Graphic of the Unites States of America

The State of Local Restaurants 2020


 

How much do people spend eating out? What does revenue look like for local restaurants across the U.S.? We ran the numbers to create this special report you can't get anywhere else.

To project sales trends and patterns for 2020, we analyzed transaction data for every day of the 2019 calendar year at over 36,000 local restaurants across the country.

This resulted in a comprehensive examination of when local restaurants do the most business, when they serve the most diners, and what 2020 may look like when it comes to eating local.

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Understanding this report

To shed light on how people spend at local restaurants, we examined:

  • Transactions: How many separate payments restaurants processes in a single day, on average.
  • Ticket size: How much do diners spend per transaction, on average.
  • Daily sales revenue: How much revenue a restaurant brings in each day, on average.
  • Total revenue: how much money was brought in on a given day across all restaurants

How much do local restaurants make on an average day?

On the average day, restaurants in the U.S. brought in $1,350 in revenue. The average restaurant processed around 47 transactions daily while seeing customers spend an average of $28.43 per ticket.

Sales Revenue Transactions Ticket Size
$1,350 47 $28.43
National Average National Average National Average

 

State by state comparison

When we compare the average day for restaurants in each state, we see that Vermont's restaurants brought in the highest average daily revenue at $1,916.

As far as individual ticket size, restaurants in Rhode Island showed the highest average at $37.20.

But which state's restaurants were the busiest overall, processing the most daily transactions? For the second consecutive year, North Carolina was home to America's busiest restaurants, processing 66 transactions on an average day.

Consult the chart below to see where your state stacks up!

State Daily Sales Revenue computerdaily Sales rev vs national Ticket size Ticket size vs national Average Transactions Transactions vs national

 

How much do local restaurants make in an average week?

Not surprisingly, restaurants across the country fare best on weekends, with a combined total of 54% of all average weekly restaurant revenue coming in during the period from Friday through Sunday.

 

As we look more closely at daily totals, we see Fridays are typically the busiest day of the week for restaurants across the country (with higher numbers of transactions).

 

When you look at which days had the highest per ticket average, you can see Americans typically spend the most when they dine out on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

How much does the average restaurant make in a year?

Americans clearly love dining out no matter what time of year it is, but we were curious to see whether some times of year were better for local restaurants than others.

 

As you can see in the chart above, the first few weeks of the year are definitely the slowest for local restaurants. However, business picks up quickly in February and March before peaking over the spring and summer months. The single-biggest week of the year was June 10th through the 16th.

Sales dip slightly during fall and into winter, before experiencing a slight bounce during the holiday shopping season.

 

Top 5 days for local restaurants nationwide

When measured by total revenue spent at restaurants, Mother's Day weekend was enormous for local restaurants. Enough Americans took Mom out for a special meal to generate the #1 and #2 biggest days of the year during the holiday.

In fact, Mother's Day weekend was so big it produced the top day of the year for restaurants in 27 states.

Father's Day, meanwhile, was big enough for the day before to claim the #3 spot, suggesting perhaps that some Americans prefer to celebrate Father's Day itself with a backyard BBQ as opposed to dining out.

Here are the five biggest days of the year in terms of total dollars spent at restaurants nationwide.

Top 5 days: total revenue

#1 #2 #3 #4 #5

5/11/19

Mother's Day Weekend

5/12/19

Mother's Day

6/15/19

Father's Day Weekend

3/30/19

4/13/19

Saturday Sunday Saturday Saturday Saturday

 

Local restaurant revenue on prominent days

As the section above shows, restaurants rely on events and holidays to generate big sales numbers. Here's how prominent days rank compared to the average day.

  Day rank based on total sales How much did restaurants that were open make?
Day Day Rank Total rev vs avg % of restaurants open Avg rev Rev vs avg Avg txns Txns vs avg Avg ticket Ticket vs avg
New Year's Day 342 -37% 52% $1,395 3% 41 -13% $33.68 19%
Super Bowl Sunday 228 -14% 71% $1,408 4% 45 -5% $31.19 10%
Valentine's Day 94 21% 86% $1,608 19% 52 9% $31.12 10%
St. Patrick's Day 117 13% 74% $1,749 30% 55 15% $32.07 13%
Friday before Easter 29 45% 94% $1,770 31% 59 25% $29.94 5%
Saturday before Easter 39 43% 91% $1,809 34% 55 15% $33.05 16%
Easter Sunday 224 -13% 60% $1,679 24% 44 -7% $38.04 34%
Cinco de Mayo 93 21% 79% $1,763 31% 54 15% $32.41 14%
Friday before Mother's Day 16 47% 97% $1,748 30% 59 24% $29.67 4%
Saturday before Mother's Day 1 62% 94% $1,996 48% 57 21% $34.85 23%
Mother's Day 2 60% 80% $2,311 71% 55 16% $42.15 48%
Friday before Memorial Day 21 46% 99% $1,704 26% 58 21% $29.57 4%
Saturday before Memorial Day 32 45% 94% $1,771 31% 53 12% $33.37 17%
Memorial Day 270 -23% 65% $1,366 1% 45 -5% $30.29 7%
Friday before Father's Day 11 49% 100% $1,720 27% 58 22% $29.71 5%
Saturday before Father's Day 3 54% 96% $1,848 37% 55 15% $33.90 19%
Father's Day 54 40% 81% $1,985 47% 53 11% $37.79 33%
4th of July 312 -30% 60% $1,363 1% 44 -8% $31.11 9%
Friday before Labor Day 55 39% 96% $1,667 24% 57 21% $29.10 2%
Saturday before Labor Day 52 40% 92% $1,766 31% 54 14% $32.77 15%
Labor Day 283 -24% 62% $1,405 4% 46 -2% $30.28 7%
Halloween 235 -16% 85% $1,140 -16% 44 -7% $25.71 -10%
Thanksgiving Eve 142 6% 84% $1,463 8% 49 3% $30.06 6%
Thanksgiving 364 -63% 32% $1,305 -3% 32 -32% $40.32 42%
Christmas Eve 346 -39% 55% $1,286 -5% 34 -29% $37.91 33%
Christmas Day 365 -73% 20% $1,551 15% 36 -23% $42.53 50%
New Year's Eve 176 -4% 69% $1,617 20% 46 -4% $35.35 24%

Methodology

Womply analyzed daily revenue for over 36,000 restaurants in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, for all 365 days of the 2019 calendar year. Restaurants were only included in the analysis if they qualified as small businesses, Womply had a full year of transaction history, and the business recorded multiple transactions per day, on average.

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