Federal Shutdown Cut D.C. Restaurant Traffic 23%, Study Finds

Restaurant Business

Visits to restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area fell by 23% during the 35-day shutdown of the federal government, with traffic dropping particularly sharply for Starbucks, Chick-fil-A and Arby’s, according to new data from a local researcher, Gravy Analytics, based in Dulles, Va.

Transactions at those brands fell year over year by 34%, 27% and 24%, respectively, the research revealed. The reasons behind the steeper declines for those chains were not revealed.

Guest counts rose during the shutdown by 9% at KFC, 4% at Dairy Queen and 1% at Taco Bell and Dunkin’, the data show.

The report also did not differentiate between the effects of the shutdown, which ran from Dec. 22 through Jan. 25, from the impact of bad weather during that period.

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