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Avero Index: How the Presidential Election Affects Restaurant Sales

Posted by Isa Gomez | November 15, 2016

Avero Index: How the Presidential Election Affects Restaurant Sales

Since the start of the presidential campaigns 18 months ago, the election has strongly impacted the national and international markets. Dow futures dropped more than 900 points as the surprising results of the election came out last week, and the Mexican peso fluctuated almost directly parallel to Trump’s polling success. But since the conclusion of the election, markets have seemed to bounce back in what has become known as the “Trump Bounce”, the Dow recently having its best week since 2011 and the S&P its best since 2014.

With access to data from over 8,000 restaurants and $480 million in restaurant checks, the Avero experts analyzed how restaurant sales were affected the day before, the day of, and the day after the presidential election in 2016 compared to 2012. Our analysis shows that Election Day 2012 and 2016 brought significant increases to restaurant sales; consumers seemed generally eager to go out to eat and drink whether they were anxious, excited, celebrating, or disappointed.

As depicted in the graph above, the 24 hours preceding Election Day 2016 saw a significant increase (17%) compared to the same day last year. Looking at performance over the same three days broken down by food and beverage, Americans went out to drink a whole lot more (78%) the day after Barack Obama was elected president (for the second time) than the day after Donald Trump was elected president.

Looking at food versus beverage sales strictly within the nation’s capital reveals that consumers in Washington, D.C. spent less on food but considerably more on beverage surrounding the 2016 election.

Finally, looking at how restaurants performed by which candidate their state’s Electoral College voted for generated some very interesting results. Restaurants in states that voted for Donald Trump saw increased sales the day before and the day of the election, while restaurants in states that voted for Hillary Clinton had the largest increase the day after the election.

As the leading provider of restaurant software with proprietary access to year-over-year, same-store restaurant sales data, Avero will continue to keep a close eye on these trends. Check out our monthly Avero Index for even more analysis!