It’s in the data: 2019 a good year for restaurants!
Welcome to the new Avero Index!
As we discussed in our last post, we‘ve updated our approach to providing you accurate restaurant industry insights on a monthly basis. Analyzing sales, cover, check, pricing and quantity data, the Avero Index analyzes three customer segments so you can easily see how your operation stacks up against restaurants across the nation:
- The All Avero Index - Weighted F&B gross sales for all qualified Avero Restaurants
- The NAT 500 Index - Weighted F&B gross sales for 500 top-selling Avero Restaurants
- NYC 100 Index - Weighted F&B gross sales for 100 top-selling NYC Restaurants
Now, let's take a look at some key insights from 2019.
A Look Back: 2019 All Avero Index
A year can bring about a lot of change, and a lot of new trends. 2019 saw the rise of the meatless burger and cannabis influenced dining experiences , and one important trend carried over from 2018 – increased restaurant sales.
Similarly to 2018, monthly sales were up moderately year-over-year (between .04% and 3.5%) in 9 out of 12 months. Only April, October and December under-performed. Conversely, as diners got outside and back into restaurants after winter, we saw an uptick in performance in the month of May. Guests took advantage of the last days of summer as well, dining out more often in August, which had the greatest year-over-year jump (+3.5%).
2019 Restaurant Performance: By the Numbers
Let’s dig deeper than gross sales. It’s valuable to think about your performance in relation to some additional metrics we track for the All Avero Index: average check, and check count.
In 2019, average check showed growth month over month compared to 2018. However, it’s clear there was a reduction in overall traffic, with only March, August, and November outpacing 2018 check counts.
December is a particularly great example of this pattern. Check count plummeted by 3.6%, yet average check was up 3.6%. In other words, restaurants saw less traffic in December but were able to drive the customers they did serve to a higher average ticket. With each check's profitability on the rise, it may make sense to invest in marketing and promotions to get more people in the door this year.
Benchmark your performance against these metrics to see if you’re on or off trend.
The NAT 500: How Our Top Sellers Performed in 2019
In 2019, the U.S. stock market experienced a rally unseen since 2013. The S&P 500, a popular index that tracks the performance of the top 500 U.S. companies, surged 29% last year. Success on Wall Street ties directly to increased consumer spending, and last year was no exception. Our 500 top-selling restaurants beat all the previous year’s gross sales numbers in all but one month. Overall, it seems people were getting out and enjoying dining experiences.
A Little Peek Into the Big City: NYC
Interestingly, New York City restaurants didn’t seem to fare as well. Our NYC 100 Index, which tracks the performance of our top 100 restaurants in the city, told a different story than our Avero and National indices. Half of the months in 2019 saw dips in sales compared to the previous year. Trends like eating at home via grocery delivery and pre -packaged meals may have impacted the performance of the NYC 100. Also, we speculated about the impact of several severe weather events last year, particularly in January and August. Either way, we’ll be here to see (and report) what happens this year in one of the world’s greatest food cities.
Thanks for reading the Avero Index! We hope you have a prosperous and profitable 2020. If you’d like to get the Index delivered to your inbox each month, subscribe by scrolling to the bottom of this page and adding your email address in the blue bar.