Impact on the georgia Economy
Restaurants are a major player of the Georgia economy, making up 18,403 eating and drinking locations in 2018. These locations accounted for $22.9B in sales and provide 488,400 food-service jobs in Georgia in 2019. According to the National Restaurant Association, in Georgia, every dollar spent in the table service segment contributes $1.97 in the state economy. (IDEALLY I would want this paragraph in a colored box on the right side of the page, away from the body of the report, especially in subsequent reports.) Information courtesy of the National Restaurant Association
Restaurant Reservations as of now are on a slow rise, since they plummeted to virtually zero by the 20th of March. As of May 1st reservations have climbed in the United States from -100% Year-over-Year to approximately -80%. Reservations in Georgia have been slightly faster to recover than the national average. This is due to Gov. Kemp’s release of protocols allowing restaurants to resume operations despite the pandemic on the 27th of April. Georgia’s reservations are down only 73% as opposed to the national average of 80%. Information from Open Table
This graph shows the comparison between restaurant reservations in Georgia and in the United States. Notice how Georgia is recovering much faster.
Restaurant Reservations Year-Over-Year: GA vs US
Foot Traffic: Casual Dining and fast food
For casual dining, the story is pretty much the same as the fine dining reservations. There was a slow (1% a day) decline in traffic at these restaurants, and then on March 14th there is a steep drop down to at the lowest 27% of the previous month. Since May, casual diners have been making a recovery, faster than that of fine dining establishments. They are currently at nearly half the diner traffic of pre-coronavirus.
Fast Food Chains
Fast food chains tell a different story entirely compared to fine dining and casual dining. There was a notable decline in traffic until March 19th, however that decline was much less than that of its industry, dropping to at its lowest only 79% of pre-coronavirus in the beginning of April. By the middle of April they had already recovered to stable 94% and were operating at pre-corona levels by May 1st. These restaurants have stayed around 100% YoY traffic for the month of May, sometimes even exceeding the previous year’s performance by 3-5%.
These benefits stem from fast food restaurant’s previously established structure (Take out and Drive through, small emphasis on dine-in) as well as the loss of competition from their higher price competitors. This industry was poised well to survive and even thrive during this pandemic.