It fits that the week ending March 22 would showcase the largest spike. That’s the period when many counties and states put stay-at-home guidelines into place. It’s also worth remembering, Restuarant365 said, the data includes restaurants that closed, which makes the decline harsher.
March 11 really marked the point when sales tumbled. The company’s data showed sales the week ending March 8 were already down 5–10 percent from the previous year, However, March 11 proved the tipping point.
To put that in perspective, here’s a look at a typical week, in terms of restaurant sales.
- Monday: 10 percent
- Tuesday: 11 percent
- Wednesday: 12 percent
- Thursday: 13 percent
- Friday: 18 percent
- Saturday: 21 percent
- Sunday: 15 percent
On March 11, sales rose from Monday/Tuesday as expected. But March 12 (Thursday) did not see its typical bump. And while March 13 and March 14 got a little lift, it wasn’t nearly to the extent as usual.
Looking back, it’s easy to explain the dynamic. March 11 was when the news cycle leapt off a COVID-19 cliff. The WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak could be called a “pandemic.” President Trump announced restrictions on many foreign travelers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average officially entered a bear market. Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita, announced they tested positive for coronavirus. Lastly, the NBA postponed its season, which many people point to as the large-scale event that truly set off the country’s market-by-market business shutdowns.