Phoenix-area restaurants setting record sales to start 2023

The Arizona Restaurant Association says Valley eateries are off to a record-setting start to 2023.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 8:41 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 9:33 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s been a rough past few years for restaurants, but things seem to be turning for the better. The Arizona Restaurant Association says Valley eateries are off to a record-setting start to 2023. “It seems as every time we try to get back up we were smacked back down, and this years that’s not the case,” Arizona Restaurant Association President Steve Chucri said. “I think we broke records without question. This year we were on fire as an industry.”

Chucri says they don’t have the final numbers yet, but the preliminary data shows restaurants are getting a big boost to start the year. “One of the best starts to a year I’ve seen in my entire career in the industry,” he said.

Chucri isn’t the only one saying 2023 is off to a great start. Sheldon Knapp, the owner of Phoenix City Grille, says his restaurant is setting sales records right now. “It’s really important,” Knapp said. “We had a great year last year, and another one this year. We need that to make up for when we were down.”

Knapp said he may never feel completely secure again as a restaurant owner after the pandemic and recession. However, he says eateries deserve a break after making it through a pandemic. “We did what we had to do to keep people making money. We created some positions we normally don’t have,” he said.

Phoenix City Grille shifted to delivery and take-out to make it through the pandemic. Knapp says the big events like the Super Bowl and WM Phoenix Open help them big time. Those events bring thousands of people to the Valley looking for local food spots.

With spring training starting, Knapp hopes the flow of people continues to bring business to the area. “The more events you have the more people are drawn to the Valley. I’m thrilled to be in a place where we have that kind of jump,” he said.