New Data On Restaurant Activity Hints Towards A Recovery

With many eateries needing to close, or permitted to only offer delivery or curbside pickup, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has been dire for the millions of restaurants that operate as independent small businesses.

In fact, a recent survey of 1,400 restaurateurs by the Beard Foundation and the Independent Restaurant Coalition predicted that months of closings, mounting debt and diminished capacity will possibly kill 80 percent of America's independent restaurants.

But there does appear to be some hope on the horizon. Data from Shift4 Payments shows that the restaurant industry experienced a 45 percent increase in payment transactions in the last seven days compared to the week of March 22nd, when those numbers fell to their lowest levels.

States seeing the biggest boost in payment transactions since March include Oklahoma (up 189 percent), Texas (up 87 percent) and Florida (up 54 percent).

“We’re very encouraged and pleased to see the transaction activity of our merchants pick up during April and into May,” said Jared Isaacman, CEO of Shift4 Payments. “With restrictions beginning to ease nationwide, we see meaningful signs of hope that the worst of the pandemic is behind us and we can steadily turn our attention to helping these businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, get back on their feet.”

Shift4Payments has its own plans for the future. It filed paperwork late last year to go public, and just released its prospectus. Although it didn’t reveal how many shares it would be offering, the company explained in its “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” section that in addition to payment processing, it also offers technology solutions such as business intelligence and POS software, as well as others powered by its network of complementary third-party applications.

As of the end of 2019, it served over 64,000 merchants, representing over $22 billion in end-to-end payment volume. In addition, as of the end of March, it served over 66,000 merchants, representing over $6 billion in end-to-end payment volume for the first three months of 2020. This end-to-end payment volume contributed approximately 57 percent and 56 percent of net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2019 and the three months ended March 31, 2020, respectively.

And in 2019 the company served over 66,000 merchants representing over $185 billion in payment volume that utilized Shift4’s gateway or technology solutions but did not use its end-to-end payments offering.