Restaurant Industry – October 5th

Restaurant Reservations

Nationally, restaurant reservations climbed 1% over last week. In Georgia there was no real change in weekly restaurant reservations. It seems that for the moment this area has stagnated. 

Casual Dining, Fast Food, and Bars

Two weeks ago, Casual Dining and Bars took a sizable hit, dropping 8.6% and 7.8% respectively. This week, they recovered somewhat, climbing 3% and 2% respectively. Fast food has remained unaffected.

In The News

Still crippled by pandemic, Atlanta restaurants struggle to hang on

Ligaya Figueras

Nearly 30% of Georgia eateries unlikely to survive without bailout, according to survey

Six months following the first shutdown of restaurants due to the pandemic, the restaurant industry is nowhere near recovery. According to a survey recently released by the National Restaurant Association, nearly 1 in 6 restaurants is closed either permanently or long term. The figure is in stark contrast to the 50,000 restaurants that close on average annually, based on U.S. census data.

For restaurants still in operation, the outlook is not good. Of the roughly 3,800 Georgia operators who completed the National Restaurant Association survey, 87% report lower total dollar sales volume in August compared to the same period in 2019, overall sales down 30% on average compared to prior years.

COVID is forcing restaurants to rethink, modernize drive-thru lanes

Nancy Luna

Early iterations of drive-up or drive-thru ordering lanes include a single lane with a two-way speaker or parking stalls manned by roller skating carhops. For decades, drive-thru lanes have been the main driver of sales at fast-food chains, generating anywhere from 60% to 70% of sales. 

Taco Bell announced plans in August to open smaller footprint stores that cater to on-the-go consumers looking for double drive-thrus and curbside pickup. 

In September, Burger King unveiled two new “Restaurant of Tomorrow” designs that cater to COVID trends. The prototypes provide as many as three drive-thru lanes, curbside pickup, lockers for mobile and delivery orders and walkup options for carryout orders.

Photo of an undetermined Georgia Tech home game during the 1918 college football season. That's when the sport was hit by the Spanish flu and the end of World War I.

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