The Census Bureau’s Advance Monthly Sales Estimate fell 0.3 percent in September but increased 4.1 percent compared to September 2018.

The September advance estimate for sales in foodservices and drinking places was up 0.2 percent from August and up 4.9 percent from September last year. In the first 9 months of 2019 restaurant and bar sales have risen 4.1 percent from the same time period in 2018.

When considering the Census Bureau data keep in mind the advance estimate is based on a limited sample size and is subject to revision.

The Census Bureau only surveys restaurants and bars. Excluded from the research hotels, motels, resorts, c-stores and other retailers, employed feeding, schools, colleges & universities and military feeding.

Finally, sales data is adjusted for seasonal differences, holidays and weekends but are not adjusted for menu price changes.

Economic News This Week

Foodservice News This Week

  • DoorDash debuted its first shared kitchen concept. The Redwood City, Calif., facility offers delivery, pickup and group order options for Nation’s Giant Hamburgers, Rooster & Rice, Humphry Slocome and The Halal Guys.
  • Convenience stores will grow sales faster than most offline retail channels in the next five years, according to projections from e-commerce insights company Edge by Asecential. C-stores sales will grow at an annual rate of 5.4 percent, while discount stores will grow at a 5.3 percent clip and non-food discount stores at 5.0 percent. Except for membership club stores, other off-line retailers are expected to have annual growth rates of 3.0 percent or less. Consumers’ continued emphasis on low price and convenience will drive these results.
  • Wendy’s will make breakfast simple this time. The quick-serve chain’s last attempt at breakfast required adding 45 new menu items. Next year’s breakfast program will involve just 18 menu items. The last bite at breakfast required $10,000 in new equipment. The 2020 breakfast rollout will leverage Wendy’s existing equipment package. Wendy’s management believes breakfast will quickly rise to 10 percent of total sales.
  • Corporate Stirrings: Domino’s UK will withdraw from Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. While the company feels the markets remain attractive, it feels Domino’s is “not the best owners of these businesses.” ARC Group has acquired WingHouse Bar & Grill from Tampa based Soaring Wings LLC for $18 million. The deal includes $12 million in cash and $6 million in stock. Del Frisco’s Grille will close at least four locations before finalizing the Landry’s purchase of Del Frisco’s. Pinstripes struck a minority investment deal with Simon Property Group that includes new leases for three future locations within Simon complexes Pinstripes, an upscale restaurant and entertainment concept signed a similar agreement with Brookfield Properties in April.
  • Growth Chains: Schlotzky’s Austen Eatery signed a development agreement for 10 units in South Texas with Lozano, LLC. Wendy’s development plans calls for growing domestic locations by 1 percent to 2 percent annually and by 10 percent to percent outside the U.S. The chain has 6,000 locations in the U.S. and 950 outside the country. Mooyah Burgers Fries & Shakes opened a unit in Brentwood, Tenn., and plans to add nine more restaurants in the Nashville area.

 Click here for the latest Green Sheet detailing same-store sales reports.