Momentum slightly shifts in February
Wallace Doolin, Chairman and Founder of BBI stated; “After three straight months of strengthening Comp Store Sales and Traffic Counts, we saw a moderate weakening in both key metrics in the month of February. Comp Store Sales remain in positive territory, while Comp Store Traffic was just slightly negative for the month. The story for the first half of February was strong comps driven by weather rollover for 2011, while the second half of the month produced some concerns regarding the recent spike in gas prices at the pump and how that is hurting the restaurant consumers wallet. ”
Highlights for February include positive comparable store sales of 2.53%, with guest traffic of -0.10%. Sales were positive in both food and alcoholic beverages. Results were most positive in the Midwest region posting positive comp store sales of 5.29% for the month, while Mid-Atlantic fared the worst, with slightly negative sales of -0.80%. BBI currently reports on 73 distinct concepts distributed in 112 DMA’s (designated market areas).
Job growth of 2.6% was positive and stronger than the 2.0% in the previous month. People Report currently tracks over 1 million employees each month. The CER Restaurant Willingness to Spend Index, calculated monthly from household surveys of over 2500 consumers, showed a deterioration in the index, coming off its 8-month high last month.
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