This February, Atlanta restaurants continued to show strong performance, however, this months’ sales considerably outpaced previous months. Atlanta restaurants saw gross sales increase by 15.2% over last February. While this continued improvement can be attributed to the general growth Atlanta has seen in the last year, the largest factor influencing gross sales was likely the 53rd Super Bowl hosted at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in early February.
Atlanta has recently invested significant resources into its sporting complexes, opening $2.4 billion worth of new and renovated stadiums for the city’s three major teams. And, it’s starting to pay off. The Super Bowl alone is predicted to bring in over $185 million to boost the city’s economy.
Sean Sullivan, Vice President of Service for Ford Fry restaurants in Atlanta, agrees February’s gross sales spike can most likely be attributed to the Super Bowl. Although, he notes the general popularity of Atlanta and its restaurant scene has continued to increase with the upward trend in Southern Hospitality. Plus, with the country’s largest airport, and steady growth of television and movie production businesses, the surging economy has fueled strong restaurant sales in the city.
This February, Las Vegas saw an increase in sales by 3.1% over 2018. In February 2018, we reported Vegas sales beating out 2017 February sales by 6.4%. This increase is largely being pushed by strong weekday sales that were up 6% year-over-year, while weekend sales were down 1%. These back-to-back years of improved February sales show the success of convention season kicking off in Vegas at the start of the year. These events, typically held Monday-Friday, keep traffic steady for Vegas restaurants between the busy weekend days.
Last month we reported how the polar vortex crippled Chicago restaurant sales. This February, they were able to jump back and see sales outpace last February by 6.1%.
Washington D.C. also performed poorly last month, due in large part to the record-breaking government shut down. Unfortunately, restaurants in the capital weren’t able to fully bounce back, and saw weakened sales decrease in February by 1.7%.
Nationally, we continue to see a decrease in overall traffic. This February, we saw a 1% drop in covers, and a 1% increase in average check, leading to 0% change in gross sales over last February. Restaurants in the $75-$100 average ticket range saw the largest growth in gross sales this month (3%), and brunch saw the largest gains of the meal periods with 3% growth in sales and covers, respectively.
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