Restaurant sales continue to grow – but not everywhere in Hawai’i

O’ahu’s sales are flat on average, but gains continue elsewhere, according to the Food Gurus Index.
Fast food and fast food restaurants saw a sharp increase in sales in June, in part due to takeout orders from people enjoying the summer weather. | Photo: Courtesy of Jamba Hawaii

Hawai’i restaurants continue to benefit from a month-over-month increase in sales, with restaurants in Maui, Hawai’i Island and resort areas leading, according to the Food Gurus Hawaii Restaurant Index.

Average daily sales were up 7% statewide in June from May. But average sales rose 14% at restaurants in Maui, 10% on the island of Hawai’i, and 11% at restaurants in Waikīkī and other resort areas.

O’ahu restaurants outside the resort areas were the exception: daily sales were flat and the number of transactions in June was actually down 1%. This comes after five months of growth in most categories each month, according to the Food Gurus Index, which tracks more than 3 million transactions per month at more than 130 restaurants statewide.

Food Gurus Hawaii provides index details each month to Hawaii Business Magazine.

Doug Harris, founder of Food Gurus Hawaii, says months of price increases paid by restaurants to their suppliers are now reaching customers. “Supply chain inflation is starting to show up in menu prices as ticket averages are up 4% statewide” – the biggest month-over-month increase in price average of banknotes since the launch of the index in January 2021.

Dining outlets saw the biggest increase in menu prices, up 5% on average, according to Harris, while quick-service restaurants increased prices by an average of 1%.

Harris points out other trends:

  • Shortages of restaurant staples, such as cups, were widespread in May and worsened in June.
  • The number of customers at casual and fine dining restaurants fell 1% in June after months of steady increases. Harris thinks that could mean these restaurants are operating at or near capacity.
  • Compared to January to June, daily sales statewide are up 62%, with nearly nine-tenths of that growth coming from additional transactions; only about a tenth came from increased spend per customer.

Here are the full index results:

RESTAURANTS IN STATE
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 7%
Daily Transactions + 5%
Average banknotes + 4%
O’AHU RESTAURANTS
June vs May Switch
Daily sales 0
Daily Transactions -1%
Average banknotes + 4%
MAUI RESTAURANTS
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 14%
Daily Transactions + 5%
Average banknotes + 4%
RESTAURANTS ON THE ISLAND OF HAWAI’I
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 10%
Daily Transactions + 6%
Average banknotes + 5%
CAUSAL AND GASTRONOMIC FOOD
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 5%
Daily Transactions -1%
Average banknotes + 5%
QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANTS
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 8%
Daily Transactions + 6%
Average banknotes + 1%
RESORT / WAIKĪKĪ RESTAURANTS
June vs May Switch
Daily sales + 11%
Daily Transactions + 6%
Average banknotes + 1%

Note: Many restaurants have stopped deliveries to focus on in-person customers. The index no longer tracks deliveries because month-to-month comparisons no longer make sense.


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