Restaurant industry breakfast daypart near full recovery: NPD

Breakfast grows, just one percentage-point away from pre-pandemic levels, according to food consultancy

Breakfast was the most important meal, reports The NPD Group, based on restaurant traffic growing by 4% in August year-over-year. This key meal of the day’s importance is evident in the current trend rate. Breakfast is just one percentage point of recovering from pre-pandemic levels based on traffic.

Understandably, QSR (quick service restaurant) breakfast, represents 87% of restaurant breakfast traffic. Visits within this segment increased 5% during August compared to last year. As another sign of positive news, QSR breakfast increased 1% from the same month in 2019. Overall QSR traffic was flat in August. Meanwhile, lunch traffic decreased 2% in the same month, while dinner increased 1% compared to last year.

According to NPD, QSR gourmet coffee and tea, as well as QSR hamburger restaurants, representing an overwhelming share of QSR breakfast traffic, drove much of the growth of this daypart. For instance, breakfast visits to gourmet coffee and tea outlets increased by 20% in August versus last year. In addition, it was up 15% from August 2019 traffic level.

Plus, QSR hamburger breakfast visits rose by 4% in August compared to last year. The category’s traffic decreased 2% versus three years ago.

It’s not surprising that in QSR breakfast the top food choice was breakfast sandwiches. In fact, 37% of all August QSR breakfast orders included these sandwiches. Servings of breakfast sandwiches were up 4% in August from last year. They were also up 14% from August 2019.


On the beverage side, coffee was the top beverage that was ordered during QSR breakfast. A total of 52% of August QSR breakfast orders included coffee. In August, coffee servings increased 11% from a year ago and 2% from the same month in 2019.

“Breakfast at restaurants was adversely affected in the early stages of the pandemic, and it’s recovering now that more consumers have returned to more out-of-the-home routines,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of “Eating Patterns in America.” “Breakfast is an important daypart for the U.S. restaurant industry, and it’s encouraging that consumers have found new reasons and ways to get breakfast away from home.”


To learn more about the publisher of this restaurant news site, navigate here.

Leave a Reply