U.S. quick-service restaurant (QSR) chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, had four consecutive weeks of transaction increases in the retail month of December and were the primary contributor to the total industry gains in the month, according to The NPD Group. In fact, total restaurant industry transactions were up 3% in December driven by the 3% gain in QSR transactions.
According to NPD’s Crest Performance Alerts, casual dining transactions were down 2% and midscale/family dining chains ended the month flat after being up 3% the first four weeks in the month but had a 2% decline in the last week.
“Quick-service restaurants served the need for convenience and speed during the busy holiday season. Seasonal limited-time offers and deals also helped to drive transaction increases,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America, in a NPD press release. “Family dining benefited from holiday vacations between Christmas and New Year’s, with their biggest boost in transactions that week. Casual dining, which has been challenged for a while, still struggled to drive transactions in December despite aggressive dealing and promotion.”
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