In 2017, the U.S. has been hit with hurricanes, flooding, state-wide fires and other natural disasters. Surprisingly, according to recent data from CAKE, natural disasters don’t always have a long-term negative effect on business. In fact, most restaurants showed resiliency in these times of crisis when looking the effect on revenue and average bill size in hurricane vs. non-hurricane years.

Data suggests many restaurants are able to recover quickly when a natural disaster strikes, presenting an opportunity to help their local communities and forge relationships in the wake of disaster. Restaurants can show their support by handing out free, easy to produce meals, like sandwiches; offering meal deals while the town or city rebuilds; and even providing temporary shelter for those displaced from their homes.

Mani Kulasooriya

“We see and hear a lot about the devastation that comes with natural disasters, and we recognize that an impending disaster can be very stressful for restaurant operators, Mani Kulasooriya, CEO of CAKE. “However, our data shows that as a whole, the restaurant business is resilient in the wake of such events. Operators facing a natural disaster situation don’t necessarily need to panic. What’s more, after a storm, restaurant operators are in a strong position to assist the community and build deeper ties – whether it’s offering free meals for displaced citizens or volunteer rescue workers, discounts and deals while the town or city rebuilds or even providing temporary shelter, the aftermath of a situation like this can be a time of relationship building for operators, rather than a time of declining sales and worry.”

Key findings from CAKE’s analysis include:

In 2014 and 2016 the southeastern United States (SC, NC and FL) experienced two large hurricanes: Hurricane Arthur and Hurricane Matthew. When compared with the same timeframe* in 2015, a non-hurricane year, restaurants reported a steady increase in average revenue per restaurant, as well as a steady increase in average bill size per restaurant.

2014

Average revenue: $36,977.43

Average bill size: $16.41

2015

Average revenue: $46,931.74

Average bill size: $17.30

2016

Average revenue: $52,082.15

Average bill size: $17.59

In August of 2017, Houston, Texas was afflicted by Hurricane Harvey. When compared with the same timeframe in 2016, Houston restaurants reported very similar average revenue per restaurant, as well as nearly identical average bill size per restaurant.

2016

Average revenue: $50,969.79

Average bill size: $19.80

2017

Average revenue: $53,538.02

Average bill size: $19.68

Free Coffee Concept

ENRISSION AMERICA Inc., a cafe company specializing in free coffee for university students,  will open its first U.S. branch of “SHIRU CAFE” on the Brown campus on  February 19, 2018. ENRISSION AMERICA Inc. will soon launch SHIRU CAFEs on the campuses of Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University and Amherst College.

SHIRU CAFE
SHIRU CAFE

SHIRU CAFEs  are financed primarily through the sponsorship of companies that aim to improve student life. At SHIRU CAFEs, students, faculty and staff receive free coffee, tea, and juice as they are provided with sponsors’ promotional materials. The cafes will provide comfortable study spaces equipped with electrical outlets and free Wi-Fi. SHIRU CAFEs seek to create spaces where students can learn about the professional world and envision their future careers.SHIRU CAFE Logo

Companies are able to support students by sponsoring SHIRU CAFE. Sponsorship allows companies to advertise on paper coffee cups, on digital displays set up in the cafe, and on the cafe’s website. Company representatives can also meet and interact with students in person at these cafes, as well as conduct recruiting activities in them. ENRISSION AMERICA Inc. has opened more than 20 SHIRU CAFEs around the world.

“Launching SHIRU CAFEs in the U.S. is an essential part of our vision,” said ENRISSION’s CEO Yusuke Kakimoto. “We’re excited about this new challenge!”