Global restaurant visits weak in Q3
By Canadian Pizza
By Canadian Pizza
January 4, 2012, Chicago – Low consumer confidence and the stressed global economy were reflected in weak foodservice traffic in most countries around the world in the quarter ending September 2011, according to The NPD Group.
The growing or more stable domestic economies of Canada, China, and France encouraged more visits over the last year. In contrast, Italy, with one of the more challenging economic environments, also experienced traffic gains in the quarter.
According to NPD’s CREST survey, which tracks commercial foodservice usage in Canada, Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States, restaurant traffic declines were steepest in Spain, due to persistent economic weakness, and Japan, which is still feeling the after effects of last year’s earthquake. Australia experienced traffic declines in the quarter in spite of a growing economy. China posted traffic gains of 19 per cent over the same quarter last year.
“There still is a mixed bag of health and weakness across the global foodservice industry,” says Bob O’Brien, senior vice-president of global foodservice at NPD. “While a few of the countries we track posted traffic gains, the news for the third quarter of  remains disappointing.”
According to NPD, foodservice chains continue to grow around the world and visits to independent foodservice concepts have stabilized and returned to growth in some countries. Lunch traffic appears to be growing in some of the stronger economies while breakfast, which is largely a non-core day part outside of Italy and China, is growing in most markets. Visits during the supper day part are also growing in most countries. Promotions are still important in attracting consumers to visit foodservice outlets.