U.S. Restaurant Sales Continued to Trend Higher in December
December represented the 10th consecutive month of sales growth.
Restaurant sales continued to trend higher in December, albeit at a slower rate compared to recent months.
Eating and drinking places* registered total sales of $94.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in December, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That was up slightly from November’s downward-revised volume of $94.5 billion, representing the 10th consecutive month of sales growth.
In total during the last 10 months, eating and drinking place sales increased 8.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was well above the 2.4% sales gain in non-restaurant retail sectors during the same period.
Restaurant sales have also risen on an inflation-adjusted basis in recent months. After adjusting for menu price inflation, eating and drinking place sales increased 4.2% during the last ten months.
*Eating and drinking places are the primary component of the U.S. restaurant and foodservice industry, which prior to the coronavirus pandemic generated approximately 75% of total restaurant and foodservice sales. Monthly sales figures presented above represent total revenues at all eating and drinking place establishments. This differs from the National Restaurant Association’s sales projections, which represent food and beverage sales at establishments with payroll employees.
Read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.