The restaurant industry is slowly recovering. R.J. Hottovy of Placer deep-dives into the statistics and offers a glimpse into the mechanisms behind the recovery.
Restaurants have been through the wringer over the last two years. From retention challenges and supply chain issues to creating digital initiatives and building management teams that will thrive, we’re just seeing restaurants emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leveraging the latest location analytics to examine the key elements impacting the hospitality industry was the focus of a free webinar, “Restaurant recovery: A data driven look,” presented by Placer and hosted by Fastcasual.com. The speaker for the webinar was R.J. Hottovy, head of analytics research for Placer. Hottovy has covered the restaurant, retail and e-commerce sectors for nearly 20 years.
In the presentation, Hottovy noted that QSRs have led the way when it comes to restaurant visits, while full-service restaurants have lagged a bit, a natural outcome of a pandemic. The coffee segment has done well, while bars and pubs have benefitted from pent-up demand as we emerge from the pandemic.
“Surprisingly, fast casual had a really strong 2021 as well,” Hottovy said, “but we’ve seen visitation trends drop off more recently. Some of that has to do with gas prices and other inflation as consumers have become more restrained and seen a little more trade down, particularly QSR.”
There’s still tremendous demand for eating out, Hottovy said.
Gas prices are impacting trade area sizes, as well. “We’ve started to see that trade area, that number of unique visitors, starting to trend down more recently,” Hottovy said. “We are seeing a noticeable impact on the overall space. The key message here is that with the trade area size in most restaurant areas starting to shrink, and the number of unique visitors starting to trend down, it’s more important than ever to make sure you capture the customers that are coming in … so we’re starting to see more innovation on that front.”
To hear more of Hottovy’s statistics on restaurant recovery, click here to watch the free webinar in its entirety.