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%.
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.
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.
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%.
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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.