Avero Index February 2018 - Record Snow in Chicago Hurts Restaurants Through Restaurant Week

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.

February 2018 Highlights

Nationally, restaurants have continued a strong start for 2018. Overall restaurant traffic decreased by 3.1%, but this drop in traffic was outweighed by an increase in average check of 4.3%, helping same-store restaurant gross sales hold on to a strong 1.2% increase over last February’s sales. These sales continue a five-month trend of increased year-over-year sales. 

Diners have been particularly interested in heading to restaurants for breakfast, driving breakfast sales up 4.8%, while a decreased interest in dessert has led to a drop in dessert sales of 5.2%. In beverage, bottle wine had its second month as top seller with a huge increase of 19.6%, while beer had its second straight month at the bottom at -13.4%. It seems the boost in Sam Adams sales we reported during the super bowl wasn’t strong enough to beat wine sales.


With 6.4% increase over last February sales, for a second month in a row, Las Vegas had the strongest performance out of all the cities examined in the Avero Index. It looks like this year’s conference season is off to a strong start, despite previous concerns that conferences would choose new locations after the tragic shooting last October.


Big spenders seem to be largely driving this improvement in restaurant sales, with restaurants with average check greater than $90 seeing a continued growth of over 10% in the past two months, compared to 2017 sales.


For the first time in 6 months, Chicago restaurants saw negative same-store sales growth this February compared to last year. The decrease of 4.4% in sales is likely due in large part to the record-breaking 9 consecutive days with measurable snow fall during the first few weeks of the month. This streak of weather, unfortunately, also happened to fall during Chicago restaurant week, a time restaurants usually look to maximize sales.


In New York City, restaurant sales continue a steady of growth of 1.0% over last February. This push seems largely driven by strong sales in Midtown Manhattan (4.3%), as well as strong weekday sales of 3.0%. Weekend sales saw a drop this month of 2.1%.






Updated through February 28, 2018

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Isa Gomez