The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for Q2, released this week by Black Box Intelligence and People Report, reports a 0.3-percent growth in same-store sales, which was 0.5 percent higher than the first quarter, which was affected by adverse weather conditions.
Still, these results are "lackluster," according to Victor Fernandez, executive director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K, parent company of Black Box Intelligence and People Report.
According to a news release, expectations are higher for a stronger second half of the year from a same-store sales growth perspective, especially since sales were negative during both Q3 and Q4 of last year, creating lower hurdles in 2014.
On a two-year basis, sales in comparable stores grew by about 1.2 percent during the second quarter, while guest checks have grown at an average of 2.1 percent for all months during this same two year period.
"The sales growth we are observing is not reflecting the full price increase amounts that brands have likely taken during the last two years given the growth in average check," Fernandez said. "The barrier continues to be the declining guest counts experienced by the industry.”
Traffic growth in comparable stores, negative once again during Q2 at -1.4 percent, was still the strongest result for the industry since Q2 of 2013. The industry has yet to post a quarter of positive same-store sales traffic since the recession. On a two-year basis, same-store traffic dropped by about 2.7 percent when compared with Q2 of 2012.
"Underlying this data is an environment that combines slow-moving improvements in the labor market, changing consumer preferences who seem to be more interested in different options beyond the traditional restaurant chains, and perhaps most importantly, disposable personal incomes that are not growing at a pace that allows for much spending growth on restaurants," Fernandez said.