Restaurant Sales Improve as Grocery Stores Decline

ArrowStream economists reported that restaurant sale trends appear to be improving, but while the industry may be recovering, it still falls behind other business segments. 

“Total U.S. restaurant sales continued to improve in June, up 20 percent from prior month and, at 26.3 percent, down from 2019 by the least amount since February. Restaurants carried 9.1 percent of total retail sales, which is a big improvement from prior months as shown below. Also shown is the share of spend going to grocery stores is on the decline, which could aid restaurants this summer.”

Share of total US retail sales

However, despite restaurant sales improving from the nearly 50 percent annual decline in April to down close to 25 percent in June, ArrowStream’s economists had concerns about the industry in terms of total recovery. 

“[Recent restaurant sales growth] was certainly impressive given the concerns about COVID-19 and the industry and, let’s face it, not a whole lot of support from municipalities and media. However, it’s important to note that the industry recovery is lagging almost all major business sectors as displayed below. And we suspect that the recovery will slow some this summer with rising COVID-19 cases.”

US retail sales by business segment


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