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Full Service Restaurants and Bars Start Off 3Q13 on a Weak Note

Jul 24, 2013 Industry News

According to GuestMetrics, food and beverage sales at table service restaurants and bars through mid-July 2013 have decelerated from levels seen during 2Q13.  While total food andbeverage sales were up +0.6 percent in 2Q13, when looking at the most recent 4 weeks ending July 14th, sales dipped back into negative year-over-year territory at -0.4 percent.  Traffic also decelerated from -1.7 percent in 2Q13 to -2.7 percent in the 4 weeks ending July 14th.

“While 2Q13 started off on a strong note and then showed signs of softening towards the end of the quarter, our data indicates full service restaurant and bar channels have decelerated further during the 4-week period ending July 14th,” says Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics. “ It’s possible the heat wave across the US during this time period negatively impacted traffic trends, so it will be key to monitor trends over the balance of the month and into August to see if there is any broader consumer macro slowdown at play here. On-premise alcohol volumes were -1.8 percent during 2Q13, but looking at the most recent 4-week period, they fell further into negative territory at -3.5 percent.  We commented a few weeks ago that we were seeing some initial signs of slowing in the on-premise sector, and unfortunately, that trend of deceleration appears to be continuing as we head further into the important summer season.”  According to GuestMetrics, alcohol dollar sales were up +1.6 percent during 2Q13, but looking at the most recent 4 weeks, softened to +0.1 percent.  Price/mix in overall alcohol has remained fairly consistent at +3.3 percent in 2Q13 and +3.5 percent, though the various alcohol categories have taken differing degrees of pricing during those periods.

“Looking at the alcohol categories, on-premise beer volumes were -2.3 percent during 2Q13, but softened in the past 4 weeks to -4.0 percent,” says Peter Reidhead, vice president of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics. “Spirits saw a similar trend, with volumes decelerating from -1.9 percent in 2Q13 to -3.5 percent during the most recent 4 weeks.  Looking at wine, we see it was the category that has experienced the biggest volume slow-down, going from +0.4 percent growth in 2Q13 to -1.7 percent during the 4-week period through July 14th.  The deceleration for wine volumes was seen across all three on-premise segments, and is potentially linked to an increase in in price/mix, with the category moving up from +1.6 percent in 2Q13 to +2.6 percent during the most recent 4-week period, resulting in net wine sales decelerating from +2.0 percent during 2Q13 to +0.9 percent during the most recent 4 weeks.”  Based on data from GuestMetrics, price/mix for beer remained generally steady +3.5 percent in 2Q13 and +3.4 percent during the most recent 4 weeks.  For Spirits, price/mix was consistent at +3.5 percent in 2Q13 and the most recent 4 weeks.

“When looking at traffic to the various segments within on-premise, all three decelerated in the latest 4 weeks.  The most dramatic deceleration was among fine dining, where traffic decelerated from +0.7 percent in 2Q13 to -1.0 percent through July 14th.  Casual dining traffic also decelerated, from -2.2 percent in 2Q13 to -2.9 percent during the most recent 4 weeks.  Lastly, we also saw traffic at bars and clubs decelerate, going from -3.1 percent in 2Q13 to -4.5 percent during the last 4 weeks.  Similar to the weakening trends in alcohol, food trends also slowed, which is important given food accounts for about 65 percent of total sales in the on-premise sector,” says Brian Barrett, president of GuestMetrics. “While food sales were +0.4 percent during 2Q13, they have fallen back into negative year-over-year territory at -0.4 percent.”      

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.