Special Report: 3.17.20
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic forefront in the news and in consideration of the particular burden it has placed on our beloved industry, we’ve developed our own coronavirus report as a resource for operators to help anticipate and gauge their own performance.
We have primary source data from the thousands of restaurants we partner with all over the globe, including Asia and Europe. Rather than self-reported data, or projection models, our report reflects accurate, in-store Food and Beverage (F&B) gross sales processed through our customers’ POS systems. While we do not claim to have 100% of the restaurants in any given city, we do have a statistically relevant representation of restaurants in the areas we’re analyzing, particularity in Las Vegas where we have data for nearly 90% of the F&B outlets on The Strip.
In addition to Las Vegas, we’re also tracking sales in New York City and the U.S. at large. Internationally, we’re monitoring our customers’ sales performance in Asia and Europe.
In this edition, we’re tracking the declining sales curve beginning in January, through the 16th of March. We will update this index weekly, so bookmark the blog list page by submitting your email address at the bottom of the page.
First, let’s look at the impact on Asia and Europe. The first instance of an unknown pneumonia in Wuhan, China was reported on December 31, 2019. Gross restaurant sales in Asia in January show a decline of -6% compared to the same month in 2019. At the same time, Europe was unaffected by the virus, and restaurant sales in Europe in January look stable.
February is where we start to see things shift in a significant way. Asia saw a -32% dip in sales performance with -33% fewer checks than the previous year. In Italy, the first cases of coronavirus were reported on January 30, 2020. By the end of February, Europe had experienced a dip in sales of -1% and a -6% decrease in checks compared to the same month the previous year.
Domestically, January and February restaurant sales were positive showing YOY growth between 4%-10% depending on region. Interestingly, the growth was significantly lower in NYC than the rest of the country, despite showing YOY improvement. By March 1, 2020, NYC had confirmed its first case of coronavirus, though fear of contagion was widespread and restaurants in Manhattan had already been reporting significant drops in sales for weeks.
By the end of February, through March 16th, the effects of the coronavirus on restaurant sales are becoming clear in the data. In the U.S. gross restaurant sales are down by -21% with check count down by -17%.
NYC and Las Vegas show a similar story with NYC restaurant sales down by -28% and checks down by -29%, and Las Vegas sales down by -17% and checks down by -16%.
We will be following developments closely as the pandemic grows and changes globally. Check back weekly for additional updates on this story. In the mean time, visit our Coronavirus Restaurant Resources page for more information and support.