Total retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.2 percent in November from October, according to the Census Bureau’s advance sales report. Sales were up 4.2 percent from November of 2017. In the first 11 months of this year the Bureau said retail sales up were 5.3 percent. The report also revised the October results to up 1.1 percent compared to September. This marks a .3 percent increase compared what was originally given in last month’s advance report.
November foodservice and drinking place sales declined 0.5 percent from October but sales were up 5.6 percent compared to November 2017. In the 11-month period ending this November restaurants and bars sales have risen 6.2 percent. The October report had restaurant and bar sales decline by 0.2 percent but the November report revised sales up significantly to a 0.6 percent increase.
It appears that the foodservice sales numbers are moderately positive when taking all the data into consideration.
There are some considerations to bear in mind when looking at this data. The Bureau classifies this as an advance report since it is based on a small sampling. The findings can be revised when a larger sampling is received. Note the change for October sales noted above.
The Bureau surveys restaurants and bars only. Not included are hotels, resorts, retailers (c-stores, etc.), employee feeders, healthcare, schools and universities or military foodservice. Thus, 30 percent to 40 percent of the industry sales are not included in the study.
Some of the sales figures are adjusted for seasonal changes, holidays and trading days but not for menu price changes.
Economic News This Week
- Initial-jobless claims fell by 27,000 to a final level of 206,000 for the week ending Dec. 8. The 4-week moving average declined by 3,750 to a final level of 224,750. The number of initial claims filled seemed to be drifting up the last month or so but then along comes a week like this one.
- The Final Demand Producer Prices Index increased 0.1 percent in November. Without food, energy and trade, the index increased 0.3 percent. The Index for Final Demand Goods fell 0.4 percent driven down by a 5.0 percent decline in energy prices. Food prices increased 1.3 percent. Prices for Final Demand Services increased 0.3 percent.
- November’s Consumer Price Index remained unchanged from October. In the last 12 months the CPI has risen 2.2 percent. The core Index – that is, without food and energy prices – was up 0.2 percent in November.
- Consumer borrowing increased by 7.7 percent in October on an annually adjusted basis, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Revolving credit – mostly card borrowing – jumped a hefty 10.7 percent after declining by 0.4 percent in September. Non-revolving credit (auto loans, tuition loans, etc.) increased 6.7 percent.
- Despite remaining in growth mode, expansion slowed in the New York Federal Reserve’s December Empire State Manufacturing Survey. (Any reading greater than zero indicates growth.) The General Business Conditions Index registered a 10.9, down 12.4 points to 10.9. The New Orders Index fell totaled 14.5 in December, down 5.9 points from the previous month. The Shipments Index was down 7.0 points to a final reading of 21.0. The Unfilled Orders Index fell 5.1 points to a final level of -5.1. The Average Employee Work Week Index was 8.0, a decline of 1.2 points.
- The preliminary December reading of the University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was unchanged from the previous month. Both the December preliminary and the November Index stood at 97.5. The Current Economic Conditions Index rose to 115.2 from 112.3 in November while the Index of Consumer Expectations fell to 86.1 from 88.1 in November. A university spokesman stated that the index has stayed at very favorable levels since the start of 2017.
Foodservice News This Week
- Consumers paid 0.2 percent more for food in November than they did in October. The Consumer Price Index for Food at Home increased 0.2 percent while the index for Food Away From Home rose 0.3 percent. In the 12-month period ending in November. Food at Home prices are up 0.4 percent in the past 12 months. Prices for Food Away Home are up considerably more at 2.6 percent in the same time period.
- Two foodservice operators made the Wall Street Journal’s list of the Top 250 Best Managed Companies. Using 5 management principles from business guru Peter Drucker, The Drucker Institute selected Starbucks as the 28th best managed firm and McDonald’s at no. 135.
- A KFC promotion offers a yule log that smells like chicken. The “11 Herbs & Spices Fire Log” costs $18.99 online.
- Dave & Busters will introduce a fast-casual concept. Called TNT Tacos, the new restaurant will operate from a Dave & Buster’s location in Dallas. Depending on the sales results, the company may roll out TNT Taco’s to other Dave & Buster’s locations.
- The foodservice industry in China will hit $725 billion by 2020, according to one projection. This marks a 13.6 percent increase from 2018. Much of the growth will come from fast food and casual dining.
- Corporate Stirrings: Jollibee Foods Corporation bought the remaining 15 percent stake in Smashburger that it did not already own. The purchase was made from Shamrock Partners for $10 million. Earlier this year Philippines based Jollibee had raised its stake in Smashburger to 85 percent from 45 percent at a cost of $100 million,
- Growth Chains: Chicken Salad Chick, with 104 units currently, signed franchise agreements that will grow the chain’s locations in Louisiana and Texas and take its operations into Illinois and Ohio. Shake Shack will open two locations in the San Francisco bay area. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf plans to open 20 restaurants in Central California.
- Comparable Store Sales Reports: Casey’s General Store up 2.2 percent and Dave & Buster’s down 1.3 percent.
For details and same-store sales of other chains, please click here for the Green Sheet.