San Francisco restaurant sales down 91% since March, study finds

Photo by Madeline Wells

FILE – In this June 18, 2020 file photo, a man wears a face mask while cleaning an outdoor dining table at Pier 39 where some stores, restaurants and attractions reopened during the coronavirus outbreak in San Francisco.

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

It’s not news that most restaurants aren’t doing well right now, but so far it’s been hard to quantify their struggle. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, however, says it has found a way to check how the city’s food businesses are doing — and the numbers are pretty heartbreaking.

Jay Cheng, spokesperson for the Chamber of Commerce, said Eater that they worked with credit card companies to extract sales data from San Francisco businesses. According to data they found, San Francisco restaurant sales were down 84% year-over-year, comparing July 2019 to July 2020. Since the pandemic began in March, restaurant sales San Francisco restaurants fell 91%.

This data, of course, does not include cash sales, but as Eater noted, most businesses that previously only used cash are now accepting credit cards due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

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Cheng also recently said KPIX that 54% of businesses in San Francisco closed temporarily or permanently during the pandemic (this data was also collected with the help of credit card companies). So in terms of that 91% drop in restaurant sales…a lot of that is probably coming from restaurants that aren’t open at all right now.

Read the full Eater story here.


Madeline Wells is a reporter at SFGATE. Email: [email protected] | Twitter: @madwells22

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