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April 6, 2020
Restaurant Sales – DC – March 2020
We’re in this together.
When we started reporting our monthly restaurant sales, we never thought we’d be reporting numbers like these.
March started off with a great first week, with sales up 2.40% compared to March 2019. Then when the swift impact of COVID-19 hit our industry the second week of March was a big turning point; open restaurant year-over-year sales dropped to -23.5%. As we tracked the numbers it seemed like we got close to the bottom during week three with -69.7% year-over-year sales, but had another slight dip in week four, down to -73.5%.
One glimmer of hope is that for restaurants that continue to operate in some capacity, week-over-week sales are ticking up. We think this is a combination of cooking fatigue, wanting to support small businesses and just flat out search for comfort food from consumers’ favorite spots. Restaurants provide one way to “treat yourself” in these difficult times and we hope to see more people finding comfort in their local favorites.
Once restaurants receive stimulus funding, we expect there to be some shuffling on who decides to open and who decides to close. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen restaurants close and then re-open for take-out/delivery, while some stayed open then decided that the economics were not viable and decided it was best to close.
Here’s hoping that next month we are reporting on increased takeout sales. And we look forward to reporting a surge once restaurants are fully open again.
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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.