year on a positive note with volumes up +2.2 percent, decelerated to +1.5 percent during 2Q13 to-date, and when looking specifically at the most recent 4 weeks, fell into negative y/y territory at -0.8 percent. The deceleration for wine volumes was seen across all three on-premise segments, and is potentially linked to an increase in in price/mix with the category moving up from +1.1 percent in 1Q13 to +2.2 percent in 2Q13 to-date, with a particularly meaningful uptick of +3.8 percent during the most recent 4-week period.” Based on data from GuestMetrics, price/mix for beer increased from +3.4 percent in 1Q13 to +3.9 percent during 2Q13 to-date, and was at +4.0 percent during the most recent 4 weeks. For Spirits, price/mix increased from +2.9 percent in 1Q13 to +3.3 percent in 2Q13 to-date, and was at +3.0 percent during the most recent 4 weeks.
“When looking at the various segments within on-premise, all three decelerated in the latest 4 weeks ending June 16th. The most dramatic deceleration was among bars/clubs, where sales decelerated from +0.2 percent in 1Q13 to -1.4 percent in 2Q13 to-date, but looking at the most recent 4 weeks, sales were down -3.2 percent. While casual dining sales had shown signs of improving going from -2.0 percent in 1Q13 to +0.1 percent in 2Q13 to-date, sales were -1.2 percent during the most recent 4 weeks. Fine dining sales have remained in positive y/y territory, but are also showing signs of some slowdown recently, decelerating from +5.1 percent in 1Q13 to +4.0 percent in 2Q13 to-date, with the most recent 4 weeks at +3.6 percent. Much of the deceleration in on-premise was driven by the food category, which accounts for about 65 percent of total sales in the on-premise sector,” says Brian Barrett, president of GuestMetrics. “While food sales were up +1.5 percent during 1Q13 and have held generally steady at +1.4 percent during 2Q13 to-date, looking specifically at the most recent 4 weeks, food sales growth decelerated to just +0.1 percent.”