As we enter the second half of the year, it’s a good time to take stock of where the restaurant industry is in regards to the pandemic.
We all know the story: The initial decline in March happened so fast that it sent a shock through the industry. But since cratering in March, we’ve seen a relatively consistent climb in both visits and revenue for restaurants as a whole that amounts to about .41% increase per day. Larger restaurants are recovering faster than smaller restaurants.
Historically we tend to see a small upward trend between March and July, but it’s usually only about 6%, not the 35% we’re seeing now. Of course, we continue to see traditional spikes on dates like Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.
One more thing: When we looked at what happened when this all started, we saw that those who were not engaged in loyalty programs dropped at a significantly faster rate than those who were engaged. In other words, people were still going to their favorite places. We saw this reflected in gift card data as well.
Being that the US is a geographically diverse country and different states have reacted to the pandemic differently, we will be watching over the next several weeks to see how the regional changes affect sales. Here in Massachusetts, many restaurants have reopened with social distancing in place, such as what is happening on Moody Street in Waltham, Mass. But other states that have reopened and then seen a spike in COVID-19 cases are now rethinking those policies and making adjustments.