Sales and customer traffic levels plunged in March

Restaurant operators reported a sharp decline in same-store sales in March, according to the National Restaurant Association’s monthly tracking survey. Only 2 percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales increase between March 2019 and March 2020, while 96 percent reported a sales decline.

None of the tableservice respondents reported higher same-store sales in March, while only a small fraction of quickservice and fast casual operators reported a sales gain.

Restaurant operators: Want to know how your business compares to similar restaurants on a monthly basis? Find out by taking a few minutes to participate in the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey. All survey respondents receive exclusive access to the detailed survey results each month, broken out by industry segment and type of ownership.

The vast majority of restaurant operators also reported lower customer traffic in March. Only one percent of restaurant operators reported an increase in customer traffic between March 2019 and March 2020, while 98 percent reported traffic decline.

All of the tableservice respondents reported lower customer traffic in March.

Track more economic indicators and read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.