Omicron Fears Impact December Sales
Big news for Full Service as December marked the first month of weighted averages in the positive compared to 2019 sales! This is great news and gives us many reasons to be optimistic about more swings in that direction later this winter when Omicron sees its way out and diners see their way back into our restaurants.
Since the weather was unseasonably warm in the DMV through most of December and the holidays, the spike in Delivery percentage of sales was likely driven by increasing local case counts, even among vaccinated folks who had previously been dining in person.
Much like Thanksgiving, we saw spikes for Christmas Eve particularly in the Fast Casual segment, although both ended the year just south of breaking even at -1.7% for Fast Casual and -11.8% for Full Service.
Current models are predicting Omicron’s peak around mid-January so things are looking up. While the constant ups and downs may make us a little change-fatigued, we know that these trends tend to reverse just as fast as they came, and 2022 is starting off in a great spot.
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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.