Restaurant customer transactions decelerate between 6- to 9- percentage points in hot spot states from last week

Chicago, July 6, 2020 — The recovery of U.S. restaurant customer transactions has stalled for the second week in a row as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in a number of states, reports The NPD Group. For the week ending June 28, total customer transactions at major U.S. restaurant chains are down  -14% versus the same week a year ago.  Last week, week ending June 21, total transactions were down  -13% versus year ago, according to NPD’s CREST®
Performance Alerts
, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 72 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains. 

The rise in COVID-19 case counts is causing local and state authorities to delay reopening, and in some cases, reinstating on-premise restaurant dining restrictions.    In Texas, for example, restaurants may continue to offer on-premise dining, but capacity is rolled back from 75% to 50%.  California announced last week the closing of its nearly 86,000 restaurants to on-premise dining.  These policy changes hurt full service restaurants (FSRs) most.  Nationwide, FSR customer transactions for the week ending June 28 were  -25% versus the prior year, down only 1-point versus last week’s year-over-year comparison, but several states where COVID-19 is gaining saw the biggest declines in FSR transactions.  Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona led the FSR decline, decelerating between 6- to 9- percentage points in year-over-year comparisons from last week. Customer transactions at major quick service restaurant chains declined by  -13% compared to same week last year, down 1-point from last week’s decline. 

“It’s apparent that the road to recovery is going to be a challenging one for the U.S. restaurant industry,” says David Portalatin, NPD
food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America
. “Consumer demand is there as is the want for normalcy, but there is nothing normal about this situation.”