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Restaurant Sales, Traffic Make Comeback.

Restaurant sales and traffic performance rebounded in October, providing some relief that a disappointing September was somewhat of an anomaly and not the start of a severe industry downturn, Nation’s Restaurant News reports.

While October’s same-store sales growth of 1.4% was about the same as what the industry saw back in August (1.5%), the trend continues to point toward a softening in sales growth this year. As a comparison, average same-store sales growth during the period between April and July was twice as strong, coming in at an average 2.8%.

But what is interesting in the new environment experienced by the industry is that traffic growth, albeit negative, has held up much better than sales. October’s -2.1% same-store traffic growth is the strongest posted by the industry since March, when the industry was still experiencing some tailwinds due to the easy Omicron-period lap.

As has been common during the last few years, limited-service restaurants continue to perform better than those segments classified under full service. In October, quick service and fast casual were among the top three segments in the industry based on both same-store sales and traffic growth. Casual dining came in at No. 2 based on year-over-year sales growth during the month, but its traffic growth was further down the list.

Only two segments experienced negative same-store sales growth in October: upscale casual and fine dining.

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