Black Box: What polar vortex? Restaurant sales improve in January

Surprising strength suggests the industry’s recovery might finally be gaining some traction.


Black Box: 2018 ended on a strong note

Same-store sales rose 2% in December, the best month in more than three years.

Same-store sales rose for the sixth straight month, but traffic is still a problem.

Same-store sales rose again in October, but traffic continues to decline.

But restaurants continue to lose customers as traffic declined yet again.

But comparisons were easy and traffic remains down despite an improving economy.

Despite easy comparisons, the restaurant industry continued to lose customers.

Takeout orders helped boost casual dining, but traffic was still a problem.

Same-store sales were flat for the month, and traffic continued to decline.

Rates rose for both hourlies and managers, says TDn2K.