Main content starts here, tab to start navigating

NYC Hospitality Alliance Survey Finds Uneven Expectations for Holiday Sales as Recovery Remains Unbalanced

December 12, 2023

48% of NYC restaurants and bars expect higher or similar sales this holiday season over 2022, while 40% expect lower sales

50% of respondents reported revenue decrease over past year, 37% remain optimistic for the future highlighting industry resilience

72% of Restaurants and Bars Cited Managing “Labor Costs” as a Main Concern

A new survey from the New York City Hospitality Alliance has found that restaurants and bars across New York City have mixed expectations over sales during the Holiday Season as their economic recovery remains unbalanced through the first 11 months of 2023. 

The survey gathered responses from the operators of 281 establishments, revealing a range of revenue experiences and expectations. Of the 281 restaurants and bars surveyed, 23% said they expect revenue this Holiday Season to be higher than 2022, while 35% said they expect it to be the same and 40% expect it to be lower than last year.

The Holiday Sales expectations align with sales from January 2023 through November, with 27% experiencing increased revenue compared to the same period in 2022. However, half the respondents reported reduced revenue compared to the same 11-month period in 2022 as the struggle for a full recovery from the pandemic continues amid higher operating costs, foot traffic that’s still lower than pre-pandemic levels, and changing consumer dining and drinking trends.

Following these comparisons, business owners hold differing perspectives on the future: 37% are optimistic about future business revenue, while 30% have pessimistic expectations and just under 20% remain uncertain about the future.

The respondents were also asked about their three main concerns in today’s business climate and a significant 72% cited labor costs, followed by 46% who cited inflation and 40% who cited the overall regulatory environment.

“New York City’s restaurants and bars are experiencing an uneven pandemic recovery nearly four years after Covid-19 struck our city,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. “While some have recovered, others still struggle, making it imperative that this critical industry is supported by government, no major regulatory changes that could undermine its chances at success are enacted, and of course, supported and enjoyed by all those New Yorkers and visitors who love our restaurants and nightlife.”