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D.C. Restaurants Recover in Wake of Shutdown

Posted by Avero Team | October 29, 2013

D.C. Restaurants Recover in Wake of Shutdown

Irked by the closure of several national parks and museums during the government shutdown, many tourists opted to postpone their trips to Washington D.C. until the situation was resolved. As a result, during the first week of the shutdown, hotel occupancy decreased by over 9% YOY*, restaurant traffic was down almost 8%, and the Smithsonian alone lost almost $3 million in revenue**. Here at Avero, we wanted to know how the recovered government and tourist market affected D.C.'s restaurants.

Overall, in the first full week post-shutdown, gross sales increased 2.7% YOY, marking about a 2% variance from the shutdown period. Total covers rebounded more drastically with an 11% increase year over year.


Overall YOY Change in Sales
  Shutdown Post-Shutdown Week 1 % Variance
Gross Sales 0.8% 2.7% 1.9%
Covers 1.9% 12.7% 10.8%

 

Following up on our first analysis, which showed that lunch and breakfast were suffering due to the shutdown, these meal periods are now up a great deal -- gross Sales are 10% greater and covers are 11% greater YOY than they were during the shutdown.

Lunch & Breakfast
  Shutdown Post-Shutdown Week 1 % Variance
Gross Sales -2.3% 7.7% 10.0%
Covers -1.2% 9.8% 11.0%

 

In terms of our food vs. beverage mix analysis, food recovered from a YOY decline of 1.6% to an increase of 0.7% following the shutdown. Beverage stayed relatively stagnant with a 0.8% YOY increase.

Food Sales
  Shutdown Post-Shutdown Week 1 % Variance
Gross Sales -1.6% 0.7% 2.3%

Beverage Sales
  Shutdown Post-Shutdown Week 1 % Variance
Gross Sales 0.5% 0.8% 0.3%

 

This analysis shows that D.C. government employees are back at work, evidenced by a sharp increase in lunch traffic/sales, a decrease in dinner traffic/sales, and an increase in food sales rather than in beverage sales. We can also see that tourism is quickly recovering, with almost 13% more traffic in the first week post-shutdown.

*Washington, D.C., Tourism Officials
**Spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas, Smithsonian Institution