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April's Restaurant Data Far From Encouraging, But There Is Hope

The job losses at restaurants in April are discouraging: three decades of job gains were eliminated, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Benzinga · 05/11/2020 19:25

The job losses at restaurants in April are discouraging: three decades of job gains were eliminated, according to the National Restaurant Association.

What Happened To Restaurant Jobs

Eating and drinking establishments across the U.S. lost 5.5 million jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent survey of restaurant operators across the country suggests many of the remaining 6.4 million employees on payrolls at eating and drinking establishments are likely to lose their jobs.

In total, 21.4 million workers lost their jobs across the U.S. over the last two months, which brings the total employment level back to levels seen in February 2011, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Why It's Important To The Restaurant Sector

Some of the lost jobs could be recovered as eating and drinking establishments reopen across the U.S. In fact, consumers' assessment of their household financial situation "hasn't completely fallen off a cliff," according to the National Restaurant Association report.

The American consumer could be in a better position to help rebuild the economy than previously thought, the report said. 

What's Next For The Restaurant Industry

Data compiled by Black Box Intelligence across more than 50,000 restaurant units showed same-store sales and same-store traffic were each down 55% in April.

The month could mark the beginning of a turnaround, as April's performance marks a rebound.

Throughout the bottom half of March, restaurants saw a 67% year-over-year decline in revenue, but since then, same-store sales recovered by 20 percentage points, according to Black Box Intelligence.

"Obviously, we are still far from an ideal situation for the industry," Kelli Valade, CEO and president of Black Box Intelligence, said in the press release. "But the improvement in recent weeks is a testament to the resourcefulness and grit of restaurant operators who adapted and shifted quickly to this new restricted environment and have begun to turn things around."

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