Fast-Casual Continues to Climb

Again last month, fast-casual restaurants showed solid growth, up nearly 4% compared to a year ago. It’s the fourth consecutive month in the black for fast-casual, bringing the trailing 12-month average to about half a percent. The trend has been a bit lumpy, but it’s a solid performance for the year.

Last month, we noted how tough it was for full-service restaurants. May wasn’t a turnaround, but it was the best performance so far this year. While sales dropped by just over 1%, it was a smaller decline than most other months in the past year. Mother’s Day could be expected to lift sales for the category, but this year’s celebration of all-things-mom showed a small decline of just under 1%, in line with the month as a whole.

So far this year, traditional restaurants are losing ground to their less formal competitors, with fast-casual beating out full-service in sales growth every month of 2019.

DC 12-month trend

DC 12-month trend

DC Year over Year sales


About these metrics: The MarginEdge monthly snapshot of DC Metro restaurant sales is based on a sampling of 100+ area restaurants ranging from fast-casual to full-service.

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