Q4 restaurant sales and traffic trends revealed a “positive trajectory” for the industry, according to GuestXM by Black Box Intelligence’s Nov. 27 report.

The firm says performance rebounded in October, offering some relief that September’s results were more inconsistent than a sign of a downturn for the industry. Overall, October saw same-store sales growth of 1.4%, similar to August’s 1.5%, and same-store traffic growth of -2.1%, which is actually the strongest posted by the industry since March.

Other highlights from the report:

Consumers continue to offer signs of resilience despite economic challenges, GuestXM states. They want to maintain their restaurant visits and orders. The firm says more conservative menu-price increases have helped alleviate some pressures.
In October, the best-performing region was New England, the best-performing segment was QSR and the best-performing cuisine was Italian. The worst performing was Florida, fine dining, and Asian.
Limited-service restaurants continue to perform better than full-service. QSR and fast-casual were among the top three segments based on same-store sales and traffic growth. Two segments experienced negative same-store sales growth during October: upscale casual and fine dining.

GuestXM also is watching the impact of the recent bill signed in California that will significantly increase the state’s minimum wage for fast-food workers, from $15.50 to $20. It will go into effect in April 2024. Pay attention, it states, as California often sets the tone for other regions.  Source: FER

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