DMV restaurants faced a tough December. Both fast-casual and full-service started heading south around mid-November, and only ticked up a little the last week.
Even though we saw the impact of indoor dining closures starting on December 23 a few aspects of this holiday may have provided some upwards pressure: as a transient city we likely had more people in town this year than in years past, which probably drove up overall sales year-over-year, shouldered primarily by fast casual stores, and helped buffer against the loss of revenue through parties and catering.
Taking a moment to reflect on 2020, it is noteworthy that DMV open restaurant sales climbed up about 30 percentage points from May to August. Our DMV restaurant community should be proud of their abilities to reinvent themselves to make people feel safe dining out again. While the growth trajectory slowed as temperatures dropped, the resilience, creativity and grit are worth celebrating. We hope to see another few months of increasing sales as the weather warms up and vaccines make their way across the DMV!
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