AT A GLANCE
RESTAURANT PERFORMANCE INDEX: ▼ -0.8%
RESTAURANT JOBS: ▲ +62,100
RESTAURANT SALES: ▲ +0.9%
Note: Figures reflect November data and represent change from previous month
MONTH IN REVIEW
Consumers ramped up their spending in restaurants in November—potentially at the expense of other retailers. Eating and drinking place sales rose 0.9% in November, while consumer spending in non-restaurant retail sectors fell 0.8%.
One reason why consumers can sustain elevated levels of spending even in the face of decades-high inflation is the significant amount of savings that households have on their balance sheets. Another somewhat more concerning reason is the increased use of credit cards—many of which were safely stowed away during the early months of the pandemic.
BY THE NUMBERS
54% of restaurant operators reporting higher same-store sales in November.
30 - Number of states with restaurant employment below pre-pandemic levels.
24% of restaurant operators reporting higher customer traffic in November.
THE DEEP DIVE
Consumers boosted their restaurant spending
Elevated consumer spending is being supported by excess household savings and the increased use of credit cards.
Restaurant workforce recovery continued
November marked the 23rd consecutive month of employment growth, but the industry was still 462,000 jobs below pre-pandemic levels.
Average wholesale food prices jumped 3.1%
November represented the 18th increase in the last 23 months; 15 of those monthly gains topped 1%.
Menu prices rose 8.5% during the last 12 months
Fullservice prices rose 9% during the last 12 months—well above the 6.7% gain in prices for limited-service meals and snacks.