U.S. bars and restaurants saw decline in sales on Super Bowl Sunday as sports fans opt to stay home

Nielsen CGA reports overall drop in U.S. On-Premise Sales on Superbowl Sunday; but highlights areas of opportunities for some venues and dayparts.

Exclusive new research from Nielsen CGA reveals that bars and restaurants in the U.S., saw average sales drop around a third on Super Bowl Sunday (February 4th) compared to the Sunday before (January 28th). Casual dining restaurants suffering the worse declines at 37%.  Neighborhood bars were also hit, with sales down 13% on the Sunday before.  

Comparatively, Nielsen’s off-premise data shows that dollar sales of Beer/FMBs/Cider increased by +5.4% on the week of the Super Bowl (W/E 02/03/18) over the previous week, supporting the growing trend of sports fans choosing to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday with parties at home.   

Bar and Restaurant Sales Plummet in New England and Pennsylvania

The latest Nielsen CGA research shows that on-premise outlets were hit particularly hard in the home states of the Super Bowl finalists. In Pennsylvania, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, average value sales in on-premise outlets dropped 62% on Super Bowl Sunday compared to the previous Sunday. In Massachusetts, home base of the New England Patriots, sales plummeted by 50%. These were the two of the largest declines seen by any state.

A Bright Spot For Sports Bars and Breakfast

While not all doom and gloom, the Nielsen CGA research shows that Super Bowl Sunday was much better for some segments of the on-premise market. Within the U.S., dedicated sports bars saw a 52% sales uplift compared to the previous Sunday. Irish pubs also saw an upswing of 22% week on week.

Additionally, there was better news for on premise operators in the early parts of the day, too. Breakfast and brunch sales were up by 24% and 14% respectively week on week, suggesting that many NFL supporters like to kick off Super Bowl Sunday by eating out with family or friends.

According to Scott Elliott, Senior Vice President at Nielsen CGA, “Overall, Super Bowl Sunday 2018 was a tough trading day for U.S. bars and restaurants.  However, areas of opportunities definitely do exist for some types of venues and day parts. Through data-driven insights from check-level data sets, on-premise operators are able to better understand the sales dynamics of specific events, which can help bars and restaurants unlock the potential of big sporting occasions in the future.”

This research reflects insights from Nielsen CGA’s unique CLIP (Check-Level Insights Pool) data, which offers granular insights around sales performance in both Chain and Independent on-premise bars and restaurants.


Nielsen CGA’s CLIP (Check-Level Insights Pool) data reflecting data from both Chain and Independent on-premise bars and restaurants.

Nielsen CGA on-premise data is Total Outlet Dollar Sales (Food and Drink) on Sunday 02.04.18 vs Sunday 01.28.18.

Nielsen off-premise data is Beer/FMBs/Cider Dollar Value sales W/E 02/03/18 vs W/E 01/27/18.

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