Restaurant Spending Is Way, Way Down
The past three months have been very rough on restaurants, as the industry suffered its worst three months since 2010, according to Bloomberg.
Casual restaurant sales fell 1.6 percent in December, 0.6 percent in January, and a whopping 5.4 percent in February, according to the report. It’s the first time that there were three consecutive months of decline in three years, and the reason for the drop just might have something to do with the fact that since the "sequester" kicked into effect, more taxes are being taken from paychecks every months. Another reason? This winter has been particularly rough (after last year’s relatively mild one), and less people go out to eat when the weather is crummy.
Earlier this year, the government allowed the tax that funds Social Security to revert to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent, which made consumers give a second thought to discretionary spending. At the same time, the price of gas has increased by 12 percent so far this year, which makes them give a second thought to discretionary driving. Neither of these bode well for the restaurant industry.