CHICAGO — Restaurant transactions improved in the week ended May 10 as more states lifted bans on in-store dining. Mother’s Day also contributed to a slight boost in traffic.
Total US restaurant chain transactions were down 23%, compared to a 26% decline in the previous week, the NPD Group reported. Full-service restaurants benefited from Mother’s Day as transaction declines improved 39% but were still down 58% compared with the same period last year. Transactions at quick-service restaurants were down 21%, compared to a 24% decrease the week before.
The NPD Group estimated 19 states allowed some level of on-premises dining by May 10. While a handful of states never imposed restrictions, most had recently reopened.
Restaurants in “open” states performed 8 percentage points better than those that were closed for in-store consumption. Tennessee and Texas, two of the largest states that have eased restrictions on in-store dining, both showed a 7% improvement in customer transactions for the week ended May 10. Year-over-year restaurant transactions were down 14% in Tennessee and 18% in Texas.
“Permanent restaurant closures, economically distressed consumers and the possibility of a second wave of virus cases still bring uncertainty; but at least for now, the recent run of weekly gains is encouraging,” said David Portalatin, food industry adviser at the NPD Group. “The road back will be challenging and slow, but we’re headed in the right direction.”