Same-store sales for the restaurant industry fell 1.6% in the first quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of negative results, according to industry research firm Black Box Intelligence. The last time the industry experienced a similar ugly period was in 2009 and the first half of 2010 as the economy was in the grips of the Great Recession.
Restaurant traffic plunged 3.6% in the quarter, says Black Box Intelligence, with the average check up 1.9%. The increase in check is of little comfort: it's slower than the average 2.3% increase seen in 2016 as brands relied more on promotions and took smaller price increases in response to sluggish traffic.
The worst performing segments in the quarter included sit-down dining and fast casual. On the other hand, fine dining and quick-service restaurants performed the best (good news for those McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) bulls out there).
Conditions didn't improve in March, either.
Black Box Intelligence says same-store sales last month dropped 1.1%, with traffic falling 3.4%.
The firm's data is based on 120 plus restaurant brands and over 22,000 units that are clients.
Editor's Pick: Originally published April 19.
More Retail news on TheStreet:
- 8 Major Risks to Amazon's Profits That You Better Know About, Or Else
- People Are So Obsessed With Costco They Wouldn't Mind Paying Even More to Shop for Bulk Mustard
- A Tirade by a Starbucks Barista Over the Unicorn Frappuccino Reminds Everyone of One Big Challenge
- Alibaba's Founder Jack Ma Just Depressed Everyone: He Predicts a Future of Pain