Americans' appetite for restaurants stalls with economy
Restaurant guest counts in the second quarter were essentially flat in the U.S., and the same or worse in almost every other market around the world, according to a recent study from The NPD Group. The Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research firm tracked spending and traffic patterns for the foodservice industry across 10 global markets during the quarter. Total spending increased in every market—except Japan, which continues to recover from the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami—mostly because the average check increased after menu price hikes. Traffic, however, was negative or flat everywhere except China, where guest counts rose 15.2% and the average check price increased 6.2%, compared with the same period last year, resulting in a total spending increase of 22.3%. The United States, United Kingdom and Germany had essentially flat restaurant traffic in the second quarter, while guest counts fell 1% in Canada, 1.4% in Australia, 3.2% in Japan and 6.2% in Spain. "The foodservice industry is truly a bellwether of the economy and, regardless of country, the consumers' state of mind," says Bob O'Brien, NPD global senior vice president of foodservice. "The second-quarter foodservice measures were a direct reflection of the times." Read more about the report at the Nation's Restaurant News website here.
Today's poll question: On average, how many days a week do you eat at least one meal at a restaurant?
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