Featured VideoBill Schaffler, COO of PRBBI delivers March’s Restaurant Snapshot brought to you by PRBBI and Consumer Edge Insight

Black Box Intelligence and People Report released The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for March this week, showing a return to positive sales during the month. The restaurant consumer indicated a third straight month of pullback through their “Consumer Willingness to Spend Index” research from Consumer Edge.

Same-store sales were +0.5 percent in March, compared to February’s result of -5.0 percent. The last week of March included Easter, whereas Easter fell in the first week of April last year. Same-store traffic results showed a decline of 2.0 percent, better than February by 4.2 percent. Consumer Edge Research, a partner company to People Report and Black Box Intelligence, released the March “Restaurant Willingness to Spend Index” this week of 81 compared to 82 in February, and 83 in January. First Quarter 2013 same-store sales were -1.3% and same-store traffic was -3.7%.

“During the first quarter the impact of payroll taxes and tax refund delays certainly hurt consumers and their spending, as compared to one year ago. When you couple that with bad weather, which we were lucky not to have last year, the quarter was disappointing. It appears the consumer began to adjust to these challenges in March, but we remain in a fragile sales environment” said Bill Schaffler, President at Black Box Intelligence and People Report.

Additionally 107 out of 171 DMAs reported posted a positive result in March, as compared to only 1 in February. the New York-New Jersey region performed the best with a positive 2.1 percent same-store sales decrease, while the Mountain Plains was the lowest performing area, with a same-store sales decrease of 1.5 percent.

People Report data reports turnover results by position by segment to their member companies each month. In March, results show management turnover decreasing while hourly turnover is increasing. Most recent job growth reported by People Report is 0.9 percent, identical to last month’s number of 0.9 percent.

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+0.50%

Comp Sales

-1.3%

Q1 2013

-2%

Comp Traffic

-3.7%

Q1 2013
Per Person Average/PTA

+2.3%

March

+2.3%

Q1 2013
Food
Comp Sales

Mar

Q1 2013
Alcohol
Comp Sales

Mar

Q1 2013

NY/NJ

Best Region
Sales
+2.10%
Traffic
-1.3%

Mountain Plains

Worst Region
Sales
-1.5%
Traffic
-4.1%

# Markets

 SALES
107
63%
Mar

# Markets

 SALES
64
37%
Mar
Year/Year Job Growth*

+0.9%

February

+0.9%

January
Management
Turnover*

Q1 2013
QTD

Feb
YTD
Hourly
Turnover*

Q1 2013
QTD

Feb
YTD
*People Report, Human Capital Intelligence, February 2013 Release