Atlanta restaurant sales volume increased 4.18% vs. 2018. Year-to-date 2019 has seen a positive sales growth in 73% of the 102 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed.
In its survey of national restaurant sales TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company, reported national restaurant revenue has increased a modest .5% to date in 2019. Nationally restaurant traffic continued its downward trend declining -3.14% in Q2. TDn2K notes that the relatively stronger economy of the last two years has created an increase in guest check that is outweighing the continuous decline in traffic.
Lori Johnson, NetFinancials president states that, “The first quarter of 2019 saw a tremendous increase in sales due to the Atlanta Superbowl festivities. The national spotlight was on Atlanta and visitors were given the opportunity to experience the food culture locals love. Not surprisingly Q1 2019 saw an increase in sales at the majority of restaurants surveyed, a startling 78%! Q2 stand-alone sales volume increased 1.72% with positive sales posted at 59% of restaurants. It is of note that the increase seen in Q2 2019 was comparable to the 2nd quarter of previous years despite the continued increase to seats in the market. We are hopeful this will be the first two quarters of a new streak of positive comparative sales.”
Even as established restaurants showed strong sales in Q2, new store openings continued at a rapid pace. Carl Muth of FoodService Resource Associates LLC who tracks restaurant activity in Georgia estimates that 385 new restaurants opened in Metro Atlanta year to date 2019.
In addition to the spike in visitor traffic in Q1 2019 Atlanta’s expanding local economy has led to a decrease in unemployment from 2018. Metro Atlanta unemployment has mirrored the national rate of 3.7% as of June 2019. Unemployment declined from 4.2% in June 2018 while the metro area added 49,000 jobs over the last twelve months. During that period Atlanta hospitality industry services added over 9 thousand new jobs.