April: The First Full Month of COVID-19 Shut Downs

At the end of our first full month of the COVID crisis it seems like restaurants are settling into a new normal after a historic drop off in March, April sales seem to have steadied. Year-over-year for full-service restaurants still operating started the month at -83.2% and ended at -76.9% and fast casual started at -61.4% and finished at 56.0%.

DMV Year-Over-Year Sales

We recently surveyed the restaurant industry and found that fast casual restaurants were able to continue operating with less drastic changes to their model, compared to full-service restaurants having to completely pivot, which may be a contributor in the discrepancy in recovery between the two groups.

DMV Operating Model Changes

We saw a spike in week-over-week sales driven by Passover and Easter catering with some corresponding noise in our closure numbers as many local restaurants closed for Easter Sunday.

DMV Week-Over-Week Sales

DMV Restaurant Closures

There’s been dramatic increase in sales through third-party delivery partners as restaurants rely on them for both distribution and for visibility in their markets. Delivery sales used to make up about 5% of DMV restaurants’ total sales, to just under 40%.

DMV Delivery Percentages


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About these metrics: The MarginEdge monthly snapshot of DC Metro restaurant sales is based on a sampling of 300+ area restaurants ranging from fast-casual to full-service.

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