5 states where restaurant sales spike during Spring Break
Pop quiz: which state sees a bigger lift in restaurant sales during Spring Break—California, or Arkansas?
If you’re like us, you assumed the obvious answer was the Golden State, where spring breakers flock to towns like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and countless beaches. Turns out, that’s not the case.
For our State of Local Restaurants report, we analyzed transactions at tens of thousands of independent eateries in all 50 states for every day of the 2017 calendar year. One wacky finding: Spring Break has its biggest boost on restaurant sales in surprising states, and places you’d expect to top the list are actually pretty average.
See the state-by-state breakdown below.
States that saw the biggest Spring Break spike
We started by answering a simple question: how many of a state’s best revenue days occurred during Spring Break last year? From there asked: how much of a difference is there between the average weekend revenue and revenues on weekends during Spring Break?
Immediately, we saw a clear separation from the pack in these five states: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Nevada. The more we stress-tested the data, the more outstanding the performance of their restaurant revenues seemed to be. Let’s take a look.
The most unexpected state to make the list also happens to have the best revenue increase during Spring Break: Arkansas. Like the other states on the list, March is the best month for local restaurants in Arkansas, largely because of increased revenue correlating to Spring Break.
- Of Arkansas restaurants’ top 100 sales days of the year, 19 occur during Spring Break, as well as 7 of their 10 best days overall.
- Local restaurants in Arkansas see a 27% increase in revenue on Spring Break weekends compared to their average weekend.
Arizona has more of their best days during Spring Break than nearly every other state, second only to Florida. Coupled with a significant revenue increase, Arizona eateries see their absolute best sales month of the year in March.
- Of Arizona restaurants’ top 100 revenue days, 22 occur during Spring Break, as well as 6 of their 10 best days overall.
- Local restaurants in Arizona see a 21% increase in revenue on Spring Break weekends compared to their average weekend.
If we were to declare a Spring Break sales winner, Florida would take the crown. Restaurants in the Sunshine State have more of their top 100 days in March than any other state. Pair that with the second-highest revenue bump, and it’s no wonder why March is the best month for restaurants in Florida.
- Of Florida restaurants’ top 100 days, 25 occur during Spring Break, as well as 5 of their 10 best days overall.
- Local restaurants in Florida see a 25% increase in revenue on Spring Break weekends compared to their average weekend.
Georgia may be another surprise state for spiking restaurant sales over Spring Break, but the numbers don’t lie. Local eateries in Georgia enjoy a significant number of their top 10 and 100 days during March, as well as a big boost in revenue.
- Of Georgia restaurants’ top 100 days, 18 occur during Spring Break, as well as 6 of their 10 best days overall.
- Local restaurants in Georgia see a 20% increase in revenue on Spring Break weekends compared to their average weekend.
Vegas, right? Nevada restaurants may not have the largest increase in weekend revenue during Spring Break, but they have more of their top 10 days occur in March than any other state. That makes March the best month for restaurants in Nevada.
- Of Nevada restaurants’ top 100 days, 21 occur during Spring Break, as well as 8 of their 10 best days overall.
- Local restaurants in Nevada see a 16% increase in revenue on Spring Break weekends compared to their average.
States that didn’t see Spring Break sales spikes, surprisingly
If you are like us, you were probably surprised by some of the states that made the list, and even more surprised by some of the states that didn’t. So, we analyzed states we’d have expected to see on the list to see where how their restaurants perform during Spring Break.
California restaurants do have 10 of their 100 best days in March, but that’s about average. (Most states see around 6-8 of their top 100 days in March). Furthermore, local restaurants in California only see 3.5% more revenue on Spring Break weekends than their average weekend. March is the 4th-best month for local restaurants in California.
Hawaii restaurants don’t have any of their top 10 days during Spring Break, and they only see a 0.6% increase in restaurant revenue when school’s out for spring. March is the 4th-best month for local restaurants in Hawaii.
The Empire State’s local eateries have 5 of their 100 best days during Spring Break, but a -0.76% impact on revenue. March is the 4th-best month for local restaurants in New York.
Texas restaurants don’t have any of their top 10 days during Spring Break. They do see a 5.4% increase in revenue, making March the 2nd-best month for local restaurants in the Longhorn State.
Despite having 4 of their 10 best days in during Spring Break, Virginia only sees a 4.68% increase in restaurant revenues during Spring Break. March is the 7th-best month for local restaurants in the Old Dominion State.
Just because your state didn’t make the list doesn’t mean it was a bad time for your restaurant. In fact, with March being the 4th best month for local restaurants in America, it highly likely you will still see strong daily sales. Moreover, it probably means your best days of the year are yet to come.
If you’d like to know how Womply helps local restaurant owners get understand their businesses and engage their patrons, you can request a free consultation with one of our specialists.
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