As the economy continues to adjust to the global pandemic, it's become clear that certain segments are improving faster than others. While foodservice and drinking establishment sales saw a 29 percent increase in May from April, unfortunately, we continue to see the restaurant industry making minimal gains and falling behind in overall recovery. At a 39 percent decline in sales from this time last year, ArrowStream economists analyzed U.S. retail sales and note where restaurants currently sit.
"U.S. May restaurant sales were down sharply from the prior year, and as the chart shows, the recovery for restaurants during the month lagged several other industries, including sporting goods and auto. ArrowStream data suggests independent restaurants are bearing the biggest brunt of the sales decline. The ArrowStream network chain restaurant spend in May (representing over 200 brands) was down much less than the total industry sales decline at 39 percent. The recovery may be tempered until we have a health solution to COVID-19."