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Square Q2 Restaurant Industry Report:In Post-Pandemic Era, RestaurantSpending Shifts from Friday to Saturday

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Square is introducing the inaugural edition of its quarterly Restaurant Industry Report – this report will look at data across more than 800,000 food and beverage Square sellers, examining dining trends and how consumer spending is changing. For this report, Square analyzed the hourly share of card-present transactions at food and drink establishments in the United States from April 1 through June 30 from 2019 to 2023.

With dining out, weekends are the new Friday
Consumer dining patterns have completely transformed since 2019, likely as a result of the long pause of indoor dining during the pandemic and widespread technology adoption over the past four years, particularly around delivery. Additionally, while in-person dining has rebounded tremendously, the days and times at which consumers are going out to eat has shifted.

With many companies continuing to allow remote work, people aren’t grabbing lunch by their offices or going for post-work drinks as often as they used to; instead, they’re choosing to splash out for mimosas and eggs benedict. While spending on food and beverages used to peak on Fridays at lunchtime in 2019, it’s now peaking during Saturday brunch. In 2019, Saturdays between 8am and 1pm made up 8.54% of weekly spend. In 2023, those hours now contribute 10.06% of spend.

Ming-Tai Huh, General Manager of Restaurants at Square, said the trend goes beyond a simple shift in activity. “Weekend brunch also tends to be higher-margin and produces higher per-person spend than the typical weekday lunch. These recent consumer habits are likely driving strong revenues per table for the restaurants that attract a regular brunch crowd.”

To stay on top of the brunch bustle and take advantage of business opportunity (especially due to alcohol sales), restaurants should harness technology that helps streamline their operations, turn over tables faster, and keep customers happy – with Square KDS, for example, kitchen staff can see more orders, more clearly, allowing meals to get out quickly and where they need to go.

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