Have Restaurants’ Same Store Sales Hit Rock Bottom? Is it time to reopen?

COVID-19 Compeat Data Impact on the Restaurant Industry

Compeat data appears to say yes. It looks like our customers are figuring it out and same store sales are starting to improve. 

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our industry and our Compeat customers. In order for all of us to manage our businesses through this crisis, we wanted to share what we are seeing as we look across our customer base and across the nation.

As all of us are well aware of the downward sales spiral over the last few weeks. However, the good news is we are seeing the beginning of a recovery. The silver lining is the data shows us for all restaurants sales hit rock bottom the week of April 3rd but for restaurants who stayed open they hit rock bottom week of Mar 22nd.  Open restaurants are starting to see increases in sales week over week.  Here is what the Compeat data is telling us. 

Top 10 Key Data Insights from the Compeat Customer Base:

  1. Weekly same store sales appeared to have bottomed-out at 82% decline in same store sales YoY on April 3rd when we look at our entire restaurant locations (both open and closed) across the US.
  2. Restaurant locations that have stayed open appear to have bottomed out at a 69% decline in same store sales YoY the week of Mar 22nd.   
  3. The good news is open locations have seen a steady increase in same store sales since April 1st.  
  4. Approximately 45% of Compeat customer locations have been temporarily or permanently closed during March and April. 
  5. The number of takeout orders in the first part of April has increased 26% over the same period last year, while the dollar value of takeout order has increased by 64%. 
  6. Takeout orders have increased in value by 30% YoY through week of April 11th
  7. Alcohol sales pre-COVID-19 averaged ~18% of total check and have declined to a run rate of ~3% of take out delivery total check. 
  8. Top metro cities with the highest % sales declined YoY for March were New York (69%), Seattle (67%), San Francisco (66%), Chicago (62%), Washington DC (62%), Atlanta (61%) and Los Angeles (61%). 
  9. Market share of top third-party delivery platforms has stayed relatively the same with Door Dash, Postmates and Uber maintaining top positions. It does not appear that any third-party delivery has gained significant market share during COVID-19 crisis. 
  10. Take-out delivery pre COVID-19 was already up YoY with Jan (11%) and Feb (16%). As shutdowns across the country began to happen, March experienced a 15% increase YoY in take-out delivery and April has hit a 64% YoY as of mid-April. 

Compeat Customer Restaurant Sales Heat Map:

Top Metro Cities with Greatest Decline in Sales YoY for March:

What’s all of this data tell us?

It could mean the worst is over pending a second wave of COVID-19 sickness that many in the nation are concerned about. However, if the number of COVID cases and deaths does not get worse as a few states start reopening, the data points to rock bottom is behind us.  

What’s the consumer behavior behind the data?  

As we look at higher ticket value per order, its possible families are ordering more for leftovers in a second meal or family sizes are slightly larger with college kids home unexpectedly or other family members joining a quarantined in one household.  

Alcohol sales are down as a percent of total check value, but this is to be expected as on-premise dining experience lends itself to numerous drinks. Although most cities are allowing alcohol to go as part of take out for restaurants, most orders are including one set of alcoholic beverages in the order, not to mention there are just cheaper options to get alcohol to go that many consumers are most likely choosing.  

Top metro cities of decline are of no surprise. They reflect either the most restaurant restricted cities or the most COVID impacted cities.  

The greatest news in all this data is what we are seeing with the restaurants that stayed open during the worst weeks. They are figuring out their new take out delivery model. Their sales are improving every day trending at 5% improvement week of April 4th and now trending at 10% week of April 15th. Our customers are figuring it out.   

The latest bit of silver lining comes the week of Apr 20th as we are beginning to get the calls, we have been hoping for… 

”Compeat, we are reopening, can you get us ready.” 

We are here to help our customers reopen. We want to help our customer reopen safely and carefully using the techniques our customers who have stayed open have used and found success. We’re all in this together and we will all come out of this stronger than ever.  


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