Visits to U.S. restaurants were stable in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the traffic gains encouraged by mild winter weather in the first quarter last year, according to NPD Group data.
Restaurant spending and average check size increased by 2% in the first quarter of 2013. For the full year, NPD forecasts restaurant traffic to be flat and spending to increase 2.7%.
"Ongoing consumer economic concerns coupled with the payroll tax hike will continue to hinder restaurant industry growth," says Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst. "It's important for operators and foodservice manufacturers to keep in mind that consumers still made over 61 billion restaurant visits last year, which means that there is still significant demand. Understanding and meeting the wants and needs of restaurant consumers is the best way to build traffic."
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