Across the country and across different service types, restaurants had a lower sales month this July compared to July 2017. The most obvious factor in the decline is that there were only four Saturdays in the month this year, versus the five Saturdays in July last year. Losing one of the highest value days in the month, particularly the weekend before a major national holiday, led national same-store sales to drop 1.5 percent compared to last July restaurant sales.
High-end restaurants with an average check of over $100 had the greatest loss in gross sales of 4.3 percent. Looking at menu sales changes, entrees had the largest drop of 9.5 percent and wine dropped by 4.7 percent. Appetizers were the only section of the menu with positive year over year sales with an increase of 3.7 percent.
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As of this month, we’re including Miami in our monthly Avero Index. This July, sales dropped by 4.0 percent compared to last July, keeping pace with the national average decline. Peter Tischmann, Director of Restaurant Operations, South East for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, based in Miami, says that the loss of a Saturday is only partially to blame for the decline in Miami this month, and sought additional factors explain such a large drop. Sure enough, the data shows a year-over year decrease in cover counts of -2.7 percent in the Southeast territory, confirming his belief that a lull in traffic is also driving down sales in Miami.
Chicago was one of only two cities that had positive year-over year sales this July compared to last. Overall, restaurants in Chicago, saw an increase of 1.7 percent in overall sales. Heather Hammack, General Manager for STK Chicago, credits her success in Chicago to strong wine and food training for her staff to drive higher covers this month. Generally, it seems increased traffic in Chicago restaurants this July helped restaurants there beat national restaurant trends.
New York City:
Following the national trend, New York City had a drop of same-store sales of 2.6 percent. While all meal periods dropped compared to last July, dinner and late-night sales in New York had a more significant drop of 2.7 percent. This also follows the national trend that shows that national dinner and late-night sales fell by 2.8 percent.
Updated through July 31, 2018
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