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U.S. Restaurant Traffic Modestly Increases in Q2 2013

Fast-casual restaurant continue to thrive, jumping 8 percent in the second quarter. 

U.S. restaurant traffic increased by 1 percent in the second quarter of 2013 while consumer spending, driven primarily by average check growth, increased by 3 percent, according to The NPD Group, a global information company.

NPD's foodservice market research finds that despite growth during this time frame, second quarter foodservice traffic matched the 2009 level of $15.7 billion for the period.

Visits to quick-service restaurants (QSR), which represent 78 percent of industry traffic, were up by 1 percent, according to NPD's CREST study, which tracks how U.S. consumers use restaurants. Casual dining traffic, after several consecutive quarters of declines, held steady in the second quarter. Midscale/family dining restaurant traffic continued its history of traffic declines with a 2 percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Fine dining/upscale hotel restaurants, which represent only 1 percent of total industry traffic, increased visits by 6 percent. Traffic to fast-casual restaurants, which fall under the quick service segment, increased by 8 percent in the second quarter.

Breakfast/morning meal continued to post traffic growth in the second quarter with a gain of +3 percent. Lunch and supper remained flat while visits at PM Snack were up +1 percent over same quarter last year.