The Good News About MAFSI’s Q4 Barometer

While the 2020 third-quarter MAFSI Business Barometer indicated a “quite painful” sales drop for the foodservice industry, fourth-quarter data indicated a “bit of an improvement.” What’s more, a predicted increase (6%) is on the horizon for the year, “assuming COVID abatement and relative normalization of the hospitality industry,” said Michael R. Posternak, president of PBAC and Associates, in the newly released report’s executive summary.

Year-over-year, the industry saw a -19.4% drop in overall sales, up from the third and second quarters of 2020, when the barometer tracked -24.4% and -30.4% year-over-year declines, respectively. The figure also is better than the -28.3% fourth-quarter drop MAFSI had forecast in its third-quarter report.

The impact was most significant in the Midwest (-25.9%), followed by Canada (-25%), the West (-24.7%), the South (-13.6%) and, lastly, the Northeast (-10.6%).

Categorically, tabletop sales took the hardest hit (-39.5%), followed by furniture (-27.9), supply (-19.6) and equipment (-16%).

While MAFSI anticipates an eventual upswing in the second half of 2021, the report expects a decline of -18.9% in overall sales for the first quarter of 2021.

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