Thanks to social distancing recommendations, it seems that quick-service restaurants offer a glimmer of hope in these dark times.
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the nation’s restaurants.
Dine-in traffic has plummeted, thanks to social distancing recommendations and states and cities mandating restaurants to close or serve off-premise diners.
Foursquare looked at foot traffic across the country and specifically in states with the highest number of confirmed cases, Washington, New York, and California.
These four cities saw declines between 8-12% from February 24 to March 8. Visits began declining again around March 11.
At casual dining restaurants, the national data showed an 11% decline from the week of February 19 to the week ending March 13.
“The ultimate impact of the coronavirus is still highly unknown and expected to be at a much larger scale than anything we’ve seen to date,” according to Foursquare.
Foursquare saw traffic increasing at grocery stores, gas stations and QSR locations. Nationally quick-service restaurants saw an 11% uptick in traffic from the week of February 19 to the week ending March 13.
Foot traffic analysis platform Placer.ai saw similar results when it looked at six top national QSR brands to see year-over-year growth from the last week of February and the first week of March.
Starbucks and McDonald’s locations, for example, have seen declines in areas with higher concern – like Washington state. This means that in areas with lesser worries, the limitations on travel and movement may actually be helping them grow.
This data does not take into account delivery, which could provide another huge strength during a period likely to be marked by lockdowns and greater emphasis on social distancing.