Restaurant Sales Pick Up; Traffic Remains Problematic

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It’s too soon to call it a trend, but for the second straight week, restaurants posted positive sales growth after weeks of declining sales, according to Black Box Financial Intelligence’s Restaurant Industry Performance Pulse.

For the week ending Feb. 27, sales growth was the strongest it had been in the last 10 weeks. However, traffic remains problematic as traffic growth fell to double-digit losses, the lowest in the last three weeks.

Year-over-year growth in average guest check rose to its highest level since the beginning of the year. The segments with the highest check growth during the week were quick service and fast casual.

The segments with the biggest gain in sales growth during the week were fine dining, upscale casual and fast casual. The regions with the strongest sales growth were Western, California, Florida and the Southeast, while the regions with the softest sales growth were the Southwest, New York-New Jersey, the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

The industry ended February with comparable sales up 2.7%, while traffic was down 13.8%.

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