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Black Box Intelligence

Black Box Intelligence™ (formerly TDn2K) is the leading data and insights provider of workforce, guest, consumer and financial performance benchmarks for the hospitality industry. The Black Box Intelligence product suite is the industry standard for operators seeking to achieve best-in-class performance results. With the largest and most reliable set of real restaurant data in the marketplace, Black Box Intelligence currently tracks and analyzes more than 300 companies, over 2.8 million employees and $72 billion in annual sales revenue. Black Box Intelligence is also the producer of the Global Best Practices Conference held annually in Dallas, Texas.

September 17, 2021 / Business

COVID Fears Fuel Divide in Sentiment & Sales for Limited & Full-Service Restaurants

From Black Box Intelligence
August saw a reversal in the upward momentum the restaurant industry’s sales and traffic had been riding in recent months. Amid a rising number of COVID cases and wide media coverage of its Delta variant, sales growth was 6.1% during the month, a drop of 2.1 percentage points compared to July’s strong sales growth. This was the softest sales growth reported for any month since May, and the worst traffic growth in the last three months. Traffic growth was -5.4% during August.
May 24, 2021 / Business

Optimism Continues as Sales and Sentiment Escalate Amidst Staffing Crisis

From Black Box Intelligence
The industry achieved stronger 2-year sales for the second consecutive month in April. Same-store sales growth was 6.8% on a 2-year basis in April, an improvement of 4.6 percentage points from the 2.3% 2-year growth reported for March. This is optimistic news for the industry as April became the best month for restaurants based on sales growth in over three years. Although sales have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, 2-year same-store traffic growth was -4.2% in April.
February 18, 2021 / Culture, Business

Restaurant Guests Remain Hyper Focused on Cleanliness and Safety

From Black Box Intelligence
January was encouraging for the restaurant industry. With same-store sales growth of -4.9% and traffic growth of -12.2%, it was the best performance for restaurants since the beginning of the pandemic almost a year ago. This is good news for an industry that struggled the last two months of 2020, as sales and traffic growth worsened compared to the COVID-era peak achieved in October. Likely contributing to some of the consumer pent up demand for restaurant spending was a combination stimulus check distribution, a sense of optimism from turning the page on 2020 and the increased prospect of additional government aid soon.
January 21, 2021 / Business, Economy

Despite Downturn in Sales and Traffic, Restaurants Succeed in Raising Guest Sentiment in December

From Black Box Intelligence
The fourth quarter was not good for restaurant sales; each month posted worse same-store sales growth than the previous month. By December, same-store sales growth fell to -13.3% year-over-year, the worst month for the industry since July. Same-store traffic growth for the month was -18.6%, also the worst performance in the last five months.
December 11, 2020 / Business

Guest Sentiment in November Offers Insight into Best Performing Menu Items

From Black Box Intelligence
The restaurant industry’s sales stumbled again in November as the number of COVID cases rose rapidly and colder weather started to become an obstacle for outdoor dining in many areas of the country. Same-store sales growth was -10.3%, which represented a 3.8 percentage point drop from October’s year over year sales growth rate. November’s -16.3% same-store traffic fell by 3.3 percentage points compared to the previous month’s performance.
November 13, 2020 / Economy, Business

Despite Stalled Growth in Sales, Restaurants See Strong Sentiment in October

From Black Box Intelligence
The restaurant industry’s performance continues improving with October posting the best same-store sales growth results since the beginning of the pandemic. But there are some reasons for concern that the industry’s recovery has stalled in recent weeks and may be a sign of things to come. October’s same-store sales growth represented only a small improvement from the -8.1% growth reported for September.
October 16, 2020 / Economy

Guest Sentiment Improves; New Drivers Behind Dining Decisions

From Black Box Intelligence
For an industry that was among the hardest hit by the pandemic, September brought some welcome good news. The sales recovery continued into September, which at -8.1% same-store sales growth, became the best performing month since February (before the pandemic hit restaurant sales at a national scale).