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economy

Financing

Restaurant sales were flat in August, even as coronavirus surged

Industry sales growth slowed but did not decline last month, as consumers still flexed their spending muscle.

Financing

Restaurants cut jobs last month as the coronavirus surges again

The industry lost 41,500 jobs in August, ending a long period of growth, as the delta variant strikes around the country.

The index hit its lowest level since February as the delta variant spreads. Other data show reluctance to visit restaurants. But Black Box data remains strong.

This week’s episode of the RB podcast “A Deeper Dive” features Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo economist, talking about the state of the industry.

The industry is adding jobs at a seemingly breakneck pace, but it could be next year before it gets to pre-pandemic levels.

Several restaurant chains are pushing aggressive development and signing more operators as they look toward recovery, says RB’s The Bottom Line.

The industry added 186,000 jobs in May as it continues to recover from the pandemic but remains far off early 2020 levels.

The industry’s sales during the month were better than they were in 2019 as stimulus-fueled customers decided to eat out more often.

The industry added 187,000 workers in April as sales soared, but the overall economy added a fraction of what many economists expected.

Industry sales surged 36% year-over-year, nearly hitting 2019 levels as consumers spent their stimulus checks at any restaurant that was open.

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