Chicago, March 13, 2020 — The 24/7 news cycle around the coronavirus (COVID-19) didn’t deter consumers from sampling an array of breakfast promotions offered by quick service restaurant (QSR) chains in the week ending March 8.  The QSR chain “breakfast wars” helped to drive a 4% increase in total U.S. restaurant customer transactions for the week compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group

QSR chains, which represent the bulk of U.S. restaurant customer transactions, also grew transactions by 4% in the week ending March 8, the highest gain in a 4-week period, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 73 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains.  In contrast, customer transactions at full service restaurants declined in the period. Midscale/family dining chain transactions declined by 3% and at casual dining restaurant chains by 5%.   

“In these uncertain times, we are monitoring trends to detect possible disruption in the market, but thus far, the QSR sector has been resilient,” says David Portalatin, NPD
food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America
. “In good and bad times, consumers are always looking for convenience and value and they get that at QSR restaurants.”