GuestMetrics is revolutionizing how the hospitality industry operates. The company collects check-level data from over 10,000 restaurants closely representative of the broad on-premise sector across geographies, and with respect to the make-up of casual dining, bars/clubs, fine dining and lodging.
According to GuestMetrics latest press release, after seeing an encouraging improvement in traffic to full service restaurants and bars during the four weeks ending Nov. 3, traffic has fallen back to its weakest level since February during the most recent four weeks. With the data going through Sunday December 1, this is an apples-to-apples view of the Thanksgiving holiday period.
During the four week period ending Dec. 1, 2013, traffic to full service restaurants and bars fell to -3.3 percent, a marked slowdown from the -1.3 percent seen during the four-week period ending Nov. 3, 2013, and well below the -1.8 percent for the first 11 months of the year. All three channels saw year-to-year traffic slow during the four-week period ending 12/01 compared to the prior four-week period. Traffic to bars/clubs is -7.1 percent, a fairly sharp decline from the -4.6 percent seen during the prior four-week period. Casual dining saw traffic at -3.6 percent, also a dramatic downtick from the -1.2 percent seen in the prior period, and fine dining’s traffic slipped further into negative year-to-year territory at -1.1 percent after being at -0.6 percent for the four-week period ending Nov. 3.
According to the release, traffic to on-premise is seeing particularly weak levels during the late night day-part (after 10 p.m.), down 8.5 percent for the first 11 months of 2013 compared to the prior year. “We believe the particular weakness in traffic to bars/clubs and during the late night day-part is likely a reflection of younger adults remaining under significant economic pressure,” said the release.
The broader slowdown in traffic to overall full service restaurants and bars is likely due to a confluence of factors: (a) a natural fallback from the artificial bump in traffic during the previous four-week period caused by pent-up demand from the end to the government shutdown; (b) cannibalization of holiday shopping from more retailers being open on Thanksgiving Day (when shoppers likely are not eating/drinking at restaurants) from the normal Fri/Sat/Sun shopping period following the holiday; (c) potential scaling back in eating/drinking out behaviors to accommodate buying gifts in a holiday shopping period that is 18 percent more concentrated (6 days shorter) than last year; and (d) overall weak consumer discretionary spending during November which was also reflected in overall retail sales
GuestMetrics turns billions of raw transactions into intelligible information that is fundamentally transforming the business operations of everyone from bars to craft pubs.