The good news continued for the restaurant industry during May. Restaurants posted their third consecutive month of positive same-store sales growth compared to the same time in 2019. Same-store sales growth results, although strong, represented a drop from the 7.1% growth reported for April.
Sales may be consistently better than they were before the pandemic, but restaurant traffic has yet to recover. Same-store traffic was down -5.1% compared with May of 2019. Not only are guest counts declining in restaurants, but traffic performance worsened during the most recent month. April’s two-year same-store traffic growth was relatively stronger but still down 4.0%.
The optimism in the industry is shared by restaurants guests. A larger percentage of restaurant experiences in May were rated more positively than two years ago. Out of the online reviews and comments centered primarily on a restaurant’s “food,” the percentage that was classified as positive improved by 8.0 percentage points compared with May of 2019.