Seems winter is still here. March was another tough month for restaurants in the Twin Cities, though there may be a few hopeful signs.
Sales were down just over 4% compared to March 2018, the smallest decline so far this year. St. Patrick’s Day provided a boost with an overall sales increase of more than 1.5% over the weekend, despite this year’s holiday falling on a Sunday (the celebration hit the prime Saturday spot in 2018). Weekend liquor sales – always a key part of St. Paddy’s – were up nearly 2%, bringing some additional green cheer.
Overall, though, the local restaurant economy is sluggish and trailing 12-month annual sales are down nearly 3.5%.
Next month, downtown Minneapolis hosts the NCAA Basketball Final Four and Championship games, bringing in extra visitors – and additional spending estimated to reach $150 million. Let’s hope for plenty of rebounds!
About these metrics: The MarginEdge monthly snapshot of Minneapolis/St. Paul restaurant sales is based on a sampling of 50+ area restaurants ranging from fast-casual to full-service.