Quick-serve pizza traffic thrives; overall US restaurant traffic slows

Quick-serve pizza traffic thrives; overall US restaurant traffic slows

If you're a quick-serve pizza brand, you're probably not feeling the pinch that most other fast casual and higher service category pizza concepts are seeing in the U.S., according to the latest global foodservice traffic growth data report from NPD Group. The report found that most of the growth in U.S. and global restaurant traffic in Q2 came from quick-serve brands, which, of course, includes QSR pizza brands. Overall traffic was down in the U.S., but up worldwide, a news release said.

Worldwide though, the NPD analysis of restaurant traffic showed growth, and indicated that the U.S. was the only exception to an overall upward trend in restaurant business worldwide. Outside the U.S., foodservice markets across the world reported various degrees of visit growth in Q2.

European markets continued their solid recovery, while the previously recession-mired countries of Brazil and Russia have regained more solid footing, the release said. Korea also posted a very solid traffic gain.

Total visits to U.S. restaurants and foodservice outlets declined by 1 percent, equaling a loss of 94.5 million visits in the quarter compared to year ago, according to NPD Group's Crest, which tracks consumer use of foodservice outlets in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain and the U.S. 

"It has been awhile since we've seen such broad-based traffic growth across the globe, which makes future quarters look promising," NPD Group Global Foodservice Senior Vice President Bob O'Brien, said in the release.

"Although most of the visit growth is from quick service — meaning smaller average check sizes — it's a sign that consumers are gaining financial confidence and taking advantage of the convenience foodservice offers."

Consumers responded positively to the advantageous pricing, aggressive unit expansion and advertising of QSR chains and outlets, according to NPD. The growing interest in foodservice delivery services, mobile ordering and payment around the world was also a driver of foodservice growth in the quarter. In every market NPD tracks, virtually all the growth in the past couple of years has come from mobile or internet services.

Though morning meal options are driving some growth, NPD said that particular daypart simply cannot drive overall growth like other later meals can. Lunch traffic did increase in Brazil, China, Russia, and Spain, but declined in all other countries. Visits at dinner were flat to up in most countries, with the exception of Australia, Canada and the U.S.


Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Trends / Statistics

Companies: The NPD Group, Inc.

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