The restoration seems to confirm an improvement in its activity, highly affected by the coronavirus, and recorded between March and April the best billing levels since the pandemic began, if compared with the business levels prior to it.
This is shown by the analysis of the first quarter of the year prepared by the consulting firm NPD Group, specialized in the sector, and which measures the activity of organized catering. According to their data, sales grew 25% in March compared to January and February, “thanks to greater mobility and improved consumer confidence.” Compared with March 2020, the growth is 60%, although it must be taken into account that all the catering and hospitality businesses closed as of March 14, except for home delivery services.
With this data, the sector closed the first quarter with a decrease of 26% compared to the same period of 2020 and 39% below the first three months of 2019. However, the growth in March and that which continued in April have narrowed that difference up to 30%.
That is, the recovery of the restaurant business in those last two months reaches 70% of the turnover that was in March and April 2019, as confirmed by NPD. It is the best percentage since the pandemic began 14 months ago.
“The data for March are encouraging; we see how the fall with respect to the monthly levels prepandemic slows down. This seems to indicate the beginning of the recovery path of one of the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 crisis ”, assesses Edurne Uranga, director of the restoration sector at NPD in Spain. “The advance of the vaccination plan and the rise in temperatures will foreseeably encourage consumers to regain leisure outside the home,” he adds.
Those that have gained weight in consumer preferences are home delivery services and local pick-up, as a result of the restrictions imposed on consumption in the restaurants themselves.
The first has registered a sales growth of 54% during the first quarter, while in the second case the percentage increase was 11%.
During the first quarter of the year, the continuity of curfews in the autonomous communities meant that dinners became, together with midday meals, the most affected times of consumption. In addition, according to NPD, 39% of the dinners were made before 9:00 p.m., when a year before they were 21.5%.