The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for July, released by Black Box Intelligence and People Report, shows restaurant sales dipping in July for a second consecutive month while consumer optimism appears to be rising.
Same-store sales were -0.9 percent in July, a decrease from flat sales in June and +0.8 percent in May. Same-store traffic results declined 2.2 percent, slightly better than the 2.5 percent decline in June. Consumer Edge Research, a partner company to People Report and Black Box Intelligence, released the “Restaurant Willingness to Spend Index” last week with a value of 93 for July, which is a marked increase over the index score of 85 reported in June and is the highest score observed in 2013. Based on historical data gathered in this partnership, an increase in the index score would typically suggest a slightly higher Black Box Intelligence comparable stores sales rate in the month of August as compared to the July sales rate.
“Sales have continued to weaken this summer which is a bit disappointing after experiencing a string of consecutive positive sales months this spring. On a positive note, we are encouraged to see the consumer is indicating a heightened willingness to spend in restaurants as compared to the same month one year ago. We are hopeful that will translate into a stronger sales result in August.” says Bill Schaffler, president at Black Box Intelligence and People Report.
Additionally in July, the New England region performed the best with a positive 1.6 percent same-store sales increase, while the Mid-Atlantic region was the lowest-performing area, with a same-store sales decrease of 3.7 percent.
50 out of 182 DMAs posted a positive result in July, down from 82 in June.
People Report data reports turnover results by position by segment to their member companies each month. In the most recent month, results show management and hourly turnover increasing. Most recent job growth reported by People Report has increased to +1.4 percent, slightly lower than last month’s result +1.9 percent.
The Restaurant Industry Snapshot is a compilation of $35 billion in annual sales revenues and traffic results from 170+ DMAs from 100+ restaurant brands that are clients of Black Box Intelligence. Currently, data is reported in four distinct segments: casual dining, upscale/fine dining, fast casual, and family dining. Black Box Intelligence is a sister company to People Report, which tracks one million restaurant employees on workforce analytics. The Restaurant Industry Snapshot also includes the Restaurant Industry Willingness to Spend Index from Consumer Edge Research, which is a monthly household survey of more than 2,500 consumers.