Prosperous Sector May Be 2015 Bellwether

Staten Island business bank sees restaurant momentum as an upbeat indicator


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – If you've noticed that restaurants seem busier lately, an industry trend points to this as a sign of momentum for prosperity this year.


Victory State Bank, Staten Island's only community-based commercial bank, is buoyed by the latest findings of growth in a restaurant industry report.

Restaurants, of course, are a significant component of the Island's economy, and the bank contends that this sector's positive drive is optimistic for a vibrant business climate throughout the borough generally.

In fact a recent survey of dine-out sales shows a challenge to keep dining establishments fully staffed, and guest satisfaction is on the uptake.

Restaurant same-store sales grew by 6.1 percent year-over-year in January, a 3.0 percent increase over the December growth rate, according to the latest Restaurant Industry Snapshot from TDn2K, a stylized name that truncates “Transforming Data into Knowledge.”

Chain restaurants last month posted the highest same-store sales and traffic growth rates in more than six years, the Snapshot reported.

Importantly, an improving economy driven by consumer confidence has given the industry a great start to 2015, it said.

This insight comes from data reported by TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence through The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for January and is based on weekly sales from more than 20,000 restaurant units representing more than $45 billion in annual revenue.

A milder winter that prevailed during the interval surveyed may have contributed to the momentum, the report noted. Nevertheless, it said “underlying economic conditions are still very favorable for the industry and the positive momentum continues.”

Further evidence of the industry’s strong January performance came from the average weekly sales per restaurant unit. The first month's results “continue to fuel optimism for a sustained positive sales trend and a very strong first half of the year.”

The most encouraging news, the report said, is that the economy continues to progress and the labor market keeps improving, creating income growth. The challenge to keep restaurants fully staffed has also increased.

The bank contends that this latter insight bodes well for the employment outlook.

“As the industry maintains its current expansion mode, the pressure on staffing these new restaurants also rises,” TDn2K reported.

The industry added new jobs at a rate of 3.9 percent during December, which is the fourteenth consecutive month in which the job growth has topped 3.0 percent, it said. These labor pressures are expected to continue throughout 2015.

Restaurant companies will also likely need to accelerate their wage and salary growth if they are to keep up with this new environment in which competition for talent is heating up, the report observed.

Another finding was that “intent to return” by customers generated the largest percentage of positive mentions.

Separately, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that New York City’s economy is currently running on the restaurants, hospitality sector, and other finance related jobs.


About Victory State Bank

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online at


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