Looks like sunshine is peeking through clouds for the restaurant industry, despite continued inflation. Hospitality is beating out the tech sector in annual job growth according to the Wall Street Journal. Sliding into a restaurant booth after a long day of work or soccer games has become more routine than in years past. Our data shows sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels which is fantastic news.
It was quite a weekend for anyone with funds at SVB. We were not impacted and it’s business as usual for MarginEdge. If your tech stack was affected, let us know how we can help – we have a full ecosystem of partners able to assist.
Circling back to last month’s data, we saw Valentine’s Day median unit sales at $5,282 – higher than 2021 and 2022 but 17% below 2020 levels. Since it fell on a Tuesday this year, we saw higher sales over the weekends on either side. Drop me a note if you want more insight.
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- Tracy & the MarginEdge team
February National Restaurant Sales & Price Movers
Restaurants felt the love this February, peaking mid-month at 12% overall growth across a 7-day moving average. In the past, we could've most likely predicted February's peak happening on Valentine's Day itself, but it seems diners had other plans this year as February's biggest days for sales were the weekends before and after Valentine's Day.
Celery may have topped our Droppers list but the arguably more exciting news is that egg prices dropped too, coming in at fourth on our list!
Dig into the full report
From trendy toast to sushi to the perennially popular guacamole, avocado use has been steadily climbing. The Washington Post declared avocados “America’s favorite fruit” way back in 2015. For the week ending March 5, over 64 million pounds of avocados entered the U.S. market according to the Hass Avocado Board. Prices last year were quite volatile, swinging over 30% (thankfully downward). 2023 has seen an upward trend with March prices currently at 5.5% above the median thus far.
South Block, Multiple Locations
ASK [me] ANYTHING
How were Super Bowl Sunday sales overall?
From our client data, Super Bowl Sunday median sales were $4,314 -- the highest we have on record!
What we found surprising was how close 2022 and 2023 were, only $138 difference.
Ask [me] anything!
Really. Each month we’ll take a look at the questions we get and answer one here. Have a question about our product, accounting or restaurant operations in general? Email me or message us on our social media channels.
Chulita, Venice, CA
Order Inflation Up
No news is good news, right?
Inflation in the food away from home category rose the same as last month (0.6 percent). Even slowly rising inflation is keeping operators on their toes, but certain food cost’s wild swings (looking at you, chicken wings) seemed to have calmed down a bit.
Overall year-over-year food at home inflation (typically groceries) is still outpacing food away from home, which anecdotally is great for restaurants. The National Restaurant Association State of the Industry report “shows that consumers still view restaurants as essential to their lives.”
According to a recent PYMNTS survey, while food delivery exploded during the pandemic, almost half of respondents across income brackets said they were more likely to pick up their order instead of having it delivered because of inflation.
MarginEdge at the NRA show in 2022
'TIS THE SEASON
The daffodils are blooming (albeit a little earlier than usual in Virginia), and for us restaurant tech folks we call this the beginning of show season. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) show is coming in May (please stop by and say hi if you are there). If you aren’t a member of NRA (or even if you are), most states and even some large metropolitan areas have hospitality or restaurant associations you can join. They do require annual fees, so is it really worth joining one? They were founded to serve the community by helping local restaurants thrive and grow. Benefits can include discounted equipment, health insurance options, state & local advocacy, training and of course, networking opportunities. Dig into the details to see if joining is right for you.
What's [me] into?
📖 OUR READING LIST
🎧 PODCASTS WE'RE DIGGING
Take Away - Award-winning Editorial Director Sam Oches interviews CEOs and founders of restaurant companies big and small each week, sharing their stories and ideas for the future with a side of real, tangible insights.
The Center Cut - This specific episode linked digs into Hulu’s The Bear. Hosts Michael and Dave only watch the beginning and ends of movies and TV seasons. The rest is chaos, it’s a pretty fun listen.
- Order Up - The National Restaurant Association tees up issues affecting the restaurant industry as a whole. March 13’s episode digs into 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report.