This article was written by Kristi Turner, CMO of Compeat
Another week and another significant increase in restaurant sales for Compeat customers across the country.
As we continue to monitor our Compeat customer base, we see restaurant sales increasing each week across both in closed and opened states, which is incredibly encouraging for our industry.
As we look at restaurant sales growth since the week of Mar 28th, we see a constant increase every week for both reopened states as well as closed states. For restaurant sales within closed states, we have seen a 40% increase in sales between Mar 28th and May 9th. For restaurant sales in reopened states, we have seen a 70% increase between Mar 28th and May 9th. This week, we now have 18 states that have experienced a 100% or more increase in restaurant sales since our rock bottom week of Mar 28th, with two of the eighteen states still considered closed states.
As we reported in our blog last week, “Compeat Customer Data thru May 9th Update: Restaurant Sales Continue To Climb,” it is important to note that restaurant sales are still significantly down YoY (year over year). As of the week ending May 16th, restaurant sales are at a -73% YoY decline across all Compeat locations, an improvement from the rock bottom week of Apr 3rd at -82% YoY decline. Looking at only Compeat open locations, we are at a -52% YoY, an improvement from rock bottom week of Mar 22nd at -69% YoY in restaurant sales. Staying consistent with last week’s report, we chose the week of Mar 28th as our blended rock bottom week.
As of May 18th, we now have 29 states who have officially declared their state reopened, with several just reopening within the last few days and all contributing to the tremendous increase in restaurant sales.
As we look at the week over week comparison of restaurant sales increase by state from our low point the week of Mar 28th to COVID-19 cases as a percent of the state population, the inconsistencies for reopened and closed states continues to be a fascinating business case. The Northeast states are the only states with more than 1% of the population with positive COVID-19 cases, with New York and New Jersey leading the nation at 1.80% and 1.67% respectively. Compeat customers in New York have seen a 45% increase in restaurant sales since the week of Mar 28th and New Jersey has seen a 54% increase in restaurant sales. Looking at all the states with over 1% of COVID-19 cases as % of population, we are still seeing all have a significant increase in restaurant sales but vary greatly from 23% to 90% since the week of Mar 28th.
When we look at the 18 states with less than .2% reported COVID-19 cases, we see dramatic inconsistencies in restaurant sales growth from 40% to 240% increases as well as each states choice to reopen or remain closed. Four of the 18 states with less than .2% have chosen to remain closed even though they are among the lowest in the country for reported cases.
Then we have very different reports from reopened states in terms of impact on COVID-19 cases since reopening. Georgia, who officially reopened on April 27th, is reporting a decrease in number of COVID-19 cases since reopening according to the Georgia Department of Health data, where Texas and the Texas Department of State Health Services, who reopened the state officially on May 1st is reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases since reopening. Are states simply testing more? Many states are starting to see a decline in the percent of positive tests while others are seeing an increase. These data points can greatly impact the varying confidence levels state to state for restaurant purchases.
We also must note a significant number of restaurants in each state do not necessarily open at the time the state officially reopens. Many are staying with take out only and taking a “wait and see” approach for a period post state reopen date before they reopen their dining room at limited capacity. Many restaurants are also choosing to reopen outdoor patios but not in-dining until they feel more confident.
Data Below as of week ending May 16th:
As you look deeper at the top and bottom states for restaurant sales growth only in the graphs below, we see all the top states are reopened states, and the majority of our lowest performing states are still closed with a few reopen dates within the last few days.
As we stated last week, the inconsistencies state by state seem to be driven by many qualitative and emotional factors in addition to the state’s open status and level of COVID-19 cases in each state.
The list of factors impacting both restaurant operator and consumer confidence levels state by state could be:
- Date of governor’s official reopening announcement
- Tonality of the local governor’s attitude toward COVID-19
- Level of fear-based news tonality of the local media toward COVID-19
- Local media campaigns encouraging consumers to support local restaurants
- City by City and county by county ordinances that may counter state wide ordinances
- Cultural attitudes of each state
- Density of population: heavily rural states versus metro states
- Local weather and accessibility to outdoor seating versus in-dining seating
The fear factor versus the confidence levels could be driving restaurant openings and consumer purchases more than state status. It is essential that we recognize these qualitative influencers state by state as we try to predict the timing of recovery going forward.
As an industry, we have to put the safety measures in place in our restaurant operations to show our employees and our customers our restaurants are safe. We would even argue the more visual the safety measures can be to customers, the more confidence the consumers will have for dining in our restaurants.
We continue to celebrate the road to recovery for our industry every week, as it has been an incredible painful few months. We will keep monitoring the data and providing weekly updates.
You can find all the latest industry data and tips for best practices on our Compeat COVID-19 resource page.
Sources and Disclaimers: The source for COVID-19 cases data as a percent of population as well as reopen vs closed states is the CDC website as of 5.19.20. Restaurant sales data is derived from all Compeat customers across the United States as of 5.16.19. Compeat has customers across different types of restaurants from fine dining to fast casual to quick service. However, we are heavily weighted toward fast casual concepts. There are certain states that have less restaurant locations than others. As such, data shared above should be taken with the above considerations.