Interesting article at Wolfstreet about the restaurant business still going through turbulence, but surprisingly still up a bit in California.
But my guess is that California restaurant revenues are up due to inflation and steady traffic at very high-end restaurants that serve the upper-crust in LA and SF. But I think the mid and low-end of the spectrum is flat to down as this segment massively makes cuts to offset increases in wages.
I have watched over the past two years as an ever increasing number of restaurants become "countertop ordering" where customers order at the register. You then get a number and someone brings you your food, or even worse, they call your name and you have to make your way up and fetch the food yourself. This is fine for a pizza joint or fast food, but the problem is that this is happening everywhere at places that are supposed to be family or casual dining. At a mall close to my house there are over a dozen places to eat, but only one has wait-staff.
Outside of pizza or lunch I simply refuse to eat at a place like that. There are a couple of mom and pops that I frequent that have wait-staff, but they are not exactly cheap to eat at any more.
I think counter-top dining and $8 beers seem to be the future of most California dining.