U.S. Restaurant Chain Transactions Continue Downward Trend with A 43% Decline in Week Ending April 12

Chicago, IL, April 20, 2020 — After U.S. restaurant chain customer transaction declines stabilized in the week ending April 5 at 41% compared to the 42% drop prior week, a further decrease in quick service restaurant transactions brought total transactions down 43% in the week ending April 12 compared to year ago, reports The NPD Group.  Quick service restaurant customer transactions declined by 41% in the 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 70 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains. 

“I’m hesitant to make a big deal out of this week-over-week decline because I think some volatility during a time of unprecedented disruption is expected,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America.  “With 5 million additional unemployment claims this week, we may begin to see consumers hesitant to spend at restaurants. In addition, while almost all U.S. restaurant dining rooms are closed, there is mounting evidence that some units are closing altogether.  Although much of the business can be absorbed by other locations, especially chains, it’s reasonable to conclude that there is a point at which unit closures would erode volume further.  On the other hand, we may see some lift from the coronavirus relief bill checks that have been issued.”

Full service restaurant chain transaction declines have held at 79% for the last three weeks, reports NPD. Midscale/family dining restaurant transactions declined by 81% in the week ending April 12 compared to year ago, which is the same decline as the two weeks prior. Customer transactions at casual dining restaurant chains were down 77% in the week, the same decline as prior week. 


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