With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading throughout the United States, more people working from home, and social distancing guidance in place, U.S. restaurant customer transactions declined by 8% in the week ending March 15 compared to a year ago, according to the NPD Group. Quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain customer transactions, which represent the bulk of U.S. restaurant transactions, declined by 7% in the week. The already challenged full-service segments of casual dining and midscale/family dining realized transaction declines of 22% and 24%, respectively.
“The U.S. restaurant industry situation remains very fluid, and the most recent week read of customer transactions reflect performance before mandated on-premise restaurant closures were implemented in multiple states,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America, in a press release. “Some of the areas I’ll be watching closely in the coming weeks are delivery capacity, the pizza category, and third-party delivery platforms, like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.”