Since the COVID crisis hit back in March we on the data team at Paytronix have been tracking the restaurant recovery. After an initial crash that’s been well documented, we saw a relatively consistent level of growth of about 0.4% per day starting in late March and extending right into June. This was the time that restaurants adjusted to the crisis, shifting their business models away from on-premise and over to takeout and delivery.
Around mid-June, however, something changed and the market simply flatlined for the next 30 days.
With even those states hit hardest by the coronavirus preparing to reopen the economy, restaurant operators are wondering what that means for their dining rooms. The close quarters that were considered intimate and vibrant just two months ago are unsafe and untenable now, meaning these businesses will have to completely reinvent themselves to continue operating in a post-Covid-19 world.
For many, that means investing heavily in technology that will minimize the contact a guest has with surfaces, from menus to door handles.
Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbins told The Boston Globe he predicts a new restaurant landscape where technology is even more prominent than it is today. He suggested we could see guests using phone apps and QR codes to access their menus and bills, and that order-ahead technology may be used for the dine-in experience in addition to takeout.
Over the last month, major brands across the hospitality industry have been announcing their reopening plans, sharing details of how they’ll keep guests safe.
In a trend happening nationwide, we continue to see a recovery among our restaurant clients. Looking at the week-on-week data we can see that the run of positive weekly results has continued, with each day an average of ~5% to 10% higher than the week before. Mother’s Day, however, showed two interesting trends. First, it was a massive uptick from the previous Sunday, but check sizes were also higher than visits, indicating that people visited more expensive restaurants, or at least were ordering food for more people at once.
There is always a bump for Mother’s Day, but the difference this year from the previous trend shows tremendous pent-up demand from the market. Clearly people wanted to spoil mom.
Still, when we look at the fixed-period chart that compares sales to a pre-COVID baseline, we can see that visits and spend are still down, but up from the bottom. We’re a long way from a full recovery, but the trendlines are headed in the right direction.
With social distancing advisories in place, tasks as simple as going to the grocery store have become challenging. This has pushed many consumers toward grocery delivery services to minimize contact with others, but now those are inundated and many are on long waiting lists.
The team at the 44-store Little Greek Fresh Grill chain stepped up with a solution when they noticed that many of their guests were struggling to find basic goods. […]