U.S. Foodservice Visits Highest in Six Years and Higher Average Eater Checks Pump Up Consumer Spending, Reports NPD

Industry Growth Still Stalled by Quick Service Hamburger Chain, Midscale, and Independent Restaurants

Chicago, July 28, 2015 — Foodservice industry traffic hit its highest level in six years and higher average eater checks fueled a 3 percent increase in consumer spending at U.S. restaurants and foodservice outlets in the year ending May 2015 compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. The good news is tempered, however, by overall stalled traffic growth caused by visit declines at quick service hamburger chain, midscale/family dining, and independent restaurants, according to NPD’s ongoing foodservice market research.

Restaurant and foodservice outlet visits hit the 61.1 billion mark in the year ending May 2015 compared to 60.6 billion visits in year ending May 2010, based on NPD’s ongoing foodservice tracker, CREST®. Although industry traffic volume is higher than it was six years ago, stronger industry traffic growth has been hindered by continuing visit declines at quick service hamburger chain, midscale/family dining, and independent restaurants. Over a five year period, traffic has declined by 3 percent at quick service hamburger chain restaurants and at midscale/family dining restaurants (includes hotel midscale restaurants), and by 2 percent at independent restaurants. 

Total foodservice and restaurant visits were flat in the year ending May 2015 compared to year ago.  Quick service restaurant visits, which include retail and fast casual categories, increased by 1 percent, and casual dining restaurant traffic, which in the prior five years saw visit declines, held stable.  Higher average eater checks were the primary driver of a 3 percent increase in overall consumer spending during the year ending May 2015 period over a year ago.

Morning meal/breakfast continued to grow at the fastest pace among all meal dayparts with a 4 percent jump in visits at all restaurants and foodservice outlets, reports NPD. Quick service restaurants were responsible for most of the visit gains at breakfast, and although overall visits declined at midscale/family dining restaurants, breakfast traffic for this segment held steady. Lunch and dinner visits were flat for the total industry, and traffic at the PM snack daypart declined by 2 percent in year ending May 2015.  

“There are many pockets of growth in the foodservice industry right now, but the areas that have been problematic for several years now, like quick service hamburger chain and family dining restaurants, are preventing real growth in the industry,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD restaurant industry analyst. “It makes sense that we will be seeing more chain and independent operators leverage the growth areas, like breakfast, in the coming months.” 


Related Press Releases

Korean Barbeque — K-BBQ — Is Spicing Up America’s Adventurous Taste Buds
Korean Barbeque — K-BBQ — Is Spicing Up America’s Adventurous Taste Buds

The Korean wave swept in with K-pop, K-beauty, K-drama, K-food and now Korean barbeque, K-BBQ, according to The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice
U.S. Consumers Are Increasingly Eating and Preparing Their Meals At Home Often With The Help Of Foodservice

The NPD Group shows that four out of five meals are prepared at home, and although the relationship of in-home prepared meals versus those sourced away-from-home has been stable for a few years, Americans still prepare more meals at home than they did a decade ago. This is not to say that they don’t look for shortcuts. Close to half of dinners purchased from a restaurant are consumed at home and a growing number of in-home meals are a blend of dishes prepared and items purchased ready-to-eat from a foodservice establishment.

Fast Casual Is Only U.S. Restaurant Channel to Increase Traffic Over Past Five Years
Fast Casual Is Only U.S. Restaurant Channel to Increase Traffic Over Past Five Years

Visits to fast casual quick service restaurants have grown 6 percent annually over the last five years, stemming in large part from store openings, but growth has slowed in recent quarters, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company.

Plant-Based Proteins Are Harvesting Year-Over-Year Growth in Foodservice Market and Broader Appeal
Plant-Based Proteins Are Harvesting Year-Over-Year Growth in Foodservice Market and Broader Appeal

Plant-based proteins aren’t just for vegans anymore as U.S. consumers seek more protein in their diets and plant-based foods become more available and tastier. The higher demand for plant-based proteins is evidenced by growth in the foodservice market and consumption in-home, according to The NPD Group.


Press Contact

Kim McLynn
847-692-1781
kim.mclynn@npd.com

@npdfood

The NPD Group, Inc.
900 West Shore Road
Port Washington, NY 11050

Want more?

Complete this form to hear from NPD.

Newsletter

Subscribe and get key market trends and insights relevant to your industry each month.

We will not sell your information. View privacy notice.

Follow Us

© The NPD Group, Inc.