U.S. Restaurant Chain Transaction Declines Improve Into Single-Digits for the First Time Since March

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In the week ending August 16, customer transaction declines at U.S. major restaurant chains improved into the single-digits, -9%, after 21 weeks of double-digit declines, according to The NPD Group.

“Although transactions are still down, the move into the single-digits is a positive sign for the U.S. restaurant industry,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.

In the week ending August 16, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains improved into the single-digits after 21 weeks of double-digit declines, reports The NPD Group. Customer transactions were down -9% in week ending August 16 compared to year ago, a +35-point gain from the steepest decline of -44% in week ending April 12, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S.

Customer transactions at major quick service restaurant chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, were down -8% compared to year ago in the week ending August 16. Full service chain restaurants, which were most impacted by the mandated dine-in closures that are slowly being lifted, realized customer transactions declines of -19% versus year ago, a +57-point gain from the steepest decline of -76% in week ending April 12 compared to year ago.    

“Although transactions are still down, the move into the single-digits is a positive sign for the U.S. restaurant industry,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “Although we’re stuck in neutral for now, I firmly believe there is still a lot of upside recovery for restaurants. My belief is rooted in one reality: consumers are not willing to give up on the convenience and experience a restaurant meal brings to them and their families regardless of the barriers.”

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About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, video games, and watches. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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