CHICAGO — Foodservice industries in China, France, and Germany experienced traffic gains in the first quarter of 2011, however restaurant visits were down for the quarter in many countries throughout the world, according to The NPD Group.

China experienced an 11 percent jump in visits and a 17 percent increase in consumer spending at its foodservice outlets in the first quarter of 2011, according to NPD’s CREST, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the US. France and Germany are the strongest markets outside of China and each country saw foodservice traffic increase in the quarter, 2 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Traffic was up 1 percent in Australia and flat in the US and Italy. Foodservice visits declined in Canada (3 percent), Japan (4.8 percent), Spain (8.3 percent) and the United Kingdom (2 percent). With the exception of Japan and Spain, consumer spending has increased in the remainder of the countries tracked by NPD’s CREST service.

“The economic situation in Germany continues to show a very positive picture for the country’s foodservice industry,” said Jochen Pinsker, senior vice president, Europe foodservice at NPD. “All of the country’s macroeconomic indicators as well as its booming export industries point to an ongoing strong recovery. Consumer confidence has stabilized at positive levels after strong improvements during the second half year 2010.”

Quick-service restaurants were the strongest restaurant segment in terms of visits across the globe. Full-service restaurant traffic improved in France and Germany. Chain restaurants in the countries tracked are growing and independents declining in every country except Spain, where both segments are declining.

“The global foodservice industry ended 2010 with visit gains in many of the countries NPD tracks,” said Bob O’Brien, global senior vice president, foodservice at NPD. “With the exception of China, France and Germany, volatile economies and, in the case of Japan a natural disaster, dashed the glimmers of hope the industry had of recovery in the first quarter of the year.”