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As COVID-19 cases surge in several states, restaurant transaction recovery faces countercurrent: NPD Group

Eateries impacted by coronavirus surge, Father’s Day holiday

Year-over-year restaurant customer transaction performance decreased for the first time in the United States since April 12, according to a new report from NPD Group. The 13-percent drop in transactions from last year that occurred the week ending June 21 shows a slight decrease from the 12-percent decrease reported in the earlier week. A confluence of factors created the performance decrease. COVID-19 cases are surging in several states and Father’s Day, which typically is a non-restaurant occasion, was also a factor in the downtick.

For the week ending June 21, these states saw a transaction decrease from where they were trending, based on NPD Crest data:

  • Arizona, down 5 percent down from prior week’s transaction performance
  • Florida, down 2 percent
  • Nevada, down 4 percent
  • North Carolina, down 5 percent

The impact of surging cases and renewed restrictions had not yet taken hold in California and Texas. These states showed flat transaction performance when compared to the prior week. Yet, reopened dining rooms in most of the country had a positive impact on the restaurant industry. Overall, 79 percent of U.S. restaurants had restored dine-in service during the week ending June 21, versus 74 percent in the prior week.

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“The pandemic isn’t over and, as often mentioned, is ‘unprecedented’ so there is no road map,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America “The foodservice industry is solidly in the restart phase as restaurants begin to reopen on-premise operations, adopt and implement new procedures and protocols, and keep plans fluid because things could change quickly.”

Full service restaurants posted a 24-percent decrease in transactions versus last year, compared to a 26-percent decrease in the previous week. Quick-service restaurants (QSRs) saw a drop during the week ending June 21 versus the prior week. Transactions at QSRs declined 12 percent year-over-year versus the 11 percent decrease the week ending June 14.

Photo credit: Louis Hansel

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