April Restaurant Sales Tell Another Story From the Long-Term Trends

ArrowStream’s economists certainly were not surprised by the continuous fall in restaurant sales that were reported in April. They noted sales were “down almost 30 percent from March and 48.7 percent less than last year. And restaurant traffic was lower by 51.5 percent from 2019 while the average menu price was up 2.8 percent.”

“ArrowStream data signals that independent restaurants bore the brunt of the sales declines during the month. The accompanied chart compares the share of total retail sales for foodservice and drinking establishments (think: restaurants) versus grocery stores. Foodservice and drinking establishments carried just 8.01 percent of total retail sales during April – the smallest in at least two decades.”


Long-Term Trends Tell a Different Story

“The good news is that this is not the longer-term trend. As shown, foodservice and drinking establishment share of total retail sales have been on the rise for the last several years, eclipsing the share of grocery stores consistently since the beginning of 2015. We expect that trend to eventually resume.”

Share of Total US Retail Sales


COVID-19 Resource Center for Foodservice


ArrowStream’s sole priority as a leader and partner in the foodservice space has been, and continues to be, providing our customers and network with the tools, data and resources to help professionals prepare, stay updated and make necessary business decisions.

As we look to answering questions short-term and planning for long-term recovery, we encourage all to visit our Resource Center.



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