Overall Traffic at U.S. Restaurants Will Remain Flat in 2017, per NPD

Traffic increases at QSRs will offset declines among full-service restaurants

The new year will bring little to no traffic growth for the total U.S. foodservice market, according to projections from The NPD Group.

Consumer visits to quick-service restaurants will increase by an estimated 1 percent, faring better than the flat growth achieved in 2016, per NPD. The gain for QSRs will offset the anticipated 2 percent decline for full-service restaurants, resulting in no growth traffic for the industry overall, according to NPD Group’s daily tracking of U.S. consumers’ use of foodservice.

“Restaurant operators are in a position to alter the current forecast, but will need to differentiate themselves from the competition,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD Group’s restaurant industry analyst. “In the year ahead, it will be critical for them to stay relevant in consumers’ minds, focusing on innovative products, unique promotions, competitive pricing, stating the benefits of eating at restaurants vs. home, and delivering an enjoyable experience.”

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