Total restaurant industry traffic for April through June was flat vs. the same period last year, according to a new report from The NPD Group. This marks the second consecutive quarter of no growth in industry traffic.
Fast casual, long the strength of the industry, was also flat during the period. Excluding Chipotle and its loss of traffic connected to food safety concerns, fast-casual traffic increased by two percent. During the same period in 2015, the sector’s traffic growth was 11 percent.
Lunch visits, which represent one third of all daypart visits, declined by four percent during the period, while dinner dropped by just one percent. Breakfast traffic grew by 1 percent.
Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst, attributed the weak results to uncertainty about current and future economic conditions combined with lower inflation for food at home during a period that many operators are raising menu prices.