How Did NWA Restaurants Fare During the Pandemic?

March 31, 2021


How Did NWA Restaurants Fare During the Pandemic?

NWA Daily

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.

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