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Restaurant Traffic Levels Remain Flat

Visits to chain restaurants help keep the industry breaking even.

Restaurant chains kept total restaurant industry traffic flat instead of declining in the second quarter of 2014, while visits to independent restaurants declined by 2 percent, reports The NPD Group. Visits to major restaurant chains remained flat in the second calendar quarter compared to same quarter a year ago and small restaurant chain traffic increased by 2 percent, according to NPD data.

Major restaurant chains, which currently represent 64 percent of total industry traffic, increased visits 1 percent since the quarter that ended in June 2010, per NPD Group Data. Traffic to small chains, which represent 11 percent of industry traffic, were flat over the past 5 years based on the June-ending quarter. Independents, which now represent 25 percent of foodservice visits versus 28 percent in 2010, saw visit losses of 2 percent since 2010.

Visits to QSR chain restaurants, both major and small, were up 1 percent in the second quarter ending June 2014. Independent QSR traffic was down 2 percent compared to same quarter year ago.