Casual Dining Transactions Down in December

Quick service restaurants showed holiday transaction gains while casual dining saw declines, a recent NPD report found.

According to NPD’s Crest Performance Alerts, restaurant industry transactions for quick service restaurants (QSR) experienced a 3 percent gain. QSR chains saw four consecutive weeks of transactional increases from Dec. 2 to Jan. 5 while casual dining had only one week of stability with transactional decline in the remaining three. Midscale/family dining chains, meanwhile, were flat for the month.

These trends highlight the seasonal needs “for convenience and speed during the busy holiday season. Seasonal limited time offers and deals also helped to drive transactional increases,” said David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor. Despite special deals and promotions, however, casual dining struggled throughout the entire month of December and felt the steepest decline on Jan. 5.