The number of quick-service restaurants declined by -1% or 2,521 units, according to NPD’s Spring 2010 ReCount, which was collected from April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. Full-service restaurant units, which includes the casual dining, mid-scale, and fine dining segments also experienced a unit loss of 1% or 2,683 units.
“It’s been a difficult time for the restaurant industry with customer traffic down over the past year,” says Greg Starzynski, director, product development-foodservice at NPD. “The unit losses we’re seeing in our latest census are a reflection of the weakness in the industry with the greatest impact on the independent restaurant operators.”
Visits to U.S. restaurants declined by 3% for the year ending May 2010 compared to a year ago, according to The NPD Group’s CREST, which continually tracks consumer usage of commercial and non-commercial foodservice outlets. Consumer spending at restaurants declined by 1%, the first decline in dollars NPD has reported since it began tracking the foodservice industry in 1976.