The dual coronavirus variants, delta and then omicron, have taken a bite out of the industry’s sales recovery.

Restaurants and bars generated $72 billion in sales in January, according to U.S. Census retail sales data this week. That was a decline of nearly 1% from December, when the industry generated $73.1 billion in sales. The numbers are adjusted for seasonal variances.

It also represented the lowest volume of sales since June and was the third such monthly decline in four months.

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