July 18, 2023

Restaurant sales held firm in June

Consumer spending in restaurants outpaced growth in non-restaurant retail sectors in recent months.

Eating and drinking places* registered total sales of $88.9 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis in June, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That was essentially unchanged from May’s sales volume, which was revised higher by nearly $1 billion from preliminary readings. 

The plateauing of restaurant sales mirrored the broader retail landscape in June, as consumer spending in non-restaurant retail sectors rose just 0.2%.

However, the trendline of restaurant sales was significantly more positive when compared to year-ago levels. Consumer spending in restaurants increased 8.4% between June 2022 and June 2023, while total spending in non-restaurant retail sectors edged up 0.5%.

While the overall trajectory of restaurant sales was positive in recent months, the primary catalyst was higher menu prices. In inflation-adjusted terms, eating and drinking place sales rose just 0.7% between June 2022 and June 2023. 

*Eating and drinking places are the primary component of the U.S. restaurant and foodservice industry, which prior to the coronavirus pandemic generated approximately 75% of total restaurant and foodservice sales. Monthly sales figures presented above represent total revenues at all eating and drinking place establishments. This differs from the National Restaurant Association’s sales projections, which represent food and beverage sales at establishments with payroll employees. 

Read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.