MarginEdge Metrics: Rough two months for local restaurants

Editor’s note: The Washington Business Journal is partnering with restaurant management software firm MarginEdge to bring readers a monthly snapshot of restaurant sales around the D.C. region.

After an incredibly tough January thanks to weather and the government shutdown, the business climate for Washington-area restaurants continued to be tough overall in February. Sales were down more than 3 percent for February compared to a year ago, though the detailed picture is a bit more mixed. While full-service restaurant sales were down more than 4 percent, fast-casual sales actually saw a small increase, albeit less than 1 percent.

This might be a trend to watch, especially when it comes to annual celebrations like Valentine’s Day, a traditionally busy day for restaurants. This year’s heart-day sales in the D.C. area certainly weren’t heart-breaking. The region saw an uptick on Feb. 14 for both full-service restaurants, up 1.55 percent, and fast-casual eateries, up a more notable…

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