Avero Index April 2018 - Restaurant traffic is down, but average check is up, bringing positive YOY growth
The Avero Index tracks year-over-year same-store sales performance of restaurants representing different cuisines, venue types, and average checks, nationally and in several specific markets.
Nation-wide restaurant sales:
This April, restaurant sales nation-wide outperformed last year’s sales by 0.8 percent. The increase seems largely pushed by an increase in average check of 3.7 percent, despite the slight decline in overall restaurant traffic from March. Like last month, restaurants with an average check greater than $100 saw the greatest increase in year-over-year (YOY) sales of 3.6 percent.
As far as foot traffic goes, restaurants in every average check bracket saw decreases in cover counts. Restaurants with average check in the $50-$75 bracket experienced the greatest drop of 5.3 percent compared to last April.
San Francisco restaurants continued their strong trend of outperforming 2017 sales. Giovanni Pugliese, General Manger of Michael Mina restaurants in San Francisco, attributes April’s success in the bay area to the RSA Security Conference which brought over 45,000 attendees to the city. Last year, this conference was held in February. By changing the date of the conference to April, restaurants saw increased traffic in April this year as compared to last year.
Las Vegas also continues a strong streak of outperforming 2017 restaurant sales surpassing 2017 by 6.6 percent. Two factors appear to contribute to this April’s strong sales: the successful first season of the Golden Knights and the earlier opening of Vegas’s beach clubs. In the team’s first season, the Golden Knights made it to the NHL conference playoffs. The success and excitement of the new team sold out every game and drove Vegas guests to high spending at local restaurants and bars. Our Avero data also reports earlier openings for many of the beach clubs in the city, driving this year’s April sales to surpass 2017 levels.
After a strong performance in March, April’s same-store sales dropped below 2017 sales figures. Just like in February, the culprit for this decrease can likely be attributed to record breaking cold weather in the Midwest. The first 18 days of April beat historic records for low temperatures with a combination of cold and increased snowfall. This abnormal spring weather kept Chicago diners at home and out of restaurant dining rooms causing this April’s restaurant sales to fall 2.5% below last year’s sales.
Updated through April 30, 2018
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