In normal times, ArrowStream's economists would have focused on reporting February restaurant sales, which were 5.2 percent better than the prior year (due to a 2.2 percent gain in traffic and 3 percent increase in menu prices). However, that pales in comparison to the current landscape of the restaurant industry battling the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Instead, in ArrowStream's Maloni Report, our economists looked more broadly at the industry's significance on total retail sales to further illustrate the extent of short- and long-term effects we can expect.
"Restaurants carried the third largest share of total retail sales on record. And as the chart shows, this has been a growing trend with more of the consumers’ dollar going to restaurants than grocery stores for several years now. Although we could see a blip in this during the spring, we fully expect the restaurant share to rebound and resume the longer-term growth trend thereafter."
COVID-19 Resource Center for Foodservice
ArrowStream's sole priority as a leader and partner in this space has been, and continues to be, providing our customers and network with the tools, data and resources to help professionals prepare, stay updated and make necessary business decisions.
As we look to answering questions short-term and planning for long-term recovery, we encourage all to visit our Resource Center.