• NRA
    NRA We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • NRAEF
    NRAEF Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • NRA Show
    NRA Show May 16-19, 2015 As the international foodservice marketplace, the NRA Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.
  • Edge
    Edge Edge℠ Prepaid Discover® Card Simplify payroll processes, realize cost savings and improve productivity while providing a valuable financial tool that is uniquely tailored to fit your employees’ lifestyle.

National Restaurant Association - Economist's Notebook: Restaurant sales bounce back in March

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

Share:
Email Print
News RSS

Economist's Notebook: Restaurant sales bounce back in March

The National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy analyzes the latest retail sales figures.  Restaurant sales registered a solid gain in March, and returned to the levels reached before the recent soft patch.  Although restaurant operators are generally optimistic about sales growth in the months ahead, their outlook for the economy remains mixed.

Restaurant sales posted a solid gain in March, and bounced back completely from the recent soft patch.  Eating and drinking place sales totaled $47.3 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, up 1.1 percent from February’s upward-revised sales volume of $46.8 billion, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau

The March sales volume matched the previous record high registered in November 2013, and came on the heels of three months in which sales were dampened somewhat by challenging weather conditions. 

Total retail sales also rose 1.1 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis in March, while grocery store sales edged up 0.2 percent. 

Looking ahead, restaurant operators remain relatively optimistic about the business environment in the coming months.  In the NRA’s March 2014 Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, 40 percent of restaurant operators said they expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), which is essentially unchanged from the responses in the previous four months.  Only 11 percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, while 49 percent expect their sales to remain about the same.

In comparison, restaurant operators are somewhat less bullish about the direction of the economy.  Twenty-nine percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, while 16 percent expect the economy to worsen.  The remaining 55 percent expect economic conditions to remain generally unchanged in the next six months.

Read more from the Economist’s Notebook and get additional analysis of restaurant industry trends on Restaurant TrendMapper (subscription required).

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS

▲ Back to Top

Consumer Spending Report

Spot Ad right

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2013 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156