Editor's note: This exclusive series to Nation’s Restaurant News provides C-level insights into the sales and traffic data from clients subscribing to Black Box Intelligence, a financial performance benchmarking company. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Nation’s Restaurant News.
Black Box Intelligence and People Report released The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for October at their annual Best Practices Conference in Dallas today.
Same-store sales were flat for the month, a slight rebound from the 0.8-percent decrease reported last month. Same-store traffic continued the 2012 trend of posting negative results, with a reported decrease of 2.1 percent.
The results seen in October are very similar to the rolling three-month averages for the industry overall, in which same-store sales rose .1 percent and same-store traffic fell 2.0 percent.
“The industry continues to remain stuck in a mode of barely positive sales on average and it can’t seem to pull traffic up to positive rates," said Bill Schaffler, chief operating officer at Black Box Intelligence and People Report. "We continue to emphasize top quartile performance as the measuring stick because as of right now, average does not excite anybody.”
In October it was also reported that the Southwest region performed the best with a 1.7-percent same-store sales increase, while the Mountain Plains region was the worst area, with a same-store sales decrease of 3.2 percent.
The split of positive to negative DMAs in October was 49-percent positive and 51-percent negative. This is the second month in a row where more DMAs were in negative territory than positive.
People Report data shows a mix of turnover results as of the most recent month. In October, results show management turnover on the rise, while hourly turnover is declining somewhat. Job growth reported by People Report is 1.3 percent, a decrease from last month’s more robust number of 2.3 percent.
The Restaurant Industry Snapshot is a compilation of real sales and traffic results from 172 DMAs from 72 distinct restaurant brands and approximately 14,000 restaurants that are clients of Black Box Intelligence. Currently, data is reported in four distinct segments: casual dining, upscale/fine-dining, fast casual, and family dining. Black Box Intelligence is a sister company to People Report, which tracks one million restaurant employees on workforce analytics. The Restaurant Industry Snapshot also includes the “Restaurant Industry Willingness to Spend Index” from Consumer Edge Research, which is a monthly household survey of more than 2,500 consumers. Consumer Edge Insights is a marketing partner with Black Box Intelligence and People Report.