It's no secret that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on all facets of life and changed just about everything we thought we knew about public health. A recent review of sales tax revenue data for Arkansas restaurants provided insight into how the industry adapted to disruptions brought on by COVID-19.
Sit-down and fast-food restaurants experienced declines of 10.2% and 4.8% in sales tax revenue from March to December 2020. The worst came early on, as sit-down restaurants experienced sharp declines of 23.2% in March and 27.2% in April in sales tax revenues. Fast-food restaurants experienced sales tax revenue declines of 20.0% and 18.6% in the same months.
Fast-food restaurants bounced back rather quickly - May and June saw only low, single-digit declines in sales tax revenue. By July, fast-food restaurants saw a strong increase in sales tax revenue. Sit-down restaurants never quite recovered.
NWA restaurants saw their fair share of challenges, too. Sit-down restaurants saw consistent declines in sales tax revenue during the pandemic. July and October brought a glimmer of hope as revenues improved slightly, but sank again in November and December.
NWA fast-food restaurants showed no sales tax revenue growth from May to August (consistent with other parts of the state), as they saw mostly mid single-digit tax revenue declines from May to October. However, they did experience strong double-digit growth in sales tax revenue in November and December. -Walton College
Read the full report HERE