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U.S. Quick Service Restaurant Traffic Growth Stalls in 2016



Quick-service restaurants realized no traffic growth in 2016 and total foodservice traffic dipped slightly, reports The NPD Group. Visits to full-service restaurants also declined last year.

Lunch visits, which represent the largest daypart in terms of traffic share, declined by 2 percent at QSRs and all other foodservice outlets. Among the reasons lunch traffic is down are a smaller labor force participation rate, an increase in number of employees working from home, and more consumers shopping online and not grabbing a meal while they’re out shopping. Weekend, dinner, and independent restaurant visit declines also prevented the industry from growing last year.

Though U.S. foodservice traffic isn’t growing there were still close to 62 billion visits made to restaurants and other foodservice outlets last year, reports NPD Group. QSR consumer spending increased by 3 percent and by 2 percent for the total industry. All spending gains were driven by an increase in average eater check size. Other industry bright spots last year were the continued strength of morning and afternoon snacks, drive-thru visits, combo meal deals, and an increase in breakfast food servings.