U.S. restaurant traffic continues decline


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 6, 2009

Market research company The NPD Group on Wednesday released a report showing, for the second consecutive quarter, restaurant traffic dipped below last year's levels.

For the quarter ending in February, NPD's Consumer Reports on Eating Share Trends (CREST), shows foodservice traffic declined 1.5 percent from the same quarter a year ago. However, total restaurant spending rose, but only by one-half of 1 percent as the average check size rose 2 percent over last year.

The quick-service restaurant (QSR) segment experienced its first decline this quarter since winter 2003. Customer visits were down 1 percent. Full-service restaurants were hit with the steepest loss, and the decline rate at casual-dining locations accelerated.

While weekday lunch visits and dinner traffic are suffering due to mounting job losses, weekend visits are on the rise, reversing last year's trend.

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