Black Box Intelligence and People Report released the Restaurant Industry Snapshot for June this week, reporting flat sales during the month, after three straight months of positive sales.
Same-store sales were 0.0 percent in June, a decrease from +0.8 percent in May and +0.4 percent in April, according to the report. Same-store traffic results declined 2.5 percent, also a decrease from the May result of -1.6 percent. After the relatively strong growth during the first two months of the quarter, June's flat results contributed to a modest 0.4 percent sales growth in comparable stores during Q2 2013. However, this small growth is still positive news for the industry considering the challenging environment experienced by restaurants during Q1, which resulted in a drop of 1.3 percent in same-store sales during the first quarter. Same-store traffic growth during the second quarter of 2013 continued to be negative, but the negative 2.0 percent guest counts showed improvement versus negative 3.7 percent reported for Q1 2013.
Consumer Edge Research, a partner company with People Report and Black Box Intelligence, also released the "Restaurant Willingness to Spend Index" with a value of 85 for June, a decrease from the index score of 88 reported in May. Based on historical data gathered in this partnership, a decrease in the index score would typically suggest a slightly lower Black Box Intelligence comparable stores sales rate in the month of July as compared to the June sales rate.
"Sales are still weaker than we would like to see, and it was a bit disappointing to observe the moderate deceleration in June after experiencing three straight positive sales months this spring," said Bill Schaffler, president at Black Box Intelligence and People Report. "On a more positive note, the consumer is indicating a heightened willingness to spend in restaurants as compared to the same month one year ago, but it appears the industry is still operating in a zero to 1 percent sales environment. Nothing has really changed in our opinion."
The Restaurant Industry Snapshot is a compilation of real sales and traffic results from 170+ DMAs from 100+ restaurant brands and approximately 15,000+ restaurants that are clients of Black Box Intelligence. Currently, data is reported in four distinct segments: casual dining, upscale/fine-dining, fast casual and family dining.
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