In a sign of the lingering recession, actual sales data collected from nearly 3,000 restaurants and bars across the country show that business was sluggish for this year’s Super Bowl, with total sales on Super Bowl Sunday down nearly 6 percent versus the 2009 Super Bowl Sunday.

“The Super Bowl is the first big event of the New Year, and we had hoped to see people returning to bars and restaurants,” says David Henkes, vice president at Technomic and leader of the firm’s beverage alcohol practice. “This is the first true indicator for 2010 that restaurants and bars are still struggling, and it corresponds to our forecast for another down year for the foodservice industry.”

While overall revenues in restaurants and bars were down 5.5 percent, the drop was greater for food. Alcohol sales actually declined by 0.7 percent, indicating that more people cut back on food during the Super Bowl than cut back on alcohol.

Data is pulled from a database that is collected and maintained by GuestMetrics, based in Ashburn, Virginia. Technomic and GuestMetrics have a strategic partnership in the foodservice industry.

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