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U.S. Restaurant Industry Continues Gradual Recovery in August While Dine-in Visits Remain Low
Despite bad weather and the delta variant spread, consumer online and physical restaurant visits in August continued to recover from last year’s steep declines, reports The NPD Group. U.S. restaurant traffic increased by +5% over the -10% decline in August 2020 and declined by -5% compared to the pre-pandemic level in August 2019. Larger average check sizes drove a +13% increase in dollars compared to a year ago and a +3% gain in dollars over the same month two years ago, according...
Canada’s Restaurant Count Declined by 5,000 Units in 2020
Before the pandemic, Canada’s restaurant count held steady at 66,000 units since 2016, but then 2020 happened, and the industry lost 5,000 units, a decline of -8%, reports The NPD Group. Independent restaurants lost 3,000 units, representing the bulk of the slide, according to NPD’s ReCount®2020 restaurant census, which tracked Canadian restaurants opened as of December 2020.
The restaurant categories hardest hit by closures are those that relied heavily on customers’ regular day-to-day routines, such as shopping, working, or schooling...
U.S. Restaurant Industry Recovery Will Depend on Strength of Key Dayparts
The U.S. restaurant industry has shown remarkable resiliency, having lost as much as 35% of visits at the beginning of the pandemic, but still has a ways to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels, reports The NPD Group. Total restaurant visits were down -6 percent in May 2021 compared to May 2019 but were up +23% from a year ago, recovering from a -23% decline in May 2020. The key to the industry’s recovery will be the strength of each daypart. Each daypart — morning meal, lunch, dinner, and P.M. Snack — will recover differently depending on the new rhythms of home, school, and work-life, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the U.S. foodservice industry.
Visits, online or physical, at morning meal, which includes the breakfast and A.M. Snack periods, were down -5% in May 2021 compared to May 2020, and for a pre-pandemic view, down...
The Road to Recovery for U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transactions Varies by Market
Geography matters when it comes to pandemic recovery for U.S. restaurant chains. A mix of factors, like pandemic-related restaurant restrictions, the closing or opening of units, or chain performance, even the weather or event, can impact restaurant chain customer transactions in a specific market area, reports The NPD Group.
For example, restaurant chain customer transaction declines in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) designated market area improved from double-digit declines last year to -4% in May 2021 compared to May 2019, a pre-pandemic basis of comparison. DFW ranks in the top 10 markets to recover from the steep customer transaction declines caused by the pandemic last year. In addition to Texas lifting COVID restaurant restrictions in March, the market's May customer transactions reflect...
Canadian Restaurant Industry Learns to Pivot and Adapt Despite Visit Loss Due to COVID-19
It has been over a year since the COVID-19 global pandemic began and the Canadian foodservice industry, one of the business sectors most impacted by restrictions, has had to learn to adapt. In the quarter ending March 2021, keeping in mind that the global pandemic was declared in mid-March of last year, total foodservice traffic in Canada was down -9% compared to same quarter year ago when visits were down -11% versus prior year, reports The NPD Group. Although there is improvement from last year, it’s also important to note that since the first quarter of 2019 through the first quarter of 2021, 326,000 foodservice visits (or orders) have been lost, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry.
The quick service segment, which prior to the pandemic was already equipped to efficiently handle off-premises operations, like carry-out and drive-thru, ended the first quarter of this year with...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transactions Begin to Recover
In mid-March 2020, U.S. governing authorities, to get the COVID-19 global pandemic under control, restricted on-premises dining at roughly 70% of all U.S. restaurants, a historical defining moment for the industry. By the last week of March 2020, customer transactions at major restaurant chains had fallen by -43% compared to year ago and by -77% at full service chains, which were most impacted by the dine-in restrictions.
In March 2021, with the lifting of restrictions and more consumers vaccinated, customer transactions at major restaurant chains were up +32% compared to the steep declines year ago, although still down -6% compared to two years ago, March 2019. Major chain transactions at full service restaurants were up...
Canada: Dine-In Restaurant Visit Declines Soften in February when Restrictions were EasedThe pent-up demand for indoor dining was evident in February after dine-in restrictions were eased in Canada’s largest provinces. Dine-in restaurant visits increased by 4 percentage points in February compared to January, an increase of 10.5 million visits versus prior month. The downside of this news is the still deep traffic declines in on-premises dining. Dine-in visits declined by -79% in February compared to same month last year and were down -85% in January compared to last year, according to NPD, which continually tracks consumers’ use of Canadian restaurants and other foodservice outlets.
Off-premises dining, like carry-out, delivery, and drive-thru, has been the beneficiary of the indoor dining restrictions. In January off-premises visits, digital or physical, were up...
What’s on the Menu: Global Foodservice Outlook
In many countries, including those in Europe and North America, Covid-19-related disruptions remain the most relevant driver of foodservice performance in the near term, as sales and foot traffic trends remain well-below pre-Covid levels. Notably, China, which is ahead of the curve in terms of both virus outbreak and containment, could be a potential indicator of the likely speed and scope of the foodservice recovery as the virus subsides.
As vaccinations and treatment advance, the focus of attention will shift from near-term recovery to more strategic matters. The most relevant performance drivers over the next 6 to 12 months will be...
U.S. Restaurant Customer Transaction Declines Steepen in February
Severe weather in many parts of the country in February hampered the softening of customer transaction declines at major U.S. restaurant chains reported in the last few months of 2020 and this January, finds The NPD Group. Major restaurant chain customer transactions declined by -13% versus year ago, compared to a -9% decline in January, 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.
Record-shattering cold, snow, and rain affected a large swath of the U.S. in February. Texas, the second most populated state after California, was hit with a winter storm in mid-February that dropped significant amounts of...
National Restaurant Association Releases 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report
The National Restaurant Association released its 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, which measures the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the restaurant industry and examines the current state of key pillars including technology and off-premises, labor, and menu trends across segments based on a survey of 6,000 restaurant operators and consumer preferences from a survey of 1,000 adults. The report also provides a look at the path to recovery for chains, franchises, and independents and the year of transition ahead.
Key findings regarding the impact of coronavirus on the restaurant industry include...
U.S. Restaurant Industry Ends 2020 Making Its Way Out of the Steep Declines Caused by Pandemic
The U.S. restaurant industry closed one of the most unpopular years in history moving its way out of the steepest declines the industry has experienced since the Great Recession, reports The NPD Group. Customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains in December were down -10% compared to same period year ago, a 27-point improvement from April, the height of the shelter-at-home and restaurant dine-in closure mandates, when transactions declined by -37% from a year ago, 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...
Technomic's Take: 2021 Global Trends Outlook
We can only guess what’s in store for 2021 in the global restaurant space. 2020 showed us—among so many things—that what’s expected and what happens don’t always align, to say the least. That said, we think our 2020 restaurant trend forecast holds up fairly well given the reality of the marketplace affected so drastically by the pandemic. Ghost kitchens certainly moved mainstream. Vegan fare got more space to stretch and grow. Plant-based meats continued to inform product development, especially across Asia. Beverage chains certainly broke out from the crowd—again, especially in Asia. And halloumi, pinsa pizzas and sliders had strong showings on chain menus across the world. So, what’s in store for the coming year...
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