Restaurants continue to produce positive same-store sales in Ohio, although the rate of increase is lower than earlier this year and down from 2016.
Second-quarter 2017 same-store sales for restaurants in Ohio were up 0.7%. The growth was driven by a mix of customer traffic and menu pricing. This rate of growth was down from 1.0% in the first quarter and 2.7% in 2016.
“Restaurants in Ohio are generating sales growth, but there was a deceleration during the recent quarter, especially in certain segments such as family dining. Quick-service restaurants are generating stronger growth with a smart combination of value offers and menu pricing,” said John Barker, president & CEO of the ORA. “We are encouraged by owners who remain optimistic about the rest of the year. More than 75% of respondents expect sales to improve in the second half of the year.”
Restaurants turning to technology solutions for staffing challenges
Restaurant owners and general managers said they are using a range of technology solutions to manage one of the industry’s major challenges – staffing and retention of workers. Nearly 75% of survey respondents said they are experiencing labor challenges.
“Attracting and retaining staff is the No. 1 challenge our members cite for their businesses,” said Barker. “Labor costs for survey respondents reached 30.5% in the second quarter, up from 29.8% in the first quarter and 29.7% in 2016, as restaurants are rapidly increasing pay, especially at the hourly level.”
The survey indicated that a majority of restaurants are utilizing multiple technology solutions to reduce labors costs, including:
· Online and mobile ordering
· Online scheduling
· Improved point of sale
· Automated equipment in back of the house
“Technology and innovation continue to provide solutions to a host of challenges we face in this industry,” said Barker. “We learned earlier this year in a survey that 40% of our restaurants are using third-party delivery to help drive sales and win market share.”
The ORA survey included responses representing more than 200 restaurants from across the state representing industry segments such as casual dining, family dining, quick service, fast casual, fine dining, pubs and bars.
About the Ohio Restaurant Association
The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), founded in 1920, is the leading business trade association for the Ohio foodservice industry, the third-largest private sector employer in Ohio. ORA represents the interests of Ohio’s $20.5 billion restaurant industry, comprised of 21,921 locations and more than 572,000 employees. The ORA helps our Ohio members build customer loyalty, rewarding careers and financial success with a range of services and thought leadership. For more information, visitwww.ohiorestaurant.org.